I came up with the idea for Requital while I was daydreaming in the bath.
I liked the idea of making music from diegetic sounds in order to build tension to the ending, and the story grew from there. After being involved with the Glasgow Film Crew for about six months, I showed my Requital script to a few members and received a hugely positive response. Even though it had been a few years since I directed a film, I decided to just go for it and began forming a crew.
Pre-production was pretty rushed – only five weeks, and I was in the USA for two of those! But I was incredibly lucky to have Andrew Gunn as a producer. He was instrumental in getting everything organised. We only needed one evening of auditions to cast Rachel Leonard, Paula Dunn and Stuart Smith.
The first day on set was anything but smooth. We had the basement function suite of a city centre bar. Early on, a light fell over and blew the fuse for the entire room. The staff couldn’t find the fuse box, so we had to test circuits around the basement and plug into one that still worked. This cut into our schedule, but with some clever management by assistant director Peter J. Stewart, we worked the time back.
Then mid-afternoon, a band started to play upstairs! The music was so loud that it seemed our sound would be unusable. With zero control over the situation, I felt like all was lost at that point. But with the enthusiasm of the amazing cast and crew, we ploughed on – and in the end, the sound turned out surprisingly well.
Post-production was a long process – but everyone involved was dedicated and worked hard. The film was completed just two days before its premiere at ‘Love Hurts’, a short film programme I organised for Valentine’s Day. The theme was a dark twist on love.
Requital also screened at GMAC’s Café Flicker in May, and I’m excited now for the GFC screening at The Flying Duck on 22 June. I’m looking forward to the Q&A, as I’m sure to be grilled by my friends at the GFC who are not afraid to ask me difficult questions and watch me squirm!
My next project is currently in pre-production – I’m set to direct Stuart Smith again in a very exciting dark comedy, Time of the Month, for Random Clock Films. More on that later!