It's really been a great few months since finishing 'For Want Of A Nail' back in March last year. The film is into a second year of it's festival run and has received such positive feedback from a wide variety of viewers.
As we push forward with another year of festivals and screenings around the world, Writer Nick, who was naturally our script supervisor on set, reflects on his experience in making FWOAN, his best bits and his thoughts on the TV series development.
My best experience during the production of FWOAN was the level of involvement in the project that Ali afforded me. From being included in helping pick the director, to discussing the look of the film (so that it best reflected not only the character I had written, but so that it painted a non-stereotypical picture of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), from the wonderfully collaborative working relationship with director Lucy to being able to share thoughts and ideas on the editing process. The whole project was thoroughly collaborative with Ali, myself, and Lucy forming a very effective trio.
The break-up scene was my favourite to film, although it was a very tough scene to
shoot from a technical stand point as the crew had to work around the physical strictures of a real location, the stylised lighting for this flashback sequence had to be cleverly hidden and the camera crew had to perform somewhat of a choreographed dance with the actors – all within a very tight space (and with a mirror in-shot) – as the actors moved throughout a very emotional and crucial scene. It took many takes, but we got there in the end. The sequence further evolved during the edit with the introduction of jump cuts, which gave that particular memory of Marty's a more fractured feel. Finally, Alex Williamson's score during this part of the film brilliantly heightens the moment, giving rise to the deeper emotions of the scene.
Nicks thoughts on developing the TV Series...
FWOAN is an ambitious short film in many regards, the narrative included. A TV series would allow the story to be told in a far more detailed fashion, exploring Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in a far closer manner not only from Marty's perspective, but from the viewpoint of his friends and family as well. To be able to tell other aspects of the story from the perspectives of Marty's twin sister Mindi and his fiancé Sally, as well as other members of his family, would be a great opportunity. There were certain ideas that we just couldn't fit into the already ambitious narrative of the short film, so it'd be fantastic to get to explore those other avenues.
The broader scope of a series would allow us to show the viewer how OCD develops
throughout the life of the sufferer, how it manipulates their thoughts and restricts their actions. Furthermore, it would show a far more accurate portrayal of OCD to a wide audience. One of the aspects of FWOAN that I am most proud of has been the audience reaction. Not only do they enjoy the film (due to the characters having a sense of humour and the stylish presentation), but they also come away with a better understanding of what Obsessive Compulsive Disorder actually is. FWOAN dispels the simplistic stereotypes – or outright nonsense – of the media representations of OCD that we have seen up to this point, and paints a picture of OCD as part of the much larger canvas that is someone's entire life. To be able to explore Marty's experiences with OCD from childhood, through his teen years, and then into his twenties, would let us show how this insidious mental condition develops over time, how it reacts to a person's experiences, shapes their daily thoughts, and in-turn affects how they live their life.
The FWOAN project itself has also been a great experience for me personally as it has allowed me to explore my own experiences with OCD and finally express myself after many, many years of keeping it hidden away out of embarrassment and fear. FWOAN has allowed me to wrestle back some control from my own OCD, and another aspect of a series we would want to explore would include how people can get help with their mental health. Indeed, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder effects those who have it in a multitude of different ways to differing degrees. Compulsions, Germophobia, Hoarding, and Intrusive Thoughts are just some of the 'pillars' that are the foundation of OCD, so there's a lot to dig into and open up to an audience.
Thanks for your feedback Nick!
Having completed the manuscript for his new coming-of-age murder mystery novel “Murder at the Grindhouse”, Nick is now on the hunt for a Literary Agent, after which the next task will be to find a publisher... or more of Nick's thoughts, ranting, reviewing, writing, YouTubing, looks, sounds, vibes & flavours. Check out his Blog