I spent 5 days working on Down-Up with Mike Bell in a studio on the outskirts of Bristol. I turned up with a case full of relics from my early teenage years, some research and few concrete ideas.
We spent the first day getting Mike up to speed, talking through possible bits and working on a possible frame to hang some of the material we would generate on.
A couple of days were spent chatting through scenes, improvising around ideas and writing snippets down as they came, refining them later.
Refinement and script forming followed and we jumped around from section to section, we worked from notebooks and recordings, typing up scripts as we visited the initial discussions and improvising. A natural order of scenes emerged as we developed the ideas, some scenes logically led into the next whilst some had to be teased into place.
The last day with Mike was spent tidying material and running a couple of bits. We timed what we had made and it ran to 17mins.
We had a 40min journey to the space everyday and I really enjoyed starting and finishing the working day talking to about vaguely related things like creating and process, as well as dog training and our favourite podcasts. Working with mike was fantastic, so much fun. He’s an extremely funny guy and I found him great to thrash out ideas with.
I spent my final day with Tom Spencer, looking at what I had so far. He had a look at the skeleton of the show and asked me some really interesting questions. He used the script as a starting point but encouraged me to move away from the idea of tying down text so precisely so early on in the process. We then spent the day improving scenes, looking at how I might convey the same material physically rather than purely in the text form.
I found working with Tom super challenging, his approach to work is way out of my comfort zone and possibly skill set but it was great to be pushed in unfamiliar directions although it was a little scary at times.