"It's My Shout" - the Premiere
Last night I attended the Gala screening of the 2013 crop of BBC Made In Wales films from the It’s My Shout scheme. Having submitted several scripts over the years, I was delighted when my screenplay for “Say It” was plucked from the sub’s bench, another piece apparently having been deemed unsuitable. The resultant film was shown, along with seven others, at a rather glitzy event at the Wales Millennium Centre; a real “premiere” atmosphere, and lots of entertainment in the foyer, provided by commendably enthusiastic young people from across Wales.
In the past, the quality of the films produced has varied somewhat, so I was pleased that my project, through the efforts of director Andrew Pring, and young actors Emily Burnett and Ross Langford, not to mention the crew (there’s also a cameo appearance from former footballer Nathan Blake) turned out very well. Not only that, but all eight films were excellent; even the ones which weren’t to my particular taste were very well executed. Which just goes to show what can be achieved on miniscule budgets, if casts and crews are sufficiently incentivised – in this case by professional mentorship, and guaranteed television exposure. My film even won an award, for best trainee location manager (Eleanor Shaw) - although I don’t suppose I can claim any credit for that.
The star guest was Rob Brydon, a former drama pupil of the scheme’s supremo, Roger Burnell. As well as making a typically amusing speech while accepting the Inspiration Award, he was hanging around in the V.I.P. bar beforehand, and at the after-party, held in the iconic St David’s Hotel. Sadly, I didn’t summon up the courage to chat to him, or even to our elected leader, Carwyn Jones, who was also in attendance. But I was able to catch up with some old friends, which was lovely.
The night before saw another British Theatre Guide reviewing assignment – “Sold”, from Theatre Versus Oppression at Chapter, an avowedly didactic piece about sex-trafficking and associated exploitation. There were some excellent performances, but it was, inevitably, a bit of a wallow in despair; although, obviously, one has to respect the courage of those on whose testimonies the piece is based.