At Screen and Film School we love hearing about our student and graduate’s success in all areas of the TV and Film Industry.

This week we caught up with first year BA Hons Film Production student, Jamie Neagle, to discuss the making of his first short film, ‘Shopped’, and the success it’s been having on the festival circuit.

Tell us a bit about Shopped

Shopped is a 9-minute short about a brother and sister team who are in the kidnapping business- the issue is they’re not very good at their jobs. Patrick’s impulsive and chaotic nature, coupled with Emma’s controlling and bossy personality, clash and they screw up a job royally. The project started with me just wanting to make a film even before I came to film school. I’d been working professionally in the industry for about a year and a half and I really wanted to move into writing and directing. I originally found a small part of a script online which served as a jumping point for the initial idea of the story.

 

How did you approach the filmmaking process?

Writing and directing a short film was very new to me. I holed myself up in a pub for one or two nights a week, researched what I needed to do in terms of writing the script and shot lists, and taught myself along the way. I found out that I’d been accepted to Screen and Film School a few days before the filming process started, which gave me the idea of re-shooting the same film after I graduate from the degree course as a comparison piece and to demonstrate everything I’d learned. It’ll be interesting to see the difference in the production between starting from zero, compared to after three years of studying.

 

How long did Shopped take to film?

Shopped was filmed in one day last summer, we arrived at 6am and wrapped around 4.30pm. The timings were carefully planned out and choreographed beforehand as I wanted to the real progression of the day to be mirrored in the film. There were some hurdles to overcome, such as moving locations last minute, and recasting on the day of filming after an actor pulled out. Some hurdles even ended up working in our favour; the kidnappers were originally supposed to be driving a Ford Fiesta, but once we got to the car rental company, they didn’t have any left. We ended up using the director of photography’s Volkswagen Beetle, and I think using that car added an element of fun to the film; who would expect two kidnappers to be driving around in a Beetle?!

Can you tell us about Shopped’s success in the festival circuit?

Shopped was pre-screened at the Olympus Film Festival in Los Angeles, and it had a really great response there. It was also nominated as a finalist for the Best International Short Comedy Film in the Frost Bite Festival. The biggest success was being placed into the First-Time Filmmakers Sessions at Pinewood, run by Lift-Off Global Network. The first round was an international voting round which saw 110 films go up against each other to be voted on by industry professionals and the general public. Shopped was voted first place in that round, and to even see it up there with the other films was incredible.

 

What would your advice be to applicants considering Screen and Film School?

So far, the experience at Screen and Film school has been incredible. I’ve had so much advice and so much help, and everybody just wants to get involved which is wonderful. The best advice I could give is to just go for it! It seems like a huge life decision you’re making- and it is- but it’s the right one.

 

What’s next for you in terms of filmmaking?

I have a lot of stuff planned and I’ve really thrown myself into writing. I’m currently working on a documentary, and I’ve also got another live action short on the way called Richard, which is about a businessman who thinks money is everything, falling on hard times. Lastly, I’ve already begun writing Shopped into a feature and I’ve met a production company now who are interested in getting involved.

Top Tip for making your first film:

Don’t sweat the small stuff- if something goes wrong or something gets derailed just roll with it.

Jamie Neagle

BA Hons Film Production Student