UK social enterprise production company, Signature Pictures is launching three films as part of its Signature Shorts series in collaboration with Film London and Jobcentre Plus. Procam has supported the making of We Love Moses, the first film in the series of shorts, by producer Georgia Goggin and director Dionne Edwards from Teng Teng Films.
The production saw 20 young people training within each department of the production, gaining hands-on experience as well as the opportunity to work alongside seasoned and award-winning film industry professionals.
Teng Teng Films and Signature Pictures partnered together to work on the film after Ruben Woodin-Deschamps, Director of Photography and long-time collaborator of the production company, brought the two parties together to help get the film off the ground. Signature Shorts soon became the perfect opportunity to bring together a top team of creatives and great camera resources to ensure that the story of We Love Moses was told in the best possible way.
We Love Moses is the story of a girl called Ella Green who wittily recounts a time when her growing obsession with Moses, the best friend of her big brother Michael, put her into some awkward quandaries at school and at home, leaving her with a big secret to carry.
The trainees that were selected to work on this shoot applied through their coaches at Jobcentres in London and the surrounding counties. Candidates had the opportunity to apply for ten departments within the film, from director, producer and assistant director, right through to sound, costume, and makeup.
The head of departments, with assistance from Georgia, Head of Productions and Sami Larabi, Commercial Director at Signature Pictures looked through the submitted applications. The criteria when choosing candidates was not purely about experience; a lot of the young people that applied had never worked on a production before, so the team looked more for passion than anything else.
“When I was looking at applications from trainees, I was looking for passion. Does this person want to tell stories? Does this person have a passion for their medium?” said Georgia. Successful applicants were then interviewed in person or by phone before being offered the placement, with all other applicants kept on file for future Signature Pictures projects.
The production team knew that it would be the first time working on a film set for most of the trainees. The team wanted the trainees to feel comfortable, confident and well-prepared for the process, so a training day was held a few days prior to the shoot.
At the training day, Georgia asked the HoDs to share a piece of advice for the trainees. As Georgia explains, "We all drew on mistakes we had made; things we wish we'd been told. It was important that during the shoot, the trainees feel comfortable asking for help, comfortable saying ‘I don’t know’, which means we’re all safer and able to work more effectively.”
For Sami, it was important that each trainee worked directly with the HoD because that would not only ensure that they had a chance to develop their skills, but also to expand their network of contacts and have insider knowledge that could help them when applying for future jobs.
The experience aims to ensure that whatever route the trainees take, that they have been instilled with a newfound work ethic and a stronger sense of satisfaction, which will empower them when seeking future employment. They can draw upon the experience of working in film production as an inspiration, whilst also referencing the experience to new employers in job interviews. All of these factors result in a far greater chance for them gaining employment.
The production team took on a new level of responsibility by having a trainee working with them. It influenced crew members to conduct themselves in an impeccable way, in order to not only be the best example to the trainee, but to represent themselves, their department and the film industry in the right way to new entrants.
According to the production team, Procam’s support changed what they were able to do with We Love Moses. The level of provided kit took the production from one level to another, transforming the look of the film and enabling them to attract a higher level of talent in both the cast and crew. Georgia and Dionne’s main ambition for this project was to tell a compelling story from a very personal and subjective viewpoint. They used ARRI Alexa Plus cameras and Cooke Speed Panchro lenses in order to achieve a ‘sensual, fluid, dream-like feeling with the camera work.’
Sami said, “It was important to have Procam’s presence within this project because it would ensure that all of the film industry (those in and outside of the production of this film) are made aware of how important the issue of addressing inclusion, diversity and new voices in the film industry needs to be.”