Category Archives: Short Film


Here’s my first completed short film. Shot and edited between shoot days for ‘Paranoia’ this was created for Film4s ‘ Scene Stealers’ competition.

“We are looking for you to take an iconic Film4 moment from our list of selected films and put your own individual stamp on it. The judges will be looking for entries that do this in the most original and creative way encapsulating the Film4 ethos and celebrating some of its finest moments with a fresh, inventive approach. Make your own version of that scene with as much flair, invention and creativity as you can. You can use snippets of dialogue from the scene, but again, re-imagining the moment to stand out from the crowd is what we’re after.”

I chose to re-imagine the confrontation and LSD scenes from Shane Meadows’ excellent film ‘Dead Man’s Shoes.’ 

It took three hours to film with a Sony PD175 camera, a boom mike and sunlight. I used two reflectors on the actresses’ faces under the arch scene and have learned that a white dress is not great in bright sunlight if you haven’t a clue about white balance!

Sound was really tricky, we were delayed by a lot of airplanes and helicopters – it was the first sunny day in over a week!

Final Cut is HUGE but I had a great manual and some help with leveling out the sound in post.

My cast were incredible and huge thanks to the multi-talented Edd Lane for creating a perfect piece of music for me in less than 24 hours after I asked. It makes the film!

For some reason the end titles won’t screen on YouTube – I have posted on a forum so we’ll see if I get a response. I’ve submitted to Film4, haven’t had confirmation yet and am worried that the swearing might be construed as ‘offensive’. Fingers crossed it’s not!

  This was a great learning experience for me and I’m dead chuffed with the result!

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Posted by on July 31, 2012 in Short Film


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Posted by on July 25, 2012 in Short Film


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So my first day ever behind a camera is done!

Phew. It took a lot of bloody organising I can tell you. I’ve been trying to crew it and film since April this year. And how did it go? I hear you shout. Not bad, not bad. The baddest bit was the sound dude’s rumbly tum. Five takes and a snack later and I sent him out of the room! But I’m so glad he was there. Thank you lovely Alan Deacon – take a bow.

Alan responded to a Talent Circle crew shout-out and his area of expertise is actually post-production sound but he kindly offered to come and set up the boom and levels and everything sound-wise and I was very glad for his presence and knowledge and look forward to his work after the edit.

I would also say that doing the directing, lighting, camera, sound, art direction, props and make-up is too much.

I found it difficult to actually focus on my actress and felt pressured and rushed. Thankfully, Ffion Evans is a very talented young lady and I felt enough confidence in her to move on swiftly.  I had also done an awful lot of pre-production preparation. This was reiterated over and over in every book or article I read about making low budget shorts and although it meant another huge chunk of time out of my MA work it was definitely worth it.

I want a producer. This is the main big lesson I have come away with. A producer I can forge a great relationship with and work on the next couple of shorts and then onto a feature.

Will I continue directing? Well, I haven’t watched the rushes back yet because I have a huge academic deadline looming and the next day’s shoot for this film, Paranoia, isn’t until 31st July so I won’t be editing until sometime in August. I’ll let you know then.

Meanwhile I’ve got another shoot booked this Tuesday to reimagine a scene for Film 4’s Scene Stealers  competition. I transcribed the scene last night and am looking forward to a couple of hours rehearsing and shooting with some fabulous young actresses. We’re spinning a classic gangster’s scene on its head and will be shooting outdoors with two cameras. Should be fun.

Audition Day

Thanks must go to my wonderfully quirky classmate Jackie Pasco, a fellow scriptwriter who today did a sterling job as the clapper loader, and Edd Lane my stills photographer. Looking forward to putting some pics from the shoot up soon. Watch this space!

I’m now off to write a feature length screenplay.

In a week.

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Posted by on July 19, 2012 in Short Film


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Having been unable to entice students to work as crew on my horror short I had just about given up on it and sent an email out to the interested actresses informing them it would have to be postponed. I copied in my course director and had a response from her almost straight away and she has sent the script out – silly me, didn’t think of that – and I now have four experienced students very keen to help out once they’ve finished their current short films in a couple of weeks. Result!

I also discovered they have a Steadicam and dolly tracks. How cool is that, there was me thinking I was going to have to use my granny wagon.



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Posted by on May 3, 2012 in Short Film



Girl With Yo-Yo by Brazilian artist Morandini

I’m in pre-production for my first short film! I’m so excited! I don’t know how I’m going to find the time to actually shoot and edit it; I don’t even know who is writing this actual Blog because the 40 year old student is beavering away on her masses of course work.Our Course Director was extolling the virtues of having a short film as a calling card for a writer and pointed out that now is the time for us to be making one as all the equipment is available for free on campus alongside eager students as crew and actors.I decided she was right and thought I’d bumble through a first one and then make another and maybe by the third I’d have something decent as a calling card.

So I signed up for a camera course and an editing course, two hours each with a fabulous tutor called Leila who also gave me the names of two first year students who are reliable and technically proficient with the cameras which are Sony PD175 or Z1.

I was hit by inspiration in our amazing library and quickly wrote a three page horror script with no dialogue, although I’m not sure if it’s horror as there’s no gore. There is a ghost in the vein of Asian horror and the story is about bullying and mental health/suicide. The message isn’t beautiful though it’s about getting even by getting possessed.

I met with the lady who says ‘yes’ to filming in the library and was informed that filming can only be done during opening hours and must not interfere with anyone using it. Damn, I thought, it needs to be empty for the creepiness. The library lady was extremely helpful and I can get the eerie emptiness but only if I’m prepared to film at 8am for about an hour before students start arriving. I am.

Will the students be?

I think the cast will. I contacted the head of Performing Arts today and he sent out an email to all three years. Here’s what went out:

Ellen – playing age 16-20. Must be able convey growing fear and sustained terror.

Ghost – female, any age. Must have long dark hair – going for Asian horror ghost look. May have to wear effects contact lenses although I’m waiting to hear back about creating the eyes with special effects.

3 bullies – playing age 16-20. three girls who can look glam and mean. One must be able to use a yo-yo properly.

Size, shape and ethnicity are not important.

That was about 3pm. I’ve had seven replies already. They all look great too and I’m dying to start the auditioning process. The little snag so far is that I’ve not yet heard back from the recommended camera guys. I think I’ll have to put a call out for that as well. I’m excited to start story-boarding and I kind of wanted my camera-person in place so I could brainstorm with them.

Next stop is to post on one of my forums about whether I should shoot B&W. I think I want to, I don’t want to faff with lights if my time is precious and this is only my first bash. I need to find out about laying sound down as well. I’m going to record most of it without sound. It’s bookended with girls giggling and I think I’ll need to record that in situ. Any advice, if anyone is reading, would be grand.

Oh, I’m a Twit now as well, as if you didn’t already know that but it’s been publicly confirmed by Twitter. I’m tweeting about the short’s progress, you can follow me @MJHermanny.

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Posted by on April 18, 2012 in Short Film


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