Apr 05, 2017

The UK Shoot

We’ve been busy busy here at Psycho Vertical HQ. In February we did a somewhat comprehensive tour of the UK, shooting in Bristol, Wales, Sheffield and Hull to create sequences about Andy’s life that feed into his big wall solo that we shot last Autumn.

In Tywyn, shot by Alex Gorham
In Tywyn, shot by Alex Gorham

Andy, Alex and I got every weather while we were on the road, which was great – it made it look like we filmed throughout the year rather than over the course of one week – there’s a British winter for you.

On the outskirts of Sheffield, shot by Alex Gorham
On the outskirts of Sheffield, shot by Alex Gorham

A lot of these sequences involve Andy revisiting places he grew up in and it was important to me that we didn’t end up with scene after scene of him looking somberly into the distance, walking around for no reason, looking sad… but I also didn’t want to make literal recreations of his time in those spots. I wanted to inject life and naturalness into these sequences, and found myself walking a very fine line between creating something a little different and something plain old cheesy. As ever, Andy was up for trying whatever which makes for a fun shoot.

In Tywyn again, shot by Alex Gorham
In Tywyn again, shot by Alex Gorham

So we tried to think of ways for Andy to connect with his child self and these places and how he used to use them. Sometimes this meant doing something you might do as a kid, like throwing rocks into the sea, or exploring a fort in the woods. Sometimes it just meant hopping down some steps rather than walking down them. Approaching things just a little differently can have a big impact.

In the studio. Shot by Alex Gorham
In the studio. Shot by Alex Gorham

We also spent a long day in a studio to shoot our core interview. Normally I shy away from studio environments and prefer to film with people in their ‘natural habitats’. But this time round I felt a studio would strip Andy of all familiarity and normalcy, that it would create an empty, stark surrounding that might encourage plain, honest responses to my questions and a sort of clean page feeling to run through the film. And it sure did. It also looked awesome.

Shot by Alex Gorham
Shot by Alex Gorham

For some reason it then took me a little while to really start editing. I’d been looking forward to it for… years actually, but I was scared that after all this thinking, planning, travelling, shooting, archive hunting etc etc… what if it didn’t work? As if it wouldn’t. On February 21st I sat down and didn’t get up for 5 hours. Editing Psycho Vertical so far has been a total dream – the hard work, extra efforts and planning have been worth it and I now have a complete rough cut, working on a first fine cut to send out for a first round of feedback before another few rounds of that and then finishing the whole darn thing towards the end of the summer. Imagine that. This project being complete. I think I’ll miss it when it’s over.

In Little Switzerland. Shot by Alex Gorham
In Little Switzerland. Shot by Alex Gorham

Thanks again for all your support – you’ve got our team a long long way, and I think you’ll be excited about the results. Or should I say psyched? Get it… Psycho Vertical, psyched… c’mon.

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