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Cleft Lip Production Process: a director’s perspective

We’re into the editing process for Cleft Lip and it’s interesting to look back briefly at the production process – which seems like such a long time ago. Robyn Keetley, a 2nd year student on the Creative Media Production course at Brooksby Melton College, was commissioned, as part of an assignment for her course, to make the next in our series of short production documentaries looking at the director, Erik Knudsen’s, perspective on the production process.



Erik Knudsen’s Feature Film Cleft Lip Completes Principal Photography

Erik Knudsen’s feature film, Cleft Lip, starring Reece Douglas, and co starring Miranda Benjamin and Keith French, has completed principal photography and is now in post production. Over 72 people made a direct contribution to the shooting over 27 days during December, January, February and March 2017. The footage looks great and we’re looking forward to bringing sound and image together into a cracking story. You’ll be able to see the film at selected worldwide festivals from the autumn of 2017. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with developments.

Erik Knudsen and Mark Duggan during shooting of Erik Knudsen's independent feature film Cleft Lip Reece Douglas during shooting of Erik Knudsen's independent feature film Cleft Lip Reece Douglas during shooting of Erik Knudsen's independent feature film Cleft Lip Keith French during shooting of Erik Knudsen's independent feature film Cleft Lip IMG_2386 Miranda Benjamin during shooting of Erik Knudsen's independent feature film Cleft Lip Erik Knudsen and Mark Duggan during shooting of Erik Knudsen's independent feature film Cleft Lip Karen Lauke during shooting of Erik Knudsen's independent feature film Cleft Lip Reece Douglas during shooting of Erik Knudsen's independent feature film Cleft Lip Janet Knudsen during shooting of Erik Knudsen's independent feature film Cleft Lip Meriel Pym during shooting of Erik Knudsen's independent feature film Cleft Lip Ben Pye and Mark Duggan during shooting of Erik Knudsen's independent feature film Cleft Lip  Reece Douglas during shooting of Erik Knudsen's independent feature film Cleft Lip



Erik Knudsen’s Feature Film Cleft Lip Now In Production

Principal photography of Erik Knudsen’s new feature film, Cleft Lip, starring Reece Douglas and co starring Miranda Benjamin and Keith French, started on the 13th January 2017.

Shooting is going very well and is on schedule. To keep up with developments, visit our Facebook page or Twitter.

Miranda benjamin prepares for a take during the shooting of Erik Knudsen's film Cleft Lip.Miranda Benjamin and Reece Douglas wait for their shot during shooting of Erik Knudsen's film Cleft Lip.

Reece Douglas and Miranda Benjamin surrounded by crew as they wait to do a take during shooting of Erik Knudsen's film Cleft Lip.Reece getting ready for bedroom shot

Erik Knudsen giving Reece Douglas direction during the shooting of his film Cleft LipMiranda Benjamin and Reece Douglas listening to Erik Knudsen during shooting of Cleft Lip

Production designer Meriel Pym takes a break during shooting of Erik Knudsen's film Cleft Lip. Mark Duggan explains a shot to Erik Knudsen during the shooting of his film Cleft Lip.

Erik Knudsen giving direction to Nenaa-Jo Uraih during the shooting of his film Cleft Lip.Erik Knudsen and Reece Douglas listening to a run through on set during shooting of Cleft Lip.

 

Sound recordist Karen Lauke takes notes during shooting of Erik Knudsen's film Cleft LipKeith French trying on a suit for his role in Erik Knudsen's film Cleft Lip.



Cleft Lip Production Team Meet For First Production Meeting

Stars and production team for Erik Knudsen's forthcoming feature film, Cleft Lip.

L to R Karen Lauke (sound), Mark Duggan (Assistant Director/cinematography), Shemin B Nair (Production Assistant), Erik Knudsen (producer, writer and director), Miranda Benjamin (actress), Stuart Samuels (special effects), Reece Douglas (actor), Kane Rattray (Sales and Marketing), Keith French (actor), Richard Mulhearn (stills photographer), Janet Knudsen (producer) and Meriel Pym (Production Designer).

Erik Knudsen and Janet Knudsen were pleased to be able to host the first Cleft Lip production meeting. The stars of the film had an opportunity to meet the key production team and visa versa. It was a whole day’s meeting, which started with general introductions where people were able to share past experiences. Erik Knudsen then held a screening session where he showed clips of films from filmmakers who have influenced his approach to filmmaking. Inevitably, they included extracts from films by Ozu (Equinox Flower), Dreyer (Gertrud), Bresson (L’Argent) and Tarkovsky (Mirror). It is fair to say that the cast in particular were not familiar with these filmmakers and it offered Erik Knudsen a chance to contextualise and discuss intentions for Cleft Lip.

This section was then followed by a leisurely lunch where Kane Rattray led a discussion about how the project is using social media as a first stage of a distribution strategy. Cast and crew, of course, will be central to participating in the promotion of the project even before the film starts shooting. The team also discussed how the project will be documented as a creative process.

Actors left after lunch and the afternoon was devoted to a scene by scene discussion of key creative, technical and logistical challenges. A rough schedule was also put in place.

On the basis of this most productive day, everyone in the team now has a clear idea of what needs doing and by whom and we can now go away and start work in earnest on pre-production creative, technical and logistical preparations.

As Gagarin said: ‘let’s go!’



Keith French Joins Cast for Erik Knudsen’s New Film, Cleft Lip

Keith French to appear in Erik Knudsen's forthcoming feature film, Cleft Lip.

We’re very pleased to confirm that Keith French is to join the cast for Erik Knudsen’s forthcoming feature film, Cleft Lip. Keith has a wealth of experience as an actor in corporate and commercials, as well as considerable stage and entertainment experience, and is venturing into a first feature film. He joins Miranda Benjamin and Reece Douglas and a range of other actors. More on Keith and his involvement to follow.



Reece Douglas and Miranda Benjamin to play leading roles in Erik Knudsen’s Cleft Lip

We have been busy casting for Erik Knudsen’s latest feature film, Cleft Lip, which goes into principal photography in January 2017. Though the casting process for the 43 parts in the film is ongoing, we are pleased to announce that Reece Douglas and Miranda Benjamin will be starring in Cleft Lip.

Reece Douglas to play Campbell in Erik Knudsen's Cleft Lip

Reece Douglas to play Campbell in Erik Knudsen’s film, Cleft Lip.

Reece Douglas is to play the leading role, Campbell. He is an actor based in Manchester, who is best known for his role as Denzil Kelly in the school drama, Waterloo Road, from 2009 until he was killed off in 2012. He has been acting and performing since the age of 12. Acting is his passion but in his free time, Reece enjoys a variety of sports.

Miranda benjamin to play Jaz in Erik Knudsen's film, Cleft Lip.

Miranda benjamin to play Jaz in Erik Knudsen’s film, Cleft Lip.

Miranda Benjamin is to play the leading support role, Jaz. She is an accomplished actress, dancer and singer. She has numerous credits to her name for both stage and screen, including Til Death Do Us Part. Miranda trained at the Salford School of Music, Media and Performing Arts. She enjoys sports and cocktail flairing!

We’re excited to have Reece and Miranda onboard. Attaching the actual actors to the project starts to bring the screenplay alive and we look forward to the presence that both Miranda and Reece undoubtedly will bring to the story of Cleft Lip.



Casting Call for Erik Knudsen’s Next Feature film: Cleft Lip

Since the release of the award winning feature film, The Raven On The Jetty, in 2015, Erik Knudsen has been working on a number of projects: his short iPhone documentary, In Waiting; writing and executive producing Mark Duggan’s The Rabbit; and working on his photographic/film project, Doubt, which is still in production and due for release later in 2016. In addition to these projects, he has also started work on a new fiction feature film project, Cleft Lip, which now has a screenplay sufficiently developed to start the casting process.

Front page of Erik Knudsen's screenplay Cleft Lip

 

Cleft Lip is an emotionally evocative urban tragedy set in the very near future. It is the story of a supreme sacrifice only love can offer, set in the context of a fractured society increasingly challenged by consequences brought about by the commodification of fertility.

We are currently casting the leading parts in the film and are interested to hear from anyone who feels that they may fit the key characteristics we are looking for. In line with Erik Knudsen’s philosophy around casting, we are not looking for performers, but people. People who have the potential to bring the presence of their being to the screen, whose natural personality and looks have the potential to bring the character alive or allow us to build a character from their real personality. Sometimes we don’t quite know what we want until we see the person in front of us and it suddenly becomes immediately apparent. Sometimes we are surprised and change direction because of the presence of a person we meet. We are therefore interested in both professional and non-professional actors and would like to meet a number of people as part of the process of discovering characters for the film.

We are initially looking for the lead actor:

  • Mixed Race Man between 25 and 30 years old. He should preferably be a mix of Black African/Caribbean heritage and White European. This person will play the leading part in the film.

Once we have cast the leading actor in the film, we will then put out calls for further parts. It is anticipated that shooting will commence in late 2016 or early 2017. Shooting will primarily take place in the North West of England and the film will be made on a very low budget.

For anyone interested, please contact Janet at casting@onedayfilms.com with brief CV and a single photograph.



Erik Knudsen To Join University of Central Lancashire

Media Factory at University of Central Lancashire

I’m very pleased to announce that on the 1st July 2016, I will be joining the School of Film, Media and Performance in the College of Culture and Creative Industries at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston, United Kingdom, as a Professor of Media Practice. This is an exciting new opportunity for me to be part of shaping an ambitious aspiration within the College to grow and develop creative practice research and I look forward to playing a leading role in these developments. I will be working closely with the Dean, Dr Andrew Ireland, the Director of Research for the College, Professor Paul Egglestone, and the Head of the School of Film, Media and Performance, John Holloway, and will be based in The Media Factory, which houses and impressive range of programmes in the creative and cultural industries. I will be joining a large team of colleagues working across a range of creative practices covering film, media, screenwriting, animation, performance, fine art, journalism and more. I am also looking forward to rooting my own practice within a developing practice focused research culture and working in an institution based in the North West of England, home to some of the most vibrant creative communities in the UK.

Working in the Media Department in Bournemouth University as a Professor of Visual and Digital Culture has been a wonderful experience and I have met some very friendly, supportive and dedicated people, academics and creative practitioners. I shall be sorry to say goodbye to colleagues, but I know that I will continue to have close links with many of the colleagues I have had the privilege of working with in the Faculty of Media and Communications.

Erik Knudsen.



Story Lab Cuba 2016

We’re very pleased to announce that the Story Lab Cuba 2016 have recently been announced. Erik Knudsen will be delivering the Story Lab Cuba 2016 workshops at Escuela Internacional de Cine y Television in San Antonio de los Baños near Havana between the 21 November and the 2 December 2016. You can book your workshop or find out more here.

A tree of life

A view from La Escuela Internacional de Cine y Television, Cuba.



Happy New Year 2016

Happy New Year 2016. I hope you have a year of peace and love.

We here at One Day Films have had a busy 2015 and are very much looking forward to 2016, where we have new projects and activities planned. In 2015, Erik Knudsen and we at One Day Films were engaged in quite a few things. Some of these highlights included Erik Knudsen moving in March 2015 from being a Professor of Film Practice at the University of Salford to being a Professor of Visual and Digital Culture at Bournemouth University, where he is setting up a Centre for Film and Television Research (He still live in the North West of the UK, where One Day Films is based). As part of this move to Bournemouth University, his Arts and Humanities Research Council funded project, StoryLab International Film Development Research Network, also moved to Bournemouth University and it was formally launch in September 2015 with a visit from the project partners based in Malaysia, Ghana and Colombia. This is a project which, over the next two years, will explore the development of independent cinematic storytelling in Malaysia, Ghana and Colombia.

StoryLab Research Network Team Visiting Erik Knudsen at Bournemouth University.

StoryLab Research Network Team Visiting Erik Knudsen at Bournemouth University.

This project is in part on the back of Erik Knudsen’s interest in independent film, particularly world cinema, and in April 2015 a book chapter he wrote called Dependencies and Independence In British Independent Film was published in the book Independent Filmmaking Around The Globe (University of Toronto Press). He is looking forward to his forthcoming journal article, The Total Filmmaker – Thinking of Screenwriting, Editing and Directing As One Role, which is due to be published in the Australian academic journal New Writing.

An extension of Erik Knudsen’s academic work includes his visiting Professorship at the Escuela Internacional de Cine y Television in Cuba where he goes every year to conduct a workshop. This has now settled down to being a regular StoryLab Cuba workshop and this year he had seven wonderful students with whom he worked over a two week period developing their creativity and storytelling.

StoryLab Cuba 2015 Participants

StoryLab Cuba 2015 Participants.

As usual, Erik Knudsen loves going to Cuba, not only to work at one of the best film schools in the world, but to visiting friends, taking photographs and being inspired:

Cuban men having a laugh in Havana

Cuban men having a laugh in Havana.

Taxi waiting to take you into there Havana Night

Taxi waiting to take you into the Havana night.

Of course, the previous year, 2014, Erik Knudsen published a book based on an exhibition of his Cuba photographs entitled Cuba In Waiting.

2015 was an exciting year for One Day Films. First we released Erik Knudsen’s The Raven On The Jetty. It showed in a number of cinemas in the UK and in addition to being available directly via One Day Films, the film is also available on iTunes, Amazon Prime and Google Play. In parallel, we also published a unique book: The Raven On The Jetty Production Scrapbook and DVD of the Film. During the making of the film, of course, we made 30 Vlogs about the making of the film and we hope that this total package gives viewers of the film a complete experience of our commitment to quality, thought-provoking independent filmmaking. A first for us this year was commissioning Mark Duggan to make a short film, The Rabbit, based on a screenplay by Erik Knudsen. This was a highly successful collaboration and marks the beginning of One Day Films commissioning work by other independent filmmakers.

Marvo, one of the stars of The Raven On The Jetty

Marvo, one of the stars of Erik Knudsen’s The Raven On The Jetty.

A departure from our usual activities involved Erik Knudsen participating in an unusual project just outside Paris, France. The Dance In Time project is run by one of One Day Film’s company directors and long standing supporter, Paul Clarke, who runs innovative educational and ecological projects across the world. Erik Knudsen joined Paul Clarke and his team at a chateau near Paris, Millement, and Erik was able to contribute to the discussions taking place between a number of prominent Australian educationalists.

Paul Clarke and his organising team at Millement near Paris

Paul Clarke and his organising team at Millement near Paris.

Engaging with the place and its special vibrations at Millement, Paris

Engaging with the place and its special vibrations at Millement, Paris.

During the year Erik Knudsen was able to develop two new projects that we hope to start production work on in 2016. The first is a photographic and film installation entitled Doubt. Final discussions are currently taking place with a gallery in the UK and we hope to make an announcement soon. During 2015, Erik Knudsen also wrote a screenplay for a new feature film – TITLE of FILM PROJECT to be announced soon. We are currently in negotiations with a number of potential partners and we hope to commence production of this film before the end of 2016. More on both these projects will be announced soon.

We are looking forward to bringing you more quality, thought-provoking independent films. We hope that the world in 2016 sees more love and peace. We want to continue making our small contribution to making the world a more spiritually enriched place where love and peace can blossom, one little story at a time.

A tree of life