We have finally finished the colour grading! Thanks to our colourist Eric Lau, we actually have a colour grade that works!
Obviously the trailer above has not as yet been colour graded by him. That is being redone now by him. But as a result of finishing colour grading, and the fact that I created an Electronic Press Kit (an EPK) we are now submitting MR CLEAN to festivals! Woohoo!
– and if the first [random] request to cut two minutes from the film is anything to go by, it will be quite a ride, as I navigate the world of film festivals….
Description: Someone is breaking into empty homes and cleaning them. But is this seemingly harmless crime hiding something much worse?
Sometimes cleanliness isn’t next to Godliness, it can kill you – and hide the evidence. A Radio DJ must realise the unspoken danger behind these seemingly random acts of breaking-in and cleaning before she too becomes a victim of MR CLEAN…
Producers Lee Bailes, Darwin Reina and Terese Winkler. Starring: Darwin Reina and Sofie Klaesson; Written, Directed and Edited by Lee Bailes Music score by Flora Cheng Sound Design by Luca De Sensi Supporting cast / extras: Jaba Urotadze, Terese Winkler and Susanne Lager, Gabriel Palenque Cisternas and Rinat Iljin, Special FX by Mike Strick and Lee Bailess VFX by Albin Larssonon Additional music by Peter Josefssonson
Special thanks to: Alon Young, Garry Charles, Carlos Marambio Abarca, Gabriel Palenque Cisternas and Susanne Lager
Btw – people having been asking us when can we see the film? or any of our films? – Please understand that the way this works, usually after producing and then post-production (where you grade and sound mix etc) the work on the film is not yet done – not if you hope to get the film into festivals and eventually find some kind of distribution for the film.
First you usually have to get the film into festivals, so that you can be shortlisted for potential selection / consideration. The whole process can take the better part of a year from the point when you start submitting the film, and easily up to 1.5 years, depending on how wide a spread of the film festivals that you’ve submitted to, to wait for them to announce their selections. Usually the better festivals prefer if they are getting the premiere screening. This is different to the premiere that you arrange for the film yourself. But it means that some festivals prefer to have first dibs on your film, before anyone else can include it in their festival. So you’ve got to be really careful how you plan things.
The reason for the film festivals, is that having your peers tell you your film is worthy, means a lot. It’s partly to reward the cast and crew / team behind the film; to reward them for their hard work, but also have something good on their CVs to help other creatives / agents etc take note and consider them for more future productions. But also, if your film picks up a number of awards, it means that the film might be worthy of being picked up for distribution. Such is the case for DFTB, which I think has been picked up for screening on Latin American TV. I think that this means sadly that we can’t really show the film for up to 3 years. The TV channel have exclusive rights to show the film during that time. But eventually when those rights expire, we want to get that up onto a streaming platform for everyone to see it.
In the case of the recent films we’ve produced / shot, like MR CLEAN and SVEN GUNNAR – those are soon to be entered into festivals. Then we’ve still got to finish editing and post production on LOVELY TO MEET YOU (intended premiere in April in Barcelona) and MAI PIU etc. So I hope you can appreciate that it could be a long time before anyone gets to see them. But again the dream is to get them up onto streaming platforms. We do very much want people to see and enjoy our work. As do the entire team behind each film. Sadly the whole business of filmmaking doesn’t really make sense and takes a long time to usually see any benefit from it and to be able to show the films – unless you aim your sights a lot lower…
This is why I am shooting COMFORT HIM, a film which I am mainly designing to be seen on the internet. It may go into festivals etc. But I just want people to watch it, hopefully like it and share it. We just want to be able for you to see something of ours. It’s why I will also be releasing some older short films for viewing.
However, what we would very much like to do is – we want to see how many people want to see these films and to see if we can arrange a special (limited time period) online premiere for them. If you like the sound of that – please comment / like and share this post to spread the word. Give us an idea of numbers and tell us where you are, so we can work out if the online thing is a good idea.
Why this film, this idea and this particular theme?
Why the violence?
Why can’t we all just get along and love each other and play nice?
Why didn’t we make a heartwarming cartoon?…
Last year, Darwin was lucky enough to be invited to multiple festivals, to accompany our film DON’T FORGET TO BREATHE and attend the festival screenings. One of those festivals awarded us a special mention. Another gifted us an award for best narrative. And then, back in December, I found myself attending a screening of it, to celebrate that award. it was then that I decided to try and organise some thoughts about the creation of the film, from first idea to film poster, to try and provide Darwin with some talking points – figuring that it might help when faced with a few questions from those attending the screenings. This is essentially a more organised form of what we had discussed when approaching the idea for the project and before Darwin first attended a screening and had to talk about the finished film.
Here’s what Surprised Lee wanted to say when he stood on stage, on the 20th Dec 2019, but his mind went blank when the mic was pressed into a hand:
“Domestic violence is a huge problem. A problem of much significance. An epidemic in some countries. Somewhere in the world, every hour of every day, domestic violence is being committed – usually by men. Everyday in the US, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends. Every 9 seconds a woman is assaulted or beaten in the US. Even in Spain! Especially here, judging by the news this morning when another poor woman lost her life in Barcelona. Even those who work to help the victims of abuse are themselves often targeted by the same perpetrators – who are looking for another outlet for their anger. It is real. It is an epidemic. it’s a tragic reality.
DON’T FORGET TO BREATHE, in some ways, seems over the top. Too violent? We apologise if anyone is traumatised by the themes and violent content / actions in the film. However, it is inspired by a true story and in many ways is not extreme enough! We had a tough battle finding the right level – enough to shock and provoke a reaction, but when to hold back for fear of losing the audience entirely? Realistic drama was definitely what we felt was needed.
We very much wanted to make this film to highlight this problem, to help open or even provoke a debate about the subject and for that debate to look for solutions to prevent such violence from ever being committed again.
We feel that not enough is being done to combat domestic violence and to help the victims and to fund those organisations who work on behalf of the victims. We only wish we could have had more budget, time, equipment and skill, to make it even more impressive and more impactful in order for the film to be a better catalyst for change. But thanks to our director and wonderful team, we have done the best we have, with the limited budget we had, time allowed and with a collective passion to try and change in the world in some small way.
The black dot on the poster, is a symbol – a cry for help – that has been used by abused women to ask for help, when a careless word or message may otherwise alert their abusive partner. Typically it is drawn on the hand. We want women in such situations to reach out and seek help. We want others who suspect possible crimes to seek help on their behalf, all without endangering their lives. But we also don’t want to endanger them by making the symbol too popular, so we did not include it in the actual film: https://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-34326137 – there is some debate about this symbol alone and whether it helps or hurts? But the point is that victims need to find a way to ask for help. Somehow. Your lives are not without worth. You are important. Your story must be shared!
And hopefully, someone who sees this film might know someone in a similar situation and be willing to help rescue their friend from such abuse. Or simply pass the message of the film to another and create a small wave of change and avert something potentially much worse.
It’s not about the film per se. But the message needs to be passed on. Violence is not ok. Abuse must be treated like the epidemic it is, and we must find a social vaccine. We need to change.
Thanks for watching. And sorry for anyone this may have traumatised. “
So hopefully if anyone does get to see the film, and comes hunting here as to answers to the “whys” / those questions, they will find something here that helps…. I definitely think that it is a theme that requires more exploration….
And if anyone is connected with an organisation that is dealing with such abuse and wants to consider partnering with us to help spread the message, we would love to hear from you.
If you want to view a throwback to the DON’T FORGET TO BREATHE Premiere from earliest this year in May, play the video below and you might just catch a glance of me suddenly being interviewed… as well as Darwin, and see some of the cast too:
And the total so far is 11 laurels, as it just made last selection and Semi-Finalist at the Los Angeles CineFest Film Festival in California. Not bad at all! In fact a friend might say it’s “pretty, pretty good.” 😉
Congrats to Darwin and the entire team. Not a bad start to the weekend. 🙂