Leave In Lurch

What a truly amazing time. What a phenomenal film to be part of. I’ve just ‘wrapped’ on ‘Leave in Lurch’ with Green Run Productions & if there was a film that sincerely represented a real walk of life, a genuine ‘feel’ of existence, in it’s truest and grittiest form…with the ‘drama’ coming from pure heart, soul, passion, anger & strife…it would be this one.

It’s an amazing film. I’m gonna say it again so you remember…

It’s an AMAZING film!

I’d be looking to be part of a Yorkshire based, street/crime drama for such a long time. A great one never came up. It’s something that just has to be done right, isn’t it? It’s not as easy as everyone would think. Then came ‘Leave in Lurch,’ a Yorkshire based, crime/drama in it’s truest form. It was raw, it was real and based on life in the streets of Bradford, West Yorkshire.

As soon as I read the script, met the crew, heard who the other actors were, and understood the feel of the film…Y’know, the how and where it was all going to be shot…I was IN! There were no ‘airs,’ no ‘graces,’ just great talents dedicated and determined to tell their story.

I mean they hit the streets running and brimming with confidence! The crew (the Green Run Production Guys) set up in the heart of the roughest alley ways, towns and corners of Bradford, ready to give their script absolute LIFE & with zero fear…ALL heart!

No big studio lots, no designed sets….It was all filmed within the centre and mist of real street life in Bradford. We literally filmed it amongst families and the people who were doing THEIR version of life, the only way they knew how….on the streets.

So, I cameo in the film. I play ‘Josh’s Girlfriend.’ Every role in this movie, big or small, on set or off set…makes a difference. It matters because a true family vibe was created during filming. It was kinda essential for the intimacy that was needed, y’know to give the script life.

Everyone wants this film to do well and the majority of the cast ARE Yorkshire based. Therefore, of course, i’m ever so proud to be representing because I’m Yorkshire born and raised. Fair enough, i’m not very ‘gangsta‘ and I did do a six year stint in Hollywood… However, this film mattered because it told a story of real life, culture and being part of this film, made me hold my head up high, with that true northern spirit.

My eyes and soul have seen a lot in my time, whilst on my life travels. My heart has felt even more…So I embraced this vibe with everything that I was!

Everyone knows that ALL Yorkshire people, love being from ‘Yorkshire.’ We’re the ‘Salt of the Earth.’ The best people about. 😉 So, as you can imagine, whilst the crew and actors were filming all over the city of Bradford, people were poking their heads out of their windows, standing in their doorways in their dressing gowns watching the film being made. Locals where taking photos. Real life fights were happening on the streets, whilst the scripted pretend fights were being filmed. Real life deals were being made down dodgy alley ways. It was just surreal to be in amongst it all AND film the story, whilst the real life version was happening all around us, every single minute, of every single day. You couldn’t buy that magic.

We lived it. We felt it. We even chatted to street folk in between takes…who thought we weren’t filming a movie at all and instead thought we we’re undercover police, over watching the streets.

It was just amazing!

So, Ruby (@rubyandjunior) my little girl, plays ‘Ava Khan‘ in the movie.

She plays ‘Bilal’s’ daugher. ‘Bilal’ is the main character in the film. She’s plays the ‘light‘ amongst the ‘darkness,’ that is taking place and I can’t even nearly describe to you how PROUD I am of her. I can’t find the words to tell you how….I just can’t believe it. I’ve never in my life actually been IN A film WITH my own daughter and the way she conducted herself on set… was just astonishing. She blows my mind every day!

I was there every day she was on set filming. Yet when it came to the creativity, i left her to it, to listen to the Director. (Ben @benleejones) She understood the story. She understood her character. She knew her lines. She had chats with Ben and took his direction. They had a really great bond. A wonderful respect for one another. She felt really comfortable and safe.

I can’t believe how grown she is now. I can’t believe it at all! I think she’s just so happy to have spent her half term at 8 years old (well she actually turned 9 yesterday ..) in her own words…’in a film…on a film set….filming.‘ Lol. She wanted to be in a ‘real gritty’ film…and I made it happen for her. (It IS Wunna Land afterall. 😉 )

Junior came along every single day because they just can’t do anything without each other. It’s cute! They’re so close, they stand by each other’s always….and he JUST LOVED, being part of it all! He was so excited he could’ve BURST. I mean the boys just made him feel so loved and important all the time, which I’m really grateful for. He made some really wonderful memories, that he’ll treasure forever. He literally wanted to stay there the whole entire time…and cried all the way home on his last day on set. Lol.

I so wholeheartedly impressed with every single member of Green Run Productions. I mean the way they cared and handled working with children on set, was literally first class. They entertained, played, chatted and made both Ruby and Junior feel so confident and appreciated, on and off set always!! They were remarkable. All of them.

I mean, even when they were really busy, they always found time to make sure the kids were okay. They handled the situation exceptionally. Lets face it, it’s not easy trying to bring the best out performance out of an 8 year old, in film, when it comes to gritty crime/dramas. Especially when they’re a ‘Wunna Baby’…and Junior is threatening to either give you a ‘squirrel wedgie,’ tell you a joke about Santa & Poo’s, or demanding that you make him pancakes.

Junior: ‘I’ve got a joke.’

Dan (@danparker16) : ‘Go on…’

Junior: ‘Why did Santa cross the road?’

Dan: ‘Haha..i don’t know?’ (He knew something ridiculous was a coming…)

Junior: ‘…because he needed a poo.’

This is what Dan had to deal with, in between takes, boom holding and ‘room tone’ seconds.

But they did it! The crew had Alvin & the Chipmunks playing, pancakes, chocolate, sweets, drinks, they let Junior help out, they made Ruby feel confident, Harry (Production Design) found them lego, computer games, board games and toy shields. Ben ran around the house with them and let them put him in a dungeon. Jake showed them magic tricks. The list is endless. It was insane. But they handled it all…whilst filming a street crime, drama. Lol.

But away from the babies. It’s a great film. It’s remarkably shot & the fight scenes are choreographed almost beautifully, with a free rough edge, allowing the actors to savage in their own kind of wild. (That’s GREAT Directing!!)

I’ve never seen a crew work as hard as Green Run Productions. They were so filled with passion. They stayed up until 6am on nights, going through all the shots for the next day…because they wanted to make sure they got it exactly right!!!

Jamie (@Malay.JJ) : ‘We’ve had two hours sleep. But we’re fine. We can sleep when we’re done.’

I noticed that they all got along so closely off-set, which was obvious in the way they worked together to create magic on set. They travelled from Southampton to film in Bradford and were living together in a giant house in the middle of the countryside. When they chilled they were just like a family.

I mean one day on set, when we were filming the fight scene in an alley way, Storm Denis decides to come along and play ‘gangsta,’ with us. It didn’t rain….it stormed!!!

All the equipment was safely treasured…and the actors placed in warm cars. But as I looked through the car windscreen, I saw every member of the Green Run Crew, stood in a huddle, the middle of the most stormiest wet storm, in a Bradford alleyway. They were drenched from head to toe. I mean SOAKED!!! Their umbrellas had turned upside down, because the force of the wind was SO SO strong! They were freezing! They couldn’t feel their hands or faces! They couldn’t even breathe because Storm Denis was hitting them so hard!

All this was happening to them…and I looked at their faces.

All I could see was happiness, laughter, umbrella sharing, insta photo moments and a true sense of both work team spirit and friendship.

They waited until the storm passed…as soon as it did just for a moment…we were all back on our markers, in the alleyway, ready to shoot!

Ben: ‘Lets Go! Go! Go! Let’s get this done!!!!

I mean all of them.

Dan (@danparker16) Sound Recordist. He had such a great sense of humour. He held booms like they were his wifey & made sure he got everything he needed. I Liked his precision and confidence. I loved watching him work and adored listening to Junior tell him rubbish jokes. 🙂

Harry (@harryjamesfloyd) Art Director! I spent loads of time with Harry, as we sorted out wardrobe and props…all sorts! He was just so phenomenal at being organised and getting the job done. He was really dedicated and really great at making all the actors feel truly comfortable before being driven to set. He was sweet, yet particular and was good to Ruby & Junior.

Jake. The Gaffer. He was hard working, respectful and kind. There was a sweetness to him and I saw that no matter, whenever ANYONE needed help, he was there immediately, without a second thought. It didn’t matter what’s he had to do. He did it. You always need that guy.

Franki. (@frankiproduction) The Producer. He was always so gentle and polite. He went ‘above and beyond’ to make sure everybody single person on that set was happy, at all times. He solved all problems, so efficiently and within kindness. He’s like a gentle giant. He was the glue, when things weren’t going to plan & he delivered his role calmly, respectfully and with love. He was excellent!

@kebabdul.69420 You were so sweet and so much fun to chat to between takes. I loved your monologue and I missed grateful for your kindness. You’re certainly on the right track, for for being so young.

Eden. (@eden_hayeswright) Screenplay Writer. The only lady in the crew & she exuded absolute power. She worked so hard. She muscled through, with the boys. She lived with them. Stayed up with them and put them in line when necessary. Lol. I loved cosy car chats with her, during ‘need to keep warm’ moments. She wrote the script. She did an amazing job.

Jamie. (@Malay.jj) 1st AD. Editor. There’s a kindness to Jamie, a swag-like softness. There’s so many creative layers to him. You can almost see into his soul. Yet he has the personality of a Director because he knows what he wants and works really hard, without condition. He smiles a lot on set and I like that, but he’s ambitious. He’s gonna smash the edit of this film. I just know it.

Goose (@rohan_ramahamaha ) D.O.P. There’s a delightful zany quality to Goose. My children described him as a ‘superhero’ because he ran like one, and jumped off walls. In my mind, any D.O.P that takes the time to feed a magical pony apples, every morning, for good luck…is quite certainly a legend. I loved his quirkiness.

And Ben (@benleejones) What a fantastic Director. Motivated. Dedicated. He has a champion spirit. Yet a dynamic passion. He knows what he wants and he knows how to bring the best out of his team. I listened and respected fully because any guy of his age, who can strongly Direct a crew and team of actors, who ages range from 4 – 44 years old, through a Storm, choreographed fights and a crime/drama is phenomenal. He kept every happy and motivated. He wanted to do well for him….and hopefully we all did.

I definitely want to work with these guys again! I cannot wait to see the film…and i’ll be telling you about the actors who I worked with in a different blog!!! (It’s a WHOLE different blog indeed!! Haha!)

But thank you so incredibly much, from the bottom of my heart, to all of you at Green Run Productions. You are all true, true talents and I love that my little family and I have created such beautiful memories with you! I’m honoured to have worked with you. The film Is going to be amazing!!!!

The future is YOURS!!!

I love you.

Go check them out…

https://instagram.com/greenrunproduction?igshid=1sggeh0k7bqg4

Lost my phone…

I’ve lost my phone. I have no clue where it’s disappeared to? I lost it last night. It must’ve fallen out my bag, somehow? I’ve done the ‘find my iphone’ thing. I’ve wished upon stars. I’ve retraced ALL my steps.

No joy…

I literally have no access to any of my social accounts, or my email account until I’ve sorted it all out, because…and of course…I have everything on a two factor authentication vibe…Meaning my accounts can’t be accessed without a special ‘text to my phone’ code. Lol. A phone that I kinda don’t have? Haha.

Awesome!

But hopefully all will be sorted out shortly OR I might even find it!

If you have it…please return it to Wunna land. If you don’t….that’s fine…Yet if you receive my messages from my number, (until further notice) it’s not me.

I can however currently be contacted at this email….(in the meantime.)

Wunnachrissie@gmail.com

But yes…i’m currently filming, ‘L’appel du vide,’ so alls actually truly well.

Everything happens for a reason and right now…I’m not meant to have the comfort of my phone. Lol

L’appel du vide’ is a really internal film. It’s filled with dark places, raw thoughts and excessively deep realisations. It’s a mentally emotional film and I’ve chosen to go with ‘method’ for my wee bit of ‘i am the female lead’ acting. I want to get it right and do the role justice.

Day 1, has been wonderful! I was definitely in a creepy basement…in pink satin sheets. The movie is going to be stunning….

I can’t wait to be able to share it with you….

Big love! All the kisses…

Look after you’re phones…it’s rubbish when you lose them. 🙂

Chrissie

Feeling ‘Perfect’

I’m kinda just feeling really blessed. I know that sounds ‘cheesy.’ But I just can’t find the right word? I guess it’s just weird that almost every single day I wake up, a little dream of mine seems to come true? I don’t know why? I don’t know how? Maybe i’ve served my time of hardship? Yet, right now…I’m kinda on a ‘roll’ and i just feel so lucky. I just feel so grateful. I’m beaming from the inside out. Something’s happened? I don’t know what? Yet, the airs of Wunna land are glittered with luck and happiness. It’s swirling all the way around us, filled with love and sassy cheer. I feel really fortunate. It’s Feb 10th 2020. It’s a really good time to be me. Lol.

But let me take you back…

Obviously I started filming ‘Perfect.’ It’s a remarkable film. I’ve already filmed by bits, so i’m personally ‘wrapped’ on it now. Yet it was just such an honour to work alongside the Northern Film School (it’s one of the best film schools in the nation AND it’s based in Leeds.) I was and STILL AM, so grateful to be given the opportunity to create such magic with the people who ARE the ‘future of film.’

Everything they deliver is first rate. It’s first class. It’s a dream. I mean, any chance I get the opportunity to work alongside them, I do. They’re so utterly professional, in an almost fun, yet sophisticatedly- slick… manner. They’re organised. They trust each other’s work. But most of all they’re kind and they’re talented. They truly go above and beyond, the call of duty, to make their films magical. There are never any ‘egos’ and as soon as you walk onto ANY of their sets, you just FEEL a creatively, contagious excitement.

I got to play ‘Paula,’ in the film ‘Perfect.’ She was the nations most loved ‘Talk Show Host’ and it was just the most phenomenal experience. I mean even when Olly first gave me the call to tell me, that he wished to offer me the role, I was ecstatic. I filled up with excitement. I knew it was right!

I did a lot of improv for my role. I always think i’m rubbish at improv. Yet it’s weird how when you feel so comfortable on set, you kinda get carried away with it all. It becomes so real. Lets say if ‘chatting shit’ was a forte…it certainly was mine, on that day. Haha. I was lucky enough to work alongside the lovely Clint Gordon, who plays ‘Vince Locke.’ ( I mean, they couldn’t have cast a better guy for that role.) Yes, he’s delightfully attractive. Which is always a bonus, when on set…;) Yet, I never want THAT to take away from the fact, that he’s actually a truly wonderful actor. I guess, a lot of people will always talk about the way he looks. Yet I want you to notice the work that he does…

No-one works as hard as Clint. He’s gracious. He’s kind. Yet he’s ambitious. He wants to do well. He’s a true talent & goes ‘above and beyond’ to make sure he delivers his role appropriately.

But at the same time…he’s fun.

We’re both Leeds. We’re both Northern. So ‘on & off’ set we got on really well, which made ‘on screen’ chemistry so so easy…and you really do need that. I mean, great banter, cups of tea (or in my case black coffee, with all the sugars,) bad jokes, waiting around in Green Rooms, makeup rooms, line running, piss taking, selfies, laughter, chats about life and filming took place.

Me: ‘I can see ya cogs turning…

Clint: ‘I don’t want you to be able to see the cogs turning. They’re always turning.’

Me: ‘We need to find someone to take all our BTS shots? Haha… Did you smuggle your phone onto set? I did…’

Clint: ‘Yeah, yeah… Anyway, I’ve stolen these party rings from the green room, for a sugar fix. D’ya want one?’

Me: ‘Nooo….Where are we filming the next bit from?’

In a day, i must’ve made a hundred great memories, that i’ll carry for a lifetime. From ‘brow time’ with the makeup artists, watching Ebony solve everyones problem on set …with anything from a bag of basil, lemon tea or a nose in her hand. Olly’s ‘Everything is going to be okay’ smile. He has the best ‘Everything is gonna be okay’ smile. Wes, made me laugh, between takes, shouting fake ‘CUTS’ and between hand shaking with the extras. I had excellently sensible, yet brief chats with Lydia, who plays ‘Luisa’ (the female lead)…over pasta, fake noses and ‘I brought a cuppa soup.’ I love Lydia & Ian (who plays her Father in the film) very dearly. I didn’t actually do any of my scenes with them. But it was great to be part of something with them…I’m excited to watch their scenes, at the screening!

Jannah Zainol. The kindest Director, in the world ever. There’s a sweetness…a softness. Yet at the same time, she knows exactly what she wants, exactly how she’s like it to be done and exactly how to bring the best out of everyone. She’s sharp. She’s dynamic. Yet she’s calm. She’s not troubled by anything, in any way and i love that.

She told me that i’d brought such a ‘warmth’ to the set and It made me smile. It’s the things like that, that she is also SO great at. I loved every moment I had working with her.

Yet, the whole entire team, itself….I couldn’t have worked with a better bunch. Every single person on that set WANTED TO DO WELL. Everyone was alive, even during the ‘chill’ times…where you kinda HAVE TO find something to occupy yourself. Every single person on that set, wanted to give their best. They wanted to help one another, create a story & make movie magic. They kinda wanted to do themselves justice and fill out their role wholeheartedly. You just can’t go wrong, with people like that. Y’know, when you’re surrounded by such talent, love and passion.

I can’t wait for the screening…I know the film’s gonna do so well. It’s really well cast. 😉

So, pleeeeease do head over to their Instagram page and give them a follow. There’s so much happening behind the scenes, that you can ‘in the moment’ watch, as they film, edit and produce.

@aperfectfilm

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So much creativity in one room

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Then… as my day on set finished…my phone *pinged,* so I looked down and scrolled…before i headed up to the changing rooms, to get back into my normal clothes….

There was an email…it read…

‘Hi Chrissie,

We would like to offer you the role….

And just like that I blinked…and I found myself…

Tomorrow We’re ‘Perfect.’

I start filming ‘Perfect’ tomorrow & I couldn’t be more excited! I’ve been at the table read this afternoon with Clint, Lydia, Ian…the Directors & Producer. (Jannah, Ollie, Jadine, Ellice…) We went through a bit of the ‘blocking’ ready for the big day tomorrow and I got to have my first cheeky peeky at the set. (I play ‘Paula’ and she’s a ‘popular daytime talk show host.’ I’ve actually always wanted to be a talk show host…So as you can imagine…I’m ridiculously delighted! Haha. It’s just a little bit & I’m gonna do my little bit well.) Everyone looks like they’ve been working really hard. I honestly couldn’t be more excited, so hopefully I’ll do the role some justice. Y’know, be a really great part of a really great team and story. 

But all that starts tomorrow. I have a 8.30am call time. 

Today! Let me tell you. I saw little snippets of life that made smile. I saw a business man walk out of a Costa, on his way to work, in Leeds city centre. As the door slowly eased closed, behind him, he walked onto the busy Leeds streets, & handed over a fresh, warm drink to a freezing cold, homeless guy, who was trying to wrap himself up, underneath a blanket. 

Business Man: ‘It’s a hot chocolate, buddy. Hope that’s okay?’

He smiled and the homeless guy looked up at him and just beamed. 

It made my morning. 

It’s weird how the smallest gestures, make others peoples world just perfect for a simple moment. It’s contagiously beautiful. 

Then as I walked along Kirkstall Road, I saw a blind man, standing tall, waiting to cross the road, when he felt it was the right time. He seemed confident. He knew what he was doing. Yet, the gentleman stood next to him, offered to help him

across the busy street. He linked arms with him and walked him across safely. 

When the blind man got to the other side, he smiled and I swear I even saw a glint in his eyes that was filled with absolute thankfulness. 

I loved it. 

I also saw a mum, with her babies and their Grandad, about to take pictures to influence a well known Waffle House in Leeds. She was beautiful and dressed normal for a mama of two. Yet, literally 7 seconds before the picture was taken…right on cue, she whopped off her jumper at the speed of light, like she’d done it a million times before and took the photo to promote the family waffle joint, in a boob tube…for extra sexy ‘insta likes..’

I get that. I’ve been there. But I guess…everyone has their own version of ‘Perfection.’ We learn along the way.

Then there I was…stood in Superdrug, rummaging through lashes, to find the perfect pair. I found them pretty quickly, but a lady stopped me and said…

‘Do you wear these things? Do you know about these thing?’

I smiled and said ‘Yeah.’

She looked at me and smiled back..Then said.

‘I’m 70 years old, I have alopecia. I’ve lost my hair, but I’m going on a first date. My husband died 4 years ago…But I’ve just been sat at home, on my own for 4 years and I don’t want to do that anymore.’ 

Me: ‘Aww. You look great. So you want eyelashes?’

Lady: ‘Yes. But I don’t know how to do it pick? I want to look nice. I’m wearing a wig and it’s been hard to date because I have to explain that I’m bald, cos my hair don’t grow. I’ve only talk to him virtual. So this is the first time I’ll see him in real.’ 

She was Brazilian. I loved her openness. Yet more than anything ….she just wanted someone to chat to. It had nothing to do with eyelashes, or dates….She just wanted to feel a little less alone…

This was actually yesterday. I was stressed out yesterday. I was dashing about like a busy ‘all about me’ whirlwind. 

I looked at her, as we stood by the eyelash isle and I noticed that staff were walking by us and doing ‘are you okay’ faces at me. So I just stopped everything…I quit my rush about and boxed away my stress. It didn’t matter anymore. I put my bags down and began talking to her. 

In that moment it was all about her. Sonia was her name.

It meant so much to her. She beamed. I picked her a pair of lashes and got her some glue. 

I’ll never see her again, yet I was delighted to have given her my time because she’ll never forget it. It made me feel so

wonderful, to have shared a moment with her. I taught her friendship and eyelashes. Lol. She reminded me NOT to stress and of what life was really about. 

I walked out of that store, swinging my bags, with a skip in my step and a smile that radiated from inside me. I looked back….and she waved.

Tomorrow I Film ‘Perfect.’

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The perfect mood board

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I’m really honoured to be part of this film. The script is phenomenal. The team is first class. I mean I couldn’t work with a more tremendous bunch of peeps. The actors are ofcourse 😉 just wonderful. But most of all…we’re all going to be telling you a story…with a message… that you’ll hopefully watch watch…and love.

I can’t wait.