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…


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