A Note from the Producer of Good Girl
In late 2015, I was putting the finishing touches to “Cuba – The Movie” , the 11th in a series of home movies which might best be described as “What We Did On Our Holidays!”
Always well received by friends and family, they had over time become, for me anyway, rather tedious and unrewarding to produce. By necessity, all the footage was unplanned and, consequently, lacked invention, the finished product merely an assemblage of all the best shots, dressed up with commentary and music. I knew I could do something more ambitious.
I also felt increasingly frustrated and disenchanted with mainstream cinema. The prevalence of CGI, sci-fi, superheroes, car chases, explosions, aliens, zombies (and most risibly, anything set in a post-apocalyptic dystopian future!), which for me made most movies a real turnoff. If Steven Spielberg and I have anything in common (and there can’t be much) it’s that a film, first and foremost, must tell a story.
Furthermore, I was constantly struck by the fact that most films seemed to require hundreds of people to make and cost many millions. Why?
So I had an idea. I would write a story, hire some actors, film it on my camcorder and produce a feature length movie, all by myself.
During 2016, the story evolved, the script written and re-written, actors auditioned and cast, locations identified, permissions obtained, equipment, props and wardrobe procured. The shooting schedule was finalised in March 2017 and filming began the following month, taking 40 days in total between April and August 2017. Editing began in September, took 6 months and Good Girl finally premiered to cast, crew, friends and families on 29th April 2018.
Now, I have two confessions to make.
I didn’t shoot the film on a camcorder and I didn’t do it all by myself. I had 4 part time crew members: my wonderful wife Nicky, who performed various functions, such as catering, driving, part time sound engineer, as well as appearing on screen in 4 separate roles; good friends Ceri and Howard Elwick who provided assistance when they could, fetching and carrying, recording sound, moving the lights around and generally just being there; and Kathryn Seabrook who helped out whenever she had time.
Hair & Makeup, something to which I had not initially given any thought was provided by the gorgeous Christina Moat, who was on set virtually every day and without whom the whole thing would have just looked, well, rubbish.
Christina's dad Matthew not only lent me his boat, but also designed and built from scratch what we came to know as the Rainmaker II, our very own rain machine, and I bought in the services of Barry Tindall to do the aerial shots.
I will be forever indebted to Eamonn Karran for writing the music. I was already a fan when I approached him with my mad idea, and I was thrilled and delighted when he agreed. For me, the music in a film ranks as highly as the picture and he interpreted the film's sentiments and messages perfectly. The film would be nothing without him.
People ask me what was the best part of making the film and I can say without hesitation or doubt, it was meeting so many wonderful people.
31 actors, whose experience ranged from nil to professional (and all points between), were without exception, good humoured, unpretentious, and an absolute joy to work with.
The people who let me use their house, their garden, their boat, their office, their pub, just because they could and they wanted to, have my sincere thanks.
And all those, who said "Yes" when they could just as easily have said "No", a humbling experience and one that demonstrates that, as a race, we are mostly still "givers".
My main purpose in making Good Girl was to prove a point. You don't need "big name" actors, hundreds of crew, and millions of pounds to create something half decent. I did it because I wanted to and I could, and it was huge fun, which is just as well, because without that it wouldn't have been worth doing, and couldn't have worked.
The film was not made for commercial reasons and has little or no chance of ever going on general release, which is a shame, because I firmly believe that there are many cinema goers who share my belief that cinema has lost the art of storytelling. Less is more.
Which is why this online version is free to anyone who's interested.
I hope you enjoy the film. We all enjoyed making it.
Norman Hall - Producer