It's been a great week in the land of the GUGELHUPF (see homemade almond gugelhupf on the right)! 

It started with a directors meeting with my co-director Hannah Rogers. We went through the first shot list draft (our decision on where to put the camera during the scene) and it's been great to have her help with this. The scale of this film is quite small, which is why this first time, I'm relying a lot on my instincts and my experience of watching films. 

The next day, I met up with Maria Hildebrand, our actress. Talking to her was fantastic and I am so happy that we will be bringing characters A and B to life together. Without spoiling anything, there is a special bond between our characters, and it will be very interesting to keep rehearsing them together.

My hard drives have arrived and I strolled through the area of our location again today to spot any cafes and shops we may need. It has also been decided that our cast and crew will be eating home made sandwiches made with love! 

That's it for me today! This coming week I'll be acting in another person's film, doing what I love best and focusing just on the performance, phew! 


On to the creative

I believe we did it! We've fulfilled most of the administrative tasks that come with producing a film: we've found the perfect actress, have organised camera and liability insurance for the shoot day, and I've now hired a sound technician as well as our 2nd Assistant Camera - two fellow filmmakers who I've worked with before.

Now it's time to move on to the most exciting part: the creative side of things.

In the next four weeks, I will be meeting with my co-director, our cinematographer and our actress for rehearsals. We will also be organising our film shots line by line, which will be a new learning element for me. I already know this process will be a collaboration, which I'm so pleased about.

In the meantime, I'm going up to Manchester this week for a corporate job as an actress, and have also been cast in another short film that will be shot later this month.

You may remember that Gugelhupf is the name of a cake, so expect a photo of a home made one on this page soon!


Well, folks, as this article's title suggests, this week I was faced with a few hurdles. 

Firstly, the director I had in mind is no longer able to work on Der Gugelhupf. This made me pessimistic at first, but Hannah, my producer, and I are now the new co-directors of this little film! I am excited about the challenge, and am happy I can still rely on a second person for some important directorial decisions.

Secondly, the cinematographer I have in mind is currently unreachable, which faces me with the question of whether I should wait for her to get back to me, or start hunting for someone else. 

With regards to casting, I now have two favourites, so my decision on who will act opposite me is imminent!

Finally, in addition to the parks we had in mind, it looks like the private garden that I was hoping for may well become our location! This makes quite a few processes easier, and more importantly, it is a quiet and very pretty area.

Stay warm!

Location, location, location.

This week took me from Peckham to Mottingham and from Victoria Park to Hilly Fields. My legs appreciated being out more than usual, and I’m happy to say that after today’s stroll with producer Hannah Rogers, we’ve narrowed it down to four potential parks for Der Gugelhupf! By the way, we found a peer on a pond that would be so lovely and romantic to film on, but then we realised that this would mean our cinematographer and all the equipment would need to float on water - or stay balanced on a paddle boat - so that crushed my dream!

Self-tape requests have been sent out to actresses, with deadlines for next week-end, so this coming week promises to be more administrative, with date-locking, video-watching and hopefully some more crew-locking in store.

The cinematographer I have in mind for the shoot is the key to the next step of pre-production. She will confirm the dates at which we can use her and her camera, which will then help us fill out applications to local councils regarding the parks. The precise date will also matter to the cast and crew, including the make-up artist, sound recordist and runners.

What will follow will be financial: once the council confirms, we will have to pay them for the permit! 

What I realise I could have done differently:

-        I could have locked the date before asking actresses to self-tape, in case they turn out to be completely unavailable on the chosen date. Fingers crossed that they will be flexible, and not too annoyed at me for this!




Gugelhupf: a light, yeasted marble cake.

When you are developing your acting career, you often hear how important it is to make your own work, to not wait for it to come to you. A little over a year ago, I started feeling the itch of wanting to be more involved in the film process, more creative, especially in between acting roles. An Austrian fellow actress inspired me to write a short two-person dialogue. The scene takes place in a park which could be anywhere in the world, and two women meet. What’s more, I wrote it in German. I have been involved only in English-language projects since I’ve been in London (naturally), and it’s very rare to see any auditions for German parts in independent projects in England. I felt this would be interesting, going in the direction of my personal heritage and being an opportunity to meet other German-speaking artists. Don't worry, the final piece will have subtitles!

And so, I wrote a first draft and called it Der Gugelhupf. I didn't want it to be longer than 10 minutes, and I knew what kind of scenes I like to watch. Surprisingly, after taking many scattered notes for a few weeks, the writing flowed. I wrote to a few directors I knew, showed the script to a friend for input, but never took that step of really pushing it. As 2017 came to a close, I knew I had to stop talking about it and just move forward. What’s more, who hasn’t noticed how urgent it is to have women writing and behind the camera? I was very lucky to meet director Charlotte Atkinson, also a producer and a really talented young woman who’s already achieved so much! She lived for a while in Germany, and was interested in directing in German. Her interest and input meant so much to me and motivated me even more. When you are alone sitting on your project, it can feel quite lonely, and of course there is the fear that it’s terrible! Subsequently, I got in touch with a talented director I had worked with on a short film last year, Hannah Rogers, and she accepted to produce! Now we’re cooking – well, baking!

My goal is to shoot this 5-10-minute short film before the end of the Winter. The stages we are in right now are 1. Location scouting, and 2. Casting.

1.      Locations: this is one of the aspects that is making me quite nervous, as we will be filming in a public place and need permission from the local council. We have a lead on a private garden, so fingers crossed!

2.      Casting: oh my goodness, there is so much talent out there! Not that I doubted it, I’ve just been pleasantly reminded of it this week! The casting notice is out since last Thursday, and I’m giving myself a whole week to make a shortlist by looking at various profiles, showreels and images. I have a few favourites already. I sympathise with casting directors who need to find actors within 48 hours or less, that must be so stressful. What if the chemistry is wrong, what if their picture doesn’t show who they really are? This process is really enlightening and humbling.

Tomorrow will be a big day as I will be out scouting more locations, and then putting my acting hat back on as I attend a workshop.

Current mood: excited, confident, but also aware of many unknowns! However some will say "Be the unknown". 

Until next time!