Vikas Shah is an exceptional person. Last week he was awarded the Freedom Of the City of London at a ceremony at Guildhall.
I am so very proud of Vikas and his new love for film production and hope he goes from strength to strength.
Producing my first film - Vikas Shah
I was the co-producer and funder of UK independent film Girl Shaped Love Drug starring Sacha Dhawan, Rachel Austin and Dean Andrews. The film is currently touring the festival circuit internationally with premieres in San Jose, California at CINEQUEST and in Paris, France at ECU Film Festival.
The film is set in Manchester (UK) and is a dark love story that tells the story of how coincidences bring two people together over the course of a day.
Girl Shaped Love Drug was my first full feature film, born out of my very own chance conversation with the film's writer director Simon Powell at a café in Manchester.
We were both working on the Greater Manchester Film Festival 2012, and I happened to ask what film projects Simon was working on at the time. He sent me the script for Girl Shaped Love Drug which I instantly fell in love with and committed to co-produce and fund.
Regardless of size and budget, there is no doubt that creating a feature film is a huge project. We had cast and crew joining us from around the world, and very tight scheduling having planned finances to make the film in just 10 days of shooting. We were tremendously lucky to be using the very latest in cutting edge film-making hardware including the Red MX 4K digital camera system, and had on-location edit facilities to ensure shots were locked during the day of filming to go straight to our edit and post facilities. It was during filming that we also secured music from David Bowie, De Votchka, The Eels and a number of other great artists who fell in love with the film.
The edit process was truly intense, taking almost twice as long as the film itself but the results, even at that early stage, were immensely rewarding. Myself, Simon, my co-producer Paul Hurstfield and our editor Simon Dinnigan felt we had created something really special.
The proof was definitely in the pudding though and in October 2012, to a packed out Manchester cinema of over 400 people we held our world premiere... potentially one of the most nerve racking days in any film-maker's career, as your baby now goes public!
The response was astonishing, our audience laughed, cried and connected with the movie we had made, and even days later we received emails and messages from individuals who were emotionally moved by what we had produced.
Fast forward to April 2013, and we have just won "Best European Independent Feature" at the very prestigious ECU European Independent Film Festival.
Suffice to say, I've caught the film-making drug!