Hampstead couple make feature film in seven days

Sam and Ed Edwards used their savings to make a feature film set in Hampstead

How do you make a feature film for �5,000 in seven days and get it shown at the London Independent Film Festival? Hampstead resident Sam Edwards and her husband Ed did just that.

“We used our savings. I said, we can either get a new car, go on holiday or make a film. We decided to make a film,” says Sam Edwards.

The pair made Stealing Elvis, written and produced by Sam and directed by Ed, which was in last year’s London Independent Film Festival. It is a coming-of-age adventure story, where two young girls give some crooks the run around.

Obstacles


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“I wanted to write specifically a rites of passage piece about girls and about girls who break rules. I wanted my bad girls to get away with it. I wanted them to be bad in a way that boys are allowed to be but girls never are,” says Edwards.

The original idea came from a short film called Bad Obsession, which Sam had written. “I really wanted to write another coming of age piece. For me, for girls, it was that time, 14-17; that’s when we become the women we are going to be.

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“Sometimes there are obstacles that we can overcome, sometimes that we can’t. I really wanted to capture how vulnerable and confident young women are at that age.”

For the pair making their own feature film was a nice break from their day jobs.

“My business is making crap for cable telly and his business is making really high-end advertising. We said ‘why are we always doing this for other people, we want to do this for ourselves’.”

The couple hope to get a distribution deal for the movie after a screening on Sunday.

So, how do you make a feature film for �5,000 in seven days? There are obvious things: One, don’t use professional actors. “The girl who plays Christina is actually my god-daughter and I bullied her into it. I just thought she’d be so filmic,” says Edwards.

Two, be a small but multi-talented team. “We do everything, I think that’s the nature of independent film-making; we are the props department, we are the PR department, we are the costume department. We do it all ourselves.”

And, three, use one location where different rooms are made up to look like different places (the house was in Hampstead).

But the Edwards team had another trick – treat the film like a theatre production.

“We rehearsed and rehearsed, so that there was no time-wasting once we were actually filming,” says Sam.

Now the pair are on their next project, a documentary about a 1980s club promoter. So what is the advice from the Edwards team for people who want to be film-makers?

“Get out there and make films,” says Sam. “We found a way to make it work. If you want to do it, just do it.”

Stealing Elvis will be screened at the Roxy, Borough High Street, on Sunday, June 3 at 9pm. Tickets are �6 and can be purchased in advance from theunitedfest.com.

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