Moving On, with Help

Spiritual Cinema Circle

Annabel Bates and Kefi Chadwick answered some questions for us about their film Cycle, which they made along with Isabelle Sieb and Sangeeta Parekh:

What was the origin of the script?

I wrote it as part of Creative England's iwrite scheme. We had to write a short film and I wanted to see what I could do with two people in one space. How big a journey they could go in in 10 minutes. I'd also long had an idea about someone getting divorced and finding help to move on from the most unlikely quarter. So that's where it started. I wrote the script and then CE brought Isabelle in to direct some scenes and we just clicked.

How did the team coalesce?

Isabelle and I got on really well when we did the scenes and so after iwrite finished I emailed her and said 'fancy a coffee?' and when I got there, she said 'I'd like to direct your short' and we were off. I'd loved her short, Three Women Waiting for Death, and so we knew we had similar tastes in the sort of comedy drama we wanted to create. Since then, we've been commissioned by Channel 4 to create our own series for which I'm currently writing the pilot script.

AB: The co-owner of Honeybee Films Ltd, David Cordon and I were getting frustrated by not being able to shoot our own films so we came up with a model which would both help us to learn as filmmakers and support other filmmakers we admired to make more work. We both read the script and instantly loved Kefi's storytelling and wanted to help get it made as we believed in Isabelle too. Sangeeta and I actually met a few years prior to making this film and I had always been impressed with her work too.

What challenges did you face making the film?

To be honest, it all came together really well. We had great producers and fantastic crew and cast. Finding someone to give us their house was a bit of a challenge but the Film Fatales helped us out with that. Isabelle was really sick when we were shooting but she stuck on a woolly hat, took some pain killers and just carried on without a murmur. Amazing!

How did you go about creating the unique comic/dramatic tone?

The tone is one that Is and I both love. Think they call it 'heartfelt comedy'. We both like comedy that makes you feel something so that felt pretty innate to what we wanted to achieve. Rhona and Dean are both such fantastic actors who bring that warmth and connection with them, even when they're being very funny so we really benefited from that.

What would you say the main message of the film is?

Help can come from the most unlikely places. The world won't end when you let go of things that have hurt you - even if you think it might. Those are mine. Other people might find other messages which is fine. I like when people find their own meaning in the things I write. Then the work become theirs too.

What are you working on now?

We're doing our Channel 4 pilot and we've got two other TV projects under option. I've got three feature films lined up for this Autumn and one into next year and Is is shooting a brand new series for the BBC. So we've both got a lot going on but we really love working together so it's always a pleasure when we get to do our joint projects!

AB: Sangeeta is working for Mister Smith and here at Honeybee Films, we are working on a few shorts and developing three features too.