We started writing Self-Help as a project for us to perform in as actors, but as time went on we enjoyed the process so much we stuck with it. The series itself was inspired by amateur self help videos Bethan had seen online. We felt there was a lot of material to dig into from some of the very surface level discussions around mental health we’ve seen everywhere in recent years.
How did you find the cast and the crew of the film?
All the actors bar Charles Cromwell (Gordon) were clients of our agent, Q&T Management. We held auditions in person and on tape. We both knew Charles from working with him as part of an indie film company back in the city of Lincoln, where we used to live. We met our director of photography Liam Gilroy the same way. Our sound recordist Will Austin was a recommendation from Emma Richardson (Veronica).
For you what was the biggest lesson you had to learn after making this film?
Time management, 100%. It’s always the most difficult aspect, wanting to give the actors enough time with the material to experiment and try different things, while also keeping everything on course.
What genre of filmmaking are you looking to work on and why?
Comedy! We still feel there’s more for us to explore with it - perhaps with a bit more of an element of drama or tragedy.
Do you believe that art unites people?
Absolutely. Being able to see stories and characters that relate to your struggles can help make an audience member feel less alone. On the opposite side of that, film can also help to change minds and spark empathy by presenting a side of life an audience may not have experienced. Both are incredible things to accomplish.
What budget did you have and how did it affect the production?
Not much at all! We had to be very mindful. We wrote the scripts with that budget in mind, for example keeping everything to one location. The actors very kindly didn’t receive payment so the budget could cover the cost of crew, travel expenses, food expenses and festival submissions. The costumes for each character were drawn from the actors' respective wardrobes, and the location was provided by our lead actress Emma, who let us shoot in her house.
Do you have any advice for onewcomers?
Choose the right collaborators so you can find the right balance between enjoying the creative side while also getting the work done when it’s needed. Whatever happens with the finished project, make sure you can look back on the creative process as a fulfilling one.