It has been a serious LOVE, hate, hate, HATE, love, hate, love relationship I have had with Dragoon since the summer of 2012 when it all began in Partick Library. The planning and pre-production was great fun, lots of interesting research and buying equipment, whats not to love. It then ended up with one day of production in Mugdock park outside Glasgow. Possibly the coldest more misreable day ever but alas what more would be expected. Shooting on a Canon 550d with a variety of old glass (Yashica, Tokina and Soligor which were all passed down to me from my dad and grand dad) meant that it was a cheap day of production. I was cameraman/runner/production manager/stills/director/producer all into one and I had a sound recordist I had worked with on BBC productions for a while. We were the crew. No lighting, no assistants just two people.
The beauty of having a lens that goes down to f1.2 is you can shoot in a forest at ISO 400. Means you have crazy depth of field but the intense nearly suffocating feel it created was what I wanted so it suited the story perfectly. It also means keeping at low ISO that the image does not have a lot of grain, something you often see in short films filmed at night.
So one day of production done in the bag, nearly filled a 32gb card. This was in September 2012. Now we entered the magical world of post production where time is deleted.
Speed on and it wasn’t until September 2013 that Dragoon was finally edited into shape for its first film festival submission. This year did involve me having a house fire and losing most of my stuff, NB Always have more than two back ups!.
Now it enters the submission stage, I started off submitting to a list of festivals that I wanted to get into for the best suitable exposure. Glasgow Film Festival, being my geographically closest festival, Belfast Film Festiv
al, being where the majority of my exec producers were based and Foyle Film Festival, a major player on the Oscar circuit and the local festival to where I grew up. All of these cost a severe amount, from £15-£40 just to submit. We got rejected from them all.
Now Dragoon has finally entered its final stage. The release, after being rejected by a rather lot of film festivals which I had submitted to trying to get exposure its over to the online world to make its decision on it.I found this site (no entry fee festivals) to be amazing and highly recommend signing up for their newsletter, it will save you a fortune. I submitted to a number of festivals and again, got rejected by all of them except one which actually nominated Dragoon for Best film in the 18-25year old section, this festival was Cinemagic, Belfast. It has free entry and is an amazing opportunity for any aspiring young film makers.
If you enjoy it feel free to share it on and try and get this untold story from Operation Dragoon a bit more exposure.