Written by Dan Hasson and Thomas O’Brien
We’re writer/director Dan Hasson and producer/actor Thomas O’Brien, and together we are 31/32 Film. In 2022, our first feature film When Are You Moving Out? was distributed. We quickly got to work on its follow up, which is now titled, Thoughtless in Remarks. We’re nearing the end of post-production and are reflecting on what the making of this film has taught us.
The making of our second feature undoubtedly benefited from the lessons we learned making our debut feature film, but we also learned a lot from the making of Thoughtless in Remarks. This is how we made our second feature film and how it taught us even more lessons—from the importance of compromise with budgets, to trusting your team, deciding who’s on lunch duty, and (last but not least) the value of setting the right tone on set.
THOUGHTLESS IN REMARKS | Official Trailer 4K
The budget for When Are You Moving Out? was constantly in mind while writing. We had no money to make it. Not this time around. We were keen to up the story and production value with this film and with that in mind we would need funding. With Dan’s finalized draft, and reasonable budget of $7,600 in place, we decided that Kickstarter supported by previously secured private investment would be our approach. Traditional sources (Art grants and production company investments) of UK indie-film funding weren’t the right fit. However, we underestimated how much work had to be done with a Kickstarter campaign.
It is not as simple as launching and waiting for the money to roll in (if only!). Planning and outreach long before launch is necessary to get people interested to pledge money towards your film. You can see our Kickstarter forThoughtless in Remarks here.
We found Reddit the best place to reach specific audiences with its vast array of subs. Specifically we were involved in the filmmaking subs and Brighton (Brighton & Hove, UK) subs. The latter was chosen as this is where we would be shooting the feature film and wanted to be active in the community.
For our Kickstarter we filmed a video of us both detailing the project and creating a visual aid to show the timeline of production (people loved this aspect). By the end of our first day we were a third of the way to our $3,800. At the end o the 30 days we had exceeded our goal by over $800. We couldn’t be happier! Production was in sight, but the work had only just begun.
‘Thoughtless in Remarks’
Previously, we relied on each other, as well as friends and family to act in our films. Thomas has the physical qualities of the character of Jack that Dan had in mind when writing the script, and as a professional actor, was a clear choice for the role. We’ve also worked together before, so we have a great actor/director relationship.
Andromeda Godfrey (The Crown, Bridgerton) was cast as Deborah, the eccentric B&B owner. We knew that name recognition is beneficial to the marketability of a film and so incorporating an actor as experienced as Andromeda was important. A lesson learned here was casting through an agent and all that accompanies this. Prior to landing on Andromeda, we were communicating with various agents about their clients. Be direct. Agents are busy people. Always remain polite, but hold your ground on negotiations and be honest at all times about the nature of the deal.
Dan’s partner, Sarah, is a casting director and she worked tirelessly to find an actor to play Alex, the other lead role in Thoughtless in Remarks. This wasn’t just about finding a good actor, but we wanted to find someone who would be perfect opposite Thomas.
Sarah used several casting websites and received around 30 tapes for the Alex character and shortlisted 10 for Dan. Five were selected for in person auditions. Remaining in constant communication with the actors, Sarah organized time slots to come into our hired office space. Following a fantastic audition, Adele Marie (Rise of the Footsoldier: Vengeance) was cast as Alex. Sam Gledhill, who excelled in playing a supporting role in our last film, was cast as Stevie.
Joe Foster, a funny and skilled stand-up comedian was cast as a parking warden. This would be his first screen credit, but his personality and performances on stage were exactly what was needed for the character.
Trygvi Danielsen is a talented actor, director and musician (Aggrasoppar) from the Faroe Islands that we met at a film festival in 2022. He was in the UK during production and we seized this opportunity to cast him in a supporting role. We had to fit part of the schedule around this. It taught us a lot about how actor availability can dictate part of your scheduling.
Adele Marie and Thomas O’Brien
After posting on forums about our Kickstarter and spreading the word on Reddit, enthusiastic crew members soon reached out, keen to work on and gain experience from the film. As mentioned before, we used the Brighton subreddit to put the word out. This connected us with Tommy Neale, production sound mixer/boom operator, and Abraham Smith, all-around camera assistant, camera operator and gaffer. The two were an excellent mix into the team and elevated the production value of the film. Robert Newman came back as the post sound designer and mixer, having previously worked with us on When Are You Moving Out?
Billy Goffey, accomplished music producer and one half of the duo Cousn, was hired to compose the film’s score. Our crew certainly wasn’t Hollywood size, but it was a step up from When Are You Moving Out?. Each member of our crew was strong and passionate, contributing to results that felt like we had a larger crew.