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26th January 2015
Tough shoot
Title of film: 'Normal Days'
Director: Seb Edwards
What do you do when your set gets trashed and the locals take to guns and machetes? We talk with Seb Edwards about shooting his spot Normal Days for the British Army

Did your film “Normal Days” for the British Army change much from your initial treatment of the brief?

The main difference was to use the distorting effects of slow-motion to change our perception of each scene. Slowing down the action and the audio helped to mis-direct our understanding. There was also titles in the original script, but we decided in the edit we didn’t need them.

You are no stranger to directing large casts under rugged conditions – are there any certain rules that you follow when shooting?

There are always problems when you shoot abroad in uncontrolled conditions so you need to be able to adapt. I think if you’re too precious and stubborn you’ll come unstuck. You need a plan B, C , D etc.

Talking of rugged conditions was the film shot in various locations or was it a case of very clever studio and post work?

We shot the Kosovo scene in Latvia. The other two were shot in Johannesburg. We built a large set of a Philippines village in a township, but the locals trashed it and stole all of the props and materials. We ended up having to do a lot of post-production work to bring it alive.

It was a tough shoot. We had extreme weather problems – snow, electrical storms – as well as angry locals wielding guns and machetes. Not ideal conditions to work in, but somehow the challenges felt appropriate for an Army commercial.

See more of Seb Edwards work here