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29th May 2020
Self-isolation stimulation
Title of film: Wank Wiggle
Director: Raine Allen-Miller
Production Company: Somesuch
Ladies, how are you spending your time in lockdown? Nurturing that sourdough starter? Attempting cross-stitch? Taking long and luxurious baths? In this entertaining isolation creation, shot entirely on phones, Raine Allen-Miller suggests getting to know ourselves a bit better instead – and she’s roped in her friends and family to help spread the word via an enjoyably 80s-tinged music video that extols the benefits of closing your doors and opening up your legs

 

This is one of the most creative and entertaining isolation projects we’ve seen to date! How and when did you come up with the idea?

I came up with the idea a couple of weeks after lockdown, I had a total block after it was announced and once I stopped being hard on myself to be productive, I thought about the fact that being alone in lockdown allows you to really get to know yourself…

Did you also write the extremely tongue-in-cheek and topical lyrics (we particularly liked the reference to Tiger King and toilet roll shortages)? Who came up with the 80s-tastic music?

I wrote the song, and I sent a really rubbish garage band version of it to my friend Chris Taylor, who is a music supervisor. We talked and found a few references, he had the idea of hooking me up with the right composer who chooses to remain anonymous. I am quite proud, though, as I actually sung over the track and came up with the melody.

 

 

You make a guest appearance in the film alongside your sister, is this a family and friends affair and what’s it like being in front of, as well as behind the camera?

Both my sisters are in the film, as is my mum. Kharmel did an amazing job casting, but I also opened it up to friends and family – I knew my mum and sisters lived in an amazing part of the countryside so wanted to take advantage of that, and they were really supportive of the idea.

How were the individual segments shot and stitched together? What was the most challenging part of the process?

Elise Butt did an amazing job cutting it and Ally Green came up with a routine that was beautiful yet simple enough for every cast member to learn. We wanted a feeling of complete and utter fun, silly, unapologetic femininity.

I like synergy through the colour palette, not forced, but enough to unite the women – so you’ll see some colour consistency in there which I worked on with my team – DP Annika Summerson, Costume Designer Verity May Lane and Production Designer Anna Rhodes. It’s not forced but it’s there – my ambition was for it to feel like these women were united yet far apart.

How quickly were you able to turn the film round?

It took about 2 months, from thinking ‘I want to write a song about wanking’ to sharing it with you!

 

 

Are there any lessons/techniques/learnings that you’ll take from this experience once you return to ‘regular’ filmmaking?

Sounds cheesy, but patience.

And how have you been spending lockdown other than making this film and, er, “clicking that button and browsing your anatomy”? 

Ha. I’ve actually been working on a feature film with the BBC and a TV show I have written that Anonymous and Somesuch are developing with me which is very exciting. I am also pitching on some ads as I always want to be scratching that fast turnaround shoot itch! This experience has got me excited to do more remote stuff and I really loved the discipline of simplifying things – shooting on phones has inspired me to try and work with simpler tools, or things I always thought I’d hate – I love shooting on phones now! The next personal project I do will be black and white, and if you know me, you’ll know I will find that extremely hard as I love colour.

 

Interview by Selena Schleh

 

LINKS

Somesuch

Credits

Directed by Raine Allen-Miller
EP Tash Tan
Producer Elly Camisa
Casting Kharmel Cochrane
DOP Annika Summerson
Production Design Anna Rhodes
Choreography Ally Green
Styling Verity May Lane
PA Chloe Slattery
DA Ned Botwood
Edit Elise Butt
Grade Jack McGinity @ Cheat
Sound Design Mark Hills at @ Factory
VFX Producer Tom Igglesden @ Untold
2D Artists Alex Kulikov, George Rockliffe and Tom Moreland at @ Untold
Graphic Design Toby Evans
Comms Lydia Garnett

Song written by Raine Allen-Miller
Additional lyrics by Beri Allen-Miller
Music Supervisor Christopher Taylor
Music Supervisor / EP Abbey Hendrix at Walker
Walker Senior Producer Dottie Scharr
Background Vocalist and Sweetening Composer Katie Marshall
Final Mix Engineer Chris Nungary
Storyboards Liam Cobb