Unspoken questions for the Director

Director Andrew Smith photographing Actor John Mousley who played Kieron in Unspoken

Director Andrew Smith photographing Actor John Mousley who played Kieron in Unspoken

The project deals with the ever-present issue in modern society of Cyberbullying and the effect it has on young people the young people of today.

The screenplay is written by Christopher Woodward, and is directed by Andrew Smith. 

I spoke to the director the process of creating the project dealing with such a powerful issue. 

How did the project come about?

All of our projects start with a small, simple idea put forward by Chris, Ashley or myself. After a proof of concept so to speak and after the whole team is on board, we then develop it as much as we can. This is usually us bouncing ideas off of each other and seeing what everyone else thinks. We could be going down one path with a project and someone says something and then we end up heading down a completely different avenue. 

That can happen at any time as well. It could be at the initial stage where the idea is conceived or in the writing stage months before or it could be on set 30 seconds before we’re going to shoot the scene. We love working that way because it gives us creative freedom. We’re not necessarily tied down to a script or producers telling us how it should be. We can make whatever we want!

Did you find any stages of production difficult?

There were no difficulties to speak of really. During filming, we had some issues towards the end of the day because we started to rush things. We’d been in Everton Park at 6am filming the first scenes where ‘Kieron’ is walking through the park and by the time we’d gotten to the next set we were all feeling a bit tired. The audio wasn’t up to scratch in the scene where Kieron comes home and his mum asks if its him. I managed to salvage it as best that I could but it’s the only part I’m not 100% happy with. 

Talk us through the process of creating this project?

After were all happy with the idea and we’ve got a basic script and shot list, we just get stuck in. We organise locations, actors, crew, equipment and book a day where we can get it done. Because it was going to be a short piece, we could film it all in one day. Most of the shots I wanted to get where in my head and I thought I knew where I wanted to take the piece. When we got to the first location, because of the weather and the stillness, some of the shots changed, so the images I saw in my head where completely different to what was captured on the day. 

After we’ve wrapped on set (and we’ve gone home and had a sleep!), we start to off load the footage from the cameras to the servers and make backups. The raw files from the cameras equated to 26.02gb. That’s a lot of data but by no means the most we’ve shot in a day. (The man with no Identity 4K was 37gb+). After that, we start the edit. This includes sound, music, colour correction, VFX. All in all, post-production for Unspoken took about 3 days from start to export. 

How did you find working with Chris again on this Project?

Chris is a committed, hard-working part of the team who wants everything to perfect. We work great together although we do sometimes argue, which is good because it just means that we’re passionate about what we do.

Starring John Mousley as Kieron Maggi Green as his Mother and Bob Towers as Edgar, Unspoken is available to watch exclusively here:


Words by Meg Kay
Photo by Christopher Woodward