What Happened To Hallam Foe?
Last night, I re-read a screenplay that I first read eighteen months ago. Back then it was the early draft of a film called Hallam Foe. The writer/director was a schoolfriend of Hugh MacLeod's and thus was prey to his persuasion to the extent that he posted the script online and asked for the opinion of amateurs like me. He and I swapped a couple of longish emails about the script and I followed the film's development via its production blog.
I often wondered how the experiment had impacted the creative process and tonight I had the opportunity to see the finished film (released in UK in August) and to ask those questions directly of the director. The film is all I had hoped for from that script and more. The dialogue that leapt from the page back then is utterly convincing coming from the mouths of the leading actors Jamie Bell and Sophia Myles who both deliver significant, nuanced performances while David Mackenzie's confident and imaginative use of the camera fills the screen memorably.
None of this was due to the notes I supplied eighteen months ago, and discussion of the "experiment" will have to wait for a more civilised hour, but one other thing I took away from tonight was a reminder that, contrary to received wisdom, talented people tend also to be very good company. I don't think that's a coincidence.