Stacey The Geordie.
The brief we have was to create a book trailer. We were paired up or in similar sort of groups and we tasked to use our knowledge of cinematic to creative a captivating, interesting trailer with a maximum duration of 60 seconds.
The story I was given was titled 'Stacey the Geordie'...
"By the time I was 13 I was regularly skiving off school and pinching money from my family to bugger off to London. My parents were splitting up and my brother, who was eleven years older than me, got into heroin and became psychotic, so things were really rough at home. And around about the same time that that was happening, my brother had been in London and he’d been in a band and one of the members of the band became my shoulder to cry on a bit. There wasn’t really a lot happening for me in Newcastle, I was feeling miserable, and because my family was preoccupied with everything that was going on I just seemed to get away with slipping through the back door and disappearing off on the cheap old blue-line coach you used to be able to get down to London, which was fifteen quid for a return ticket. You could sit smoking fags in the back of the bus all the way down to London. I started doing that quite a lot.
It was a really strange thing, looking back. Jo and me pretty much grew up as siblings really, in and out of each other’s homes. My mam was very much her mam, her mam was my mam. And we were both precocious and gobby and forthright, very opinionated. I remember one our catchphrases was like, ‘God, I’m 13,’ as if to say, like, ‘Don’t patronise me. I’m 13, for god sakes.’ We were very, very sure that we knew it all.
I was 14 when I stopped going to school, and buggered off down there for good. The guy from the band was ten years older than me, and the whole band were on the dole and had absolutely nothing. And so I moved in with him. It’s funny looking back to a time when you give no consideration at all to, like, how I’m going to pay the rent and look after myself or anything. I had my birthday money, which must have been all of 150 quid from various relatives. I was like, ‘Ah, that’s enough to see us through.’
I was looking at this person through the eyes of a teenage girl, and he was a lot older than me, which seemed really cool. And then their band went from being a band that nobody cared about to one that major labels were fighting over. They were getting flown off to New York, they were in the middle of a bit of a record-company bidding war. So not only was I in love with someone who was much older than me and more experienced than me and in a band, I was in love with somebody who it looked like was about to become a pop star, which added a whole other layer. They ended up getting a record deal, and going off on tour and into the studio. I spent quite a lot of the time in a flat in Acton, smoking sixteen Marlboros a day, waiting for him to come home. I didn’t really have any friends that weren’t related to him. I didn’t really have very much going on there at all.
Within the space of about six months my mum had left my dad, come down to London and moved in with us as well. So it was the three of us in this one-bedroom flat. I think my mam just thought, ‘Stacey’s in London. She seems to be all right. I’m going down there, that’s all I’ve got.’ So she hopped on the blue-line bus herself and sat in the back smoking fags and turned up. I went and picked her up at King’s Cross. It was a hot summer’s day, and I was wandering around in a really short skirt, fancying myself to
be looking quite cool, and my mam got off the bus and said, ‘God, you look really, really thin,’ and I thought, ‘Yes.’ That’s the way things were at the time. That’s my abiding memory of that day. The tragedy of the situation escaped us at the time.
After a year and a half, me and the older bloke eventually split up. But by that time, the singer of the band who was older again than him, he’d taken me under his wing a little bit. I was out on the streets, it was December, it was really snowy and I had nowhere to go. The singer had bought on the record company advance a penthouse apartment, just next to Tower Bridge. Like literally open your window and look out and there’s London. He said to me and my mam, there’s no way I’m seeing you out on the streets, it’s Christmas. They were going off on tour the next day, and he just said, ‘C’mon,’ took us to his house, went out to the shops, bought us about 8,000 Marlboro Lights and a cupboard full of food, and off he went on tour for two weeks. It was completely bizarre. It snowed in London that Christmas, and it was just me and my mam. I was nearly 16 by this point. We were penniless, jobless, had no friends. I was heartbroken. My brother was going insane, somewhere, you know, a couple hundred miles north, yet we were living in this luxury penthouse apartment overlooking Tower Bridge, looking at this idyllic scene outside of the window. It was completely insane.
The thing about this penthouse on Tower Bridge, there wasn’t even a bedroom. It was a living room, and the kitchen was just a space that you walked into where you had sort of like benches around you. It wasn’t actually a room, it was just some work surfaces, and the washing machine tucked
under, and the bathroom was just a tiny little room. That was it. There was three of us, and we lived like that for almost a year. We did nothing but laugh and laugh and laugh and play computer games. At the time of the record, like I guess most bands do, they had a drugs guy and you could just go around to his house and get a massive bag of weed and loads of LSD, and jeez, we would take loads of drugs and have a right laugh and we became completely nocturnal. It’s funny because me and Jo grew up loving Prisoner Cell Block H, we were obsessed with it, and they started showing that again from the start. I think it started at a quarter past five in the morning, so we used to sit up for Prisoner Cell Block H. That was on for an hour, then we’d go to bed at a quarter past six. I was having the time of my life because the singer had the biggest record collection you’ve ever seen, as well as a massive collection of films, and he opened my eyes to a lot of stuff. That was great, but at the same time I was desperately heartbroken about the relationship. It was this total mishmash of stuff going on. It was either an ecstatically happy time or a desperately sad time. I still haven’t really made my mind up.
On New Year’s Eve, standing on Tower Bridge, I remember looking out and thinking, what the hell is the next year going to bring us? I was feeling really jaded and cynical already. I remember there was a guy in front of us with this big coat on and a cigar in his mouth and he turned round and looked at us and said, ‘Happy New Year!’ in a broad New York accent. I thought, it doesn’t really get any more surreal than this.
Eventually, the guy we were living with met a girl, and in about two days he said, ‘Right, she’s moving in.’ We’d met her and she was quite hard work, and it was a one-room living space. Me and my mam thought, ‘Shit.’ By this point,
my mam had actually got a job working in a market stall in Covent Garden and was sort of getting it together. Things were going a bit better. I was 16 at this point, and still had absolutely no idea of the concept of working or looking after myself at all. I was dossing about, basically. Spending most days just walking around London. I knew it all. The centre of London, from south-east London where we were, I could have mapped out the whole thing, I was just so used to pummelling it by foot, every day, wandering around like a little ghost feeling sad. A little ghost in a really short skirt with lots of make-up on.
So we ended up moving out. We had a friend who lived in Fulham, so we slept on her floor for a bit, and then I moved in with some friends in Camden. Eventually me and my mam ended up living with this lad we knew from Newcastle who had a spare room in his own home in Leytonstone. I wasn’t bringing in any money at all, and my mam was working at this freezing-cold market stall, and this guy we were living with was a little bit bonkers, a little bit ‘I’ve got a personality’ exclamation mark! He would express that by painting the living room all fluorescent-marker-pen yellow, so we had these highlighter-yellow living-room walls. We were chronically depressed and by this point, really, really psychologically dependent on cannabis. Like, you know, food came second; we smoked dope from the second we woke up to the second we went to bed, and it was the only thing that was keeping us sane, or so we thought at the time. At this point I was estranged from the bloke we’d lived with in Tower Bridge. Their band was doing really well. They were on the front cover of the NME and I was sitting with fluorescent-yellow walls in a flat in Leytonstone, couldn’t afford a travel card even to get out of Leytonstone, sometimes couldn’t afford any dope for two days, crawling
up the walls with this irritating flatmate and my mam, who was in the same state as me. It was desperately depressing, and made us realise the difference between how my life had been and the way my life was then. Basically no friends, no lifeline or link to the world outside of that highlighter-yellow room. It was absolutely horrendous.
Dog Man Star by Suede, that album absolutely encapsulates London for me. And Sci-Fi Lullabies, the B- sides album, cause there are so many lyrics and poignant tunes, swooping, swooning sort of sad strings and sounds that encapsulate being down and out in London. I mean, not just lyrically, just the sound of it as well, sort of the sound of your heart swooping around inside you. I quite enjoyed being miserable. There was a part of it that I really indulged in, having a good cry, walking around listening to the saddest music you can possibly imagine, thinking about how desperately sad I was.
I bought this beautiful pair of knee-high, white leather, 1960s-style platform-soled boots. I couldn’t walk in them to save my life, they were crippling, but I loved them so much and I wore them with a white miniskirt and a black polo neck. I was quite into the Sixties sort of look. I was probably hobbling and teetering around London with blisters all over my feet. I must have cut quite a strange little figure, really.
Later that same year – this is awful, this is something that took us a long time to tell anyone, but I’m quite happy to tell people now because I’m old and I’ve done lots of nice things for people, so maybe it doesn’t matter anymore. But I was walking up Oxford Street, it was Christmas Eve, and I was in my trainers. I don’t know what I was doing, I was on Oxford Street trying to get a bit of Christmas spirit. And I was running along and there was a man carrying a box with a television inside. I remember accidentally skidding on the ice
and knocking into him, and I heard the television drop to the ground and smash, and so I ran and then I just kept running. And I remember having that moment where I thought, should I turn around, should I go back? Nah, I’m not going to do it, I’m just going to keep running. I spent all Christmas Day feeling sick cos I thought, I’ve deprived some family of their telly. I’ve ruined some family’s Christmas. It took a long time for me to let myself off the hook for that one, and I still feel a bit sick when I think about it.
A few years later, when I was about 18, I and my mam came back to Newcastle to visit some friends. We stayed for a week, I think, and we got on the coach to come back to London, to go and stay in the hideous flat with the highlighter-yellow walls and the annoying flatmate. But, as soon as we’d sat down on the coach – I remember the moment as clear as day – we both just looked at each other and said, ‘I don’t really want to go back, do you?’ ‘No, I don’t want to go back either.’ We said, ‘Should we move back to Newcastle?’ And it was just decided there and then, we knew it was time to go back. It was a no-brainer, really. It totally, naturally and organically came to an end.
Maybe everyone should do what I did and go down to London when you’re really young, really fucking irresponsible and really resilient. And really good-looking as well. Not to say that I was, but if you’re an appealing young lass, who’s quite gobby and attractive, people are more likely to look after you and see you’re all right than if you stagger down there when you’re beaten by life and haven’t got a lot of self-confidence. I mean, I was full of myself when I went down there, and that helped us along a little bit. You
know, either that or if you’re rich. I don’t think there’s any middle ground, really.
I do think that you have to have a lot of energy if you want to go and live in London. I can’t be bloody bothered anymore. A couple of days is all I can go for now. It’s a bit of a drain. I feel like I’ve turned into one of those Northern clichés, like ‘Ooh, that London, everyone’s grasping down there and everyone’s in on the rat race’ and all that crap. You know, if we’re watching the telly at home and if the news comes on, quite often there’s a reporter stood there in front of Tower Bridge in London, and I think, god, I lived there. "
From this story my colleague and I have concocted a script and very rough storyboard in which will become a template in which we use to film.
Discussing the lighting along with the video options such as camera brand, became conflicting discussions. We had to agree to come up with a suitable storyboard to film to, there was a little bit of comprising; however, in the end, the result I have with the planning. This would be the most efficient way to film and produce a book trailer too.
It was finally time to start filming, due to restraints of the equipment, We could only film over one day and we managed to fit everything in. The day was a long and tiring one and Whilst filming the various scenes, Mdu became quite frustrating got a deal with, We redid the bedroom scene maybe 10 times just to use a random scene from the end. I'm not exactly upset over this fact but it wasn't the smoothest of sailing.
When we were in Tower Bridge I decided to take a book cover shoot, here are a few of the practice shots
This was the draft concept for the video, along with the notes and mockups.
We rented out a camera and hired a model who is good friends with Mdu, hair and makeup was done by his friends and we went to Tower Bridge and Lewisham in the evening to replicate the atmosphere that is created within the poem mentioned above.
Once we got the photos, Mdu edited the video and I edited the stills, which are above, the editing style was to emulate something raw and untethered, this was done by adding a small but rough grain and a cool colour temperature. However, it was tricky to adjust the images because I wanted her skin to be even and look healthy and not cold.
Choosing the fonts and blending into then rest image was challenging, but the end result makes it look seamless and I am very happy with it.