I had a period a few years ago where I was crewing unpaid on a film at night whilst simultaneously working retail in the day to stay afloat. Beyond exhausted, I never hallucinated but was instead struck by bouts of deja-vu so intense my hold on what was real and what was memory started to slip.
The solution was simply to get more than a few hours of sleep a night but that time bore the core idea behind Reaching Distance. Three years later it’s finally finished.
The first step was to buy a bus. I still have it. It is the bane of my existence. It broke down on the side of a busy road the night before it was due in the warehouse where we shot the film. The electrics fried on the first day, which meant we relied on a primary school science kit to run power into the overhead lighting fixtures. Then it refused to start entirely – That was just the first week.
If anyone wants a bus. It’s available for purchase. Otherwise I may set it on fire purely for the catharsis.
Reaching Distance was made entirely outside of the established industry. We shot it on a shoestring, breaking every rule of how things are meant to be done in the process – lighting scenes with projectors, creating stop-motion effects by disassembling the seating by hand. The bus became a cinema, aquarium and nightclub to name a handful.
But this DIY approach has also meant that every step has been an uphill struggle. A lot of mistakes have been made and I’m certainly coming out the other end with greyer hair. But as often as we were kicked while we were down, I wouldn’t trade the experience for the world.
I can barely describe how grateful I am to the cast and crew who worked on the film. Committing to a project this small and ramshackle always requires a sacrifice. Whether time, money or your sanity (in some cases all three). For such a cast of established pros to trust me and my kooky script has been an honour.
I can’t wait to see it in front of an audience. It’s been a hell of a ride.
David Fairhurst – Director