|UK, 2004. Pathétique
Written and Produced by David McGillivray
Based on the play by Gavin Smith
Directed by Keith Claxton
ph: Ray Marlow. sd rec: Godfrey Kirby. ed: Chuck Cartmel. music: Dominic Glynn. make-up: Ian Brown, Hannah Eccleston. costume designer: Isabelle
Fraser. prod designer: Ernesto Pitts. on-line ed: Bryan Farrar. prod asst: Joseph Brett.
cast: Steven Finch (Father), Tricia Hitchcock (Mother),
David Brett (Scarecrow), Eddie Walter (Boy).
Colour. 10 mins
Shot in Cromer and Nuthampstead, Herts.,
September 25-26, 2004.
|“In 2001 I went to see a
graduation show put on by students at the Desmond Jones School
of Mime. I thought one of the pieces, called The Scarecrow,
would make a good short film; but at the time I didn't have
the resources. In 2004, after I'd put the idea to Keith, I
tried to find out who'd written this thing. It was a guy called
Gavin Smith; but to my dismay he'd died a few months earlier.
He was only 27. As you can imagine, his mother was in a bit
of a state; but rather touchingly she gave us her blessing
to use it. I fleshed it out and added the dialogue, and then
Keith added some more stuff, including the sex scene.
We went location hunting near Royston, Herts., where Godfrey
Kirby and I had produced The Errand in 1980. I couldn't
find the fields we'd used then, but we found something just
as good; and then, as we were driving home, we passed a windmill
and decided to use that as well. The actors who were supposed
to play the parents backed out at the last minute. I replaced
them with Steve and Tricia. I'd worked with Steve at the New
End Theatre, in a farrago based on one of Michael Armstrong's
unfilmed screenplays, The Curse of Tittikhamon, and
Tricia a couple of times, once at Southwold. Eddie is her
son in real life. I thought it was very good of David Brett
to play the scarecrow, considering his face is never seen.
The first day's shooting was a disaster. We got thrown out
of the field we'd chosen (I hadn't asked permission) and ended
up on the remains of a US Air Force landing strip! It drizzled
almost continuously. Andrew Cartmel was going to do the catering,
but I think he was going through some kind of trauma, and
he disappeared. So there was hardly any food at all. The next
day, at the windmill, it was sunny and we worked faster, but
partly because the cameraman said he had to leave at 4 o'clock.
I was warned that he wouldn't work with me again and indeed
Child Number Four is my Running, Jumping and Standing
Still Film - four people in a field. I still think it's
a creepy little story. But obviously it's not going to appeal
to gorehounds. It's never been shown anywhere.”