Camel With Horses has changed hands over its short lifespan. Picked by a team leader Delilah Niel, the film was submitted bu her team mate Rosie J Wilson due to Delilah having to take another project on half way through. We admire this team’s dedication to the craft.
Directed by Anna Whealing, the film features original music by Rosie Wilson. The scores titles include titles like A Creative Child, Exasperation, Hump vs. Ploddy, A Horse’s Revenge, and My Lovely Camel Humps.
We spoke to Delilah and Laurie Presswood about their experience at the DAFTAS.
How did you hear about the DAFTAS?
Deliah: We heard through our friend Caroline. We had done some scripted comedy podcasts for a new production company, Baker Street Productions, and she sent an email around saying we might be interested in this.
How did you find the experience in general?
D: It was great it was super fun. I remember being a bit apprehensive, I was worried that it would be too much stress and not enough time. But, actually when we were doing it, we realised we were just having fun and it was super silly. But yeah, it was great. A laugh was had by all. Especially for the final scenes. Trying to make horse noises without laughing was near impossible.
L: Trying to record the music as well! Whatever I had had to be cut in the end
What did you think when you drew your film, Calm With Horses? Did you have a preferred film?
L: We actually spent a lot of time being really stressed about what film we would get. We spent a lot of back and forth about not wanting to get Promising Young Women.
D: We were stressed about that. But then by the time of the draw we had turned it on its head and were thinking maybe that would be a good film to have? Alas, we didn’t get that one. I really didn’t want The Dig though.
L: There were a lot of really heavy films, a lot of topics that I didn’t want to be seen making fun of. There is a bit of that with Calm With Horses but I don’t think I had seen it at that point. After we watched it, it became obvious that there were things we could latch on to, such as the cinematography and the tropes of the genre.
D: When we drew it, I hadn’t seen it either. But when the film opens it’s got a voiceover and it’s super Irish so we realised there was a lot to draw from it. Similar to Promising Young Woman, the content is not something you want to make fun of but maybe more the style and the characters.
What effect did the two-day limit have? Did you cut it quite fine?
D: Yes, definitely. Because we live in two different cities, Glasgow and Edinburgh, we can’t be together during the week. So, we could only come together for a weekend anyway and we had to get trains and couldn’t stay late. It was tight but what was nice was that we picked 48 hours where it wasn’t raining! I think the limitations make you more creative in the end.
L: Also, we’re quite different in this regard, but if I don’t get given a deadline I will never finish it. I will be thinking “oh would it be better if… let me rewrite this 7 times”. I’m definitely deadline orientated. Another thing is that we were shooting around when restrictions were about to be lifted and there was a chance that they wouldn’t. So, for a while it was up in the air as to whether I was going to be in it or not.
D: We were thinking for a moment that we would have to have Laurie on Zoom, critiquing remotely. But luckily the restrictions were such that she could come and do it in person. Again, that also made the time constraints worse because we were thinking “what if it suddenly becomes illegal for us to see eachother!”
L: From a shooting point of view, in April in Scotland you only have a certain amount of hours where shooting is feasible in the daylight. That was my biggest memory of being stressed.
Apart from the Covid restrictions, is there anything else you guys wish you had known before you started filming?
D: So, we were filming in a playground and there is a big fight scene. I wish we had known how many 13–15-year-olds would come to hang out in this playground! Poor Laurie and Rosie were in full costume, in character and so much obvious filming gear around. We were basically running around screaming and it was so embarrassing I was almost afraid! That put a bit of a block on our creativity, the sheer embarrassment.
L: It was bad when the teenagers were there but it was also bad when the little children were there! Now we have cameras in a playground full of kids, maybe some of the parents were like “hmmm who are these people?”
D: And we wanted to use the slides, we were thinking “when are these kids going to get out the way!” Excuse me, we are making a film here.
L: Artists at work, move aside.
What cameras did you guys use?
D: I shoot on a Sony A60 300, and we also used a Lumix G7 for some of it. We wanted some of it to look very well shot and some to look very energetic. The opening of the film, we spent more time on and looks the better shot. We used a handheld zoom for the audio.
How long did the editing process take?
D: Only a couple of nights. Probably about 8 hours of work.
After you watched the whole film, did you have a particular process for whittling down a full-feature length into just 6-minute short?
L: There were definitely some things that we had to cut after shooting them.
D: I think when we watched the film, the opening sequence is very stylised with a voiceover, and we agreed we would go for that. But when it came to actually writing the parody, the plot that we came up with meant that there were only certain sections and lines we could use. Of course, there are a lot of scenes in our parody that really do not happen in the film at all! I think we saw the fight scene and the ending of the film and used those. We just took some of the central moments and made them fit our strange plot.
L: My thinking was taking the bare bones of a central plot and then focussing on the bits that we could make the funniest. We gave so much time to our audition sequence which is most definitely not in the original film. But that’s where all the jokes are!
D: And our fight scene was much more Benny Hill-esque than the fight scene in the movie. That’s a good point, if we thought we could get a laugh then that was the scenes we spent the most time on. We also improvised a lot, we just wanted to see what we could do. That was fun.
Have you guys got any upcoming projects that you’re working on at the moment?
D: I’m working as a camera trainee on Good Omens at the moment, so I don’t have much time for any personal projects. But, hopefully in the near future there will be more. I have some photography projects which you can find on my Instagram, where I sell the prints there. The plays that we were writing just before the DAFTAS are out on Spotify now.
Words by Katie Hyatt