Poster design: Paul Harnett
Shortlisted for Best Short Film at the Feel Good Film Festival 2011,
Raleigh Studios, 12-14 August 2011
Anna is long-term single but believes she will meet her 'one in a million' some day. Her sister Karen, soon to be married, believes that you can't leave love to chance. What starts out as an outing to buy a dress becomes a test of Anna’s belief in the magic of love.
Anna is long-term single but believes she will meet her ‘one in a million’ some day. Her sister Karen, who is planning her own wedding, believes that you cannot leave love to chance and has planned to increase the odds for Anna at her wedding reception. Karen's well-meaning intentions become a heated conversation between sisters about how to find love.
Just as the conflict heats up, Karen trips and falls. As she is trying to assess if she is hurt, a kind stranger offers his help. Anna and the stranger have a moment of true connection. Could this be love, at this most inopportune of moments? Karen does not let Anna find out. As Anna is forced to walk away, what started out as an outing to buy Anna a dress becomes a test of her belief in the magic of love.
Myrna started making films in 2006 after she trained on a short course with the New York Film Academy. Her background in psychology contributes greatly to her ability to explore the breadth of human experience. She is committed to making films that feed the heart and lift the spirit and hopes to continue learning the filmmaking craft while getting increasing recognition as an emerging filmmaker. Myrna Jelman has made documentary films, a corporate film, a touching tribute film and a training video.
Her most ambitious project to date was 'Happy Endings', a 45 mns documentary on dying well with the intention to reduce people's fear of both death itself and of talking about death. The film has been watched in over 10 countries and Myrna has since become one of the trustees of 'Living Well Dying Well' a charity set up by one of the contributors in the film. 'Happy Endings' continues to be a tool for education and discussion in the work of the charity and of other professional and patient groups.
'One in a million' is inspired by a real event. A shopping trip with my own sister provided me with one of these fleeting moments of connection with a kind stranger. I also wanted to convey the level of pressure from friends and family on the long-term single.
Despite tights timescales (we shot over 2 short days), I wanted to create a working environment that was respectful and enjoyable. I am delighted to say that one of the actors who had never up till now liked working on film because of the intensity, told me that for the first time, they had enjoyed the process.
The actors are all trained in a process developed by Aileen Gonsalves and rooted in the Meisner technique and wanted to explore whether they could have alive, moment-to-moment performances on film. I believe they can and have.
‘One in a million’ is about the eternal question of how to find love, more importantly it illustrates the fact that whatever we believe in, whether positive or negative, will probably come true.
They say never work with children or animals. The geese featured in the film are usually guaranteed to 'honk' when I approach as they reliably try to attack me. For the film, I needed them honking, so I approached them and of course, just this once, they were quiet and not at all bothered by me. I eventually had to get the sound of geese honking separately. I walk past them regularly and they have resumed normal service.
When I needed a woman shopper to appear in the shop scene, I remembered that one of my good friends from university Melanie Hutchings had told me she’d love to be in one of my films. I arranged for her to come in from London for her big scene and of course, like the natural that she is, she calmly listened to my direction and performed perfectly first time. Thinking ‘surely not, no one is that good the first time on camera’, I asked for a few more shots, just in case, and of course she was perfect in every single one of them. I am half tempted to use her in all my films. Instead of ‘spot Hitchcock in the film’, it could become ‘spot Melanie in the film’.
I am truly grateful for Gisele Yoh of Airs and Graces, the wedding shop in Berkhamsted. Gisele trusted me straight away and gave me the keys to her shop for a whole Sunday without worrying about the damage we might make to her shop or to her stock of very white, very valuable wedding dresses.
My leadership development work in organisations consists in changing mindsets and creating experiences that help leaders feel and therefore act differently. I find that I use very similar skills in film-making. As I am not yet earning a living from filmmaking, I have a found a balance that works for now by working four days a week and reserving a day a week for filmmaking.
I actually don’t know how it might be to produce a film with a bigger budget, so a very small crew and little equipment feels normal to me. If you asked me my one wish, it would be to find a producer who believes in my style and wants to make the same sorts of films I want to make. And yes of course, it would be nice to make some money some day!
Shot over 2 days, 45 man days of work, $ 2,100 total budget (shared amongst cast and crew)
Yes. I first read about filmmaking for about 2 years before I took the dive and booked myself on the 5 day filmmaking course at the New York film Academy in beautiful Florence, Italy in 2006. At the end of the workshop, I loved filmmaking even more than before and was completely hooked. I have spent the rest of my time since learning the filmmaking craft by trying my hand at making different sorts of films (documentary, tribute, training, corporate) and making many mistakes I will never make again. This is my first fiction film since the silent short I produced at the New York Film Academy workshop, so I am very pleased that my first proper short has already taken me to Hollywood!
I hope to make both fiction and non-fiction films. For fiction, I want to make intelligent and enjoyable romantic comedies and dramas. If I could emulate both Nora Ephron and Susanne Bier, I’d be very happy. I generally believe that women are a market with a huge potential for growth with digital distribution models that now cater for in living-room viewing. For non-fiction, I want to make films that make viewers connect emotionally with a level of truth of the human experience that brings about an attitude or mindset change. In both cases, I hope that my films will be impactful and enjoyable.
I have an idea for a full-length romantic comedy that I hope to be co-writing with Aileen as we both very much enjoyed co- writing together on ‘One in a Million’. But the energy for making a documentary is also there. I may end up doing both!
Helen recently completed the dramatic feature First Light (www.ferventfilms.co.uk). Other film work includes lead roles in: The Bridge and Without A Face (both www.stubblefilms.com); the award winning The Leafcatcher (Vevey, Edinburgh and London Short Film Festivals); Lyddie (BBC/Wall to Wall); Wild Horses (Yorkshire Television), and Things You Do For Love (ITV). Recent stage work includes The Tempest (Ariel) and Last of the Red Hot Lovers (Jeanette) and the London production of The Lieutenant of Inishmore. www.helenheaslip.com
Susan has just finished her first feature film First Light (www.ferventfilms.co.uk). She works mostly in the theatre. Other credits include: The Bear (King's Head Theatre), Bodyclock, TimeOut's Critics Choice ***** (White Bear Theatre), From Both Hips (Old Red Lion Theatre), Informed Consent (Jermyn Street Theatre) and Last of the Red Hot Lovers (Bridewell Theatre).
This is the second time Helen Heaslip & her have played sisters. The first being in the London premiere of Mark O' Rowe's From Both Hips (2007 Old Red Lion Theatre). "Mildly lunatic monologues like the one that opens the play, call for a quirky depth of acting which Susan Bracken's Liz does provide" TimeOut review Aug '07.
Theatre includes: Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Kents Cavern), Twelfth Night, The Proposal, Romeo & Juliet, As You Like It, From Both Hips (C Company); Antony & Cleopatra (Globe); The Shadow of a Gunman ,The Quare Fellow (Tricycle); This Lime Tree Bower (Belgrade Theatre, Coventry/Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh); The Lieutenant of Inishmore (RSC); Gym & Tonic (Hull Truck); Juno & The Paycock (Leicester Haymarket) TV & Film: One in a Million, Bubble Gum Junkies, The Challenge, Safe, Apple Sauce. Radio: Vostok, Belongings, It’s Enough to Believe You’re in Danger, The Shadow of a Gunman.
Aileen is an actor, writer and theatre director. She trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama. As an actor, Aileen’s film credits include: Such a Long Journey Dir. Sturla Gunnerson, I Love My Mum Dir. Alrick Riley, Forty Days of Mourning Dir. Aamina Ahmed. TV credits include: Holby City, Doctors, London’s Burning, Judge John Deed, Chucklevision.(BBC) Theatre credits include: Nora in A Doll’s House (Young Vic) ,Cordelia in King Lear (Orange Tree), Mishti in Skeleton (Soho Theatre), Hecuba (RSC).
“I got involved with this project along with the other actors to discover more about making film and to test the way that we work (a unique process inspired by the Meisner technique) on film. Could we have alive, moment to moment performances on film, when you have to recreate so much and when so many of the given circumstances are so fixed? It has been a real learning experience from co-writing with Myrna, to assistant directing on the day and to discovering the magic and joy of editing!”
See also her bio in the crew section for Aileen’s writing and directing credits.
Melanie Jane Hutchings
Melanie Jane Hutchings is a friend of Myrna Jelman’s and has never appeared on film before this occasion. She wishes to renew the experience!
Co-writer/assistant director/assistant editor
Aileen is an actor, writer and theatre director. Aileen has written Church Ladies an afternoon play for (Radio 4) and Tracy Beaker (BBC) as well as various stage plays.
Aileen was Assistant Director to Tim Supple on Midnight’s Children and Greg Doran on All’s Well That Ends Well (both RSC). Aileen directed the RSC Youth Ensemble in A Winter’s Tale and A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Courtyard Theatre in Stratford Upon Avon, as well as over 25 productions for C Company of mainly Shakespeare.
She is currently Artistic Director of Butterfly working on site specific productions around the UK and the director of the MA in Acting at Arts Educational Schools, London.
Myrna Jelman And Susan Bracken On Opening Night
Myrna Jelman And Susan Bracken
Feel Good Film Festival
Helen Heaslip and Susan Bracken
Helen Heaslip and Nick Danan
Helen Heaslip and Susan Bracken
Myrna with crew member
Susan Bracken, Myrna Jelman and Helen Heaslip
Myrna with crew member
Myrna with crew members