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On The Table Read, “the best entertainment magazine in the UK“, filmmaker Rhys Freeman talks about his career, his production company, Toad Abode Productions, and his new project, Four Walls Of Us.

JJ Barnes editor of The Table Read online creativity, arts and entertainment magazine

Written by JJ Barnes

www.jjbarnes.co.uk

I interviewed Rhys Freeman about his life and career, the creative process that goes into his filmmaking, and his latest project, Four Walls Of Us.

Rhys Freeman on The Table Read
Rhys Freeman

When did you first realise you wanted to make films?

I spent a few years writing TV Pilots, Features and Shorts, never really knowing that they could be shot. It wasn’t until I realized that my writing could and needed to be transferred to the screen, that I realized I wanted to make films.

What is your favourite thing about films?

They help to unlock deep emotions and help people relate to stories. I love how familiar a story, or a scenario or character can be for the audience. That someone can sit there and see themselves being represented on the screen. Allowing people to take a step away from the real world and lose themselves in a story or became able to feel certain feelings, that the film has unlocked for them.

What classes or research did you take to support you in your filmmaking career?

None, I am self-trained. Reading through a variety of screenplays was something I spent and still spend a lot of time doing. Reading is a great learning opportunity when it comes to writing. Diving into Producing is the way I found myself learning about the role and I still learn in both aspects still.

What was your first film industry job?

Producer and writer of my first short film ‘Just Three Little Words’, that was made during lockdown. Which lead onto me creating my production company Toad Abode Productions Ltd.

Rhys Freeman on The Table Read
Rhys Freeman on set

What was your most recent film industry job?

A short film called ‘Don’t tell me’ Which my company co-produced. A brief overview of the short: When a young man receives an unexpected diagnosis. He goes against medical advice to spend time with his young family.

Capture video demos, tutorials, presentations, games and edit them quickly like a Pro.

Tell me a favourite experience in your career. Something that stands out in your memories and makes you want to find more experiences like it.

Cannes Film Festival would be at the top of my list of experience within my career so far. I was able to meet so many incredibly talented people. Promoting Toad Abode Productions to a wider audience and made some great connections, that lead to some interesting meetings, after the festival.

What was your toughest experience in your filmmaking career?

Shooting an online film during COVID called ‘Just three little words’. Directing over zoom is hard and a unique experience. Not being able to be physically there had it’s challenges but we were able to pull this short together and have a great time doing so.

It was an experience that myself and the actors keep in mind, now we are able to work back on sets and physically film with people. I am sure not to take being on set for granted, since that experience. But in having to shoot over Zoom, we found some great bloopers from the actors, which also made the experience a little easier at times.

What is the title of your current project?

A short film called ‘Four Walls of Us’, it is a very artsy and unique styled story, currently in pre-production. We also have some major projects in early development.

What inspired you to Four Walls Of Us?

I came across the script from a fellow writer who I have worked with for a few years. She came to me with the script and idea with her co-writer and I was hooked. I was inspired by the unique storytelling; how different the story is to so many that revolve around the topic of love and heartache. The dialogue, story and style really inspired me, I was drawn into the world straight away and wanted to add my own personal touch on it, through Producing and Directing, within Toad Abode Productions.

Rhys Freeman on The Table Read
Rhys Freeman on set

What is the main conflict of Four Walls Of Us?

The main conflict within the story is a broken relationship. How in life we don’t always get the happy ending, shown through a unique style, really displaying the art of movies.

How long did you spend in production?

We are currently in pre-production, so at the moment I couldn’t say how long we will spend in production.

Did you work with a writer, or write Four Walls Of Us yourself? Would you do the same again?

I worked alongside the two writers when they came to me with the script. I gave notes of improvement, and we had a variety of conversations about the characters and storyline. There wasn’t much that needed changing within the story, just a few ideas and tweaks that we all played around with. Working as part of a team with this script has been a lot of fun and we are excited to finish this final draft and begin the next phases of production.

How did you find your cast and what made you choose them?

At this time, we haven’t thought about cast. But I am looking forward to casting for the two main roles within the next few months.

How big was your crew? Would you choose the same size again?

At the current stage of production, we have 4 crew members. Once we go into production, we will have a minimum of 6 crew members, working on the shoot.

Rhys Freeman on The Table Read
Rhys Freeman

How did you find your locations?

We have a couple of exciting potential locations in mind that we think will really unlock the story. We use various places to look for locations, one being ‘Peerspace’.

Hit play on your imagination

Tell me some career goals. What would you like to achieve?

Pave the way for a more dynamic, diverse, and inclusive industry. Transparency is key. And to be able to support the growth of talent, freelance talent and rich story telling that has a wide societal impact.

Tell me something you were surprised by, something you had never realized about being a filmmaker.

As a producer the one thing that surprised me and what people I think may take for granted is how much leg work, development and prep has to be done to such a balanced and concise nature. It’s deep rooted, filmmaking, producing, directing etc has so much traffic around the centre of it and it’s a lot of hard, continuous work. Whether it’s budgeting or scheduling or script edits, everything is layered and has to be done slowly and precisely. There are no stereotypical hours to this job either.

What are words of advice you have for other aspiring filmmakers?

Put your head down and don’t listen to the noise, find your own voice and stories to tell. Find a team around you that support you and believe in your vision — people who are just as passionate and hard working as you are. A ‘no’ is always just a no, and it doesn’t mean ‘never.’ Trust in your own abilities.

Put all your links to your work and social media here so readers can find you:

https://pro.imdb.com/company/co0874565/?ref_=recent_view_3

https://www.toad-abode.co.uk

Twitter: @toadabodeltd21 @rhysfreemanscr1

Instagram: @toadabodeltd21 @rhysjfreeman

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