Getting ready to shoot a scene

It’s been a very busy few weeks for 7 Days – the story of “Blind” Dave Heeley.

Although we now have several cast in place, we have decided to extend the casting process for the other roles, in order for us to view back through all the auditions sent in to us by interested actors – thank you to all who did so.  We had a great response to our casting calls and its taking a bit of time going through them all.

However, we’re pleased to announce, that among the parts that we have cast, is the role of the man himself, Dave Heeley.

It was always going to be an especially difficult job finding the right actor for this part, but we feel we have done just that.

Introducing Jack Lane as Dave Heeley.

Jack Lane is a London based actor who is currently touring with his critically acclaimed one man play Wisdom of a Fool which tells the life story of Sir Norman Wisdom. Jack not only plays Sir Norman, but all the other characters too!

It was during a performance of Wisdom of a Fool that our producer, Nigel Martin Davey spotted Jack as a potential for the role of Dave Heely and brought him to our attention.

When we saw some footage of Jack, we were impressed with his incredible versatility and the strong physical resemblance he has to Dave.

So, on the weekend of the 24th and 25th June, we set the wheels in motion on the filming with the Saturday set aside for the make-up test and publicity photos.

The initial make-up involved the use of a thin layer of latex to create wrinkles in the skin, but after testing out it out on camera, we decided to opt for the subtler technique of painting shading and highlights to create an illusion of a more aged face. This coupled with Jack’s ability to alter his physical appearance in a subtle yet noticeable way produced a result that was incredibly convincing on camera.

The next day it was time to get some scenes finally in the bag. The scenes we filmed were those featuring an 18-year-old Dave coming to terms with his impending blindness.

The usual amount of planning with shot lists and story-boarding ensured the day went as smoothly as could be expected and Jack was a real pleasure to work with.

Above: Planning is essential for any filming and helps to ensure a smooth shoot.

Jack stepping back in time to the 1970s.

Jack stepping back in time… and out in style.

It was also great to work again with two actors that we’d previously worked with before – Phil Heseltine (All That Remains) and Stuart Horobin (Genius).

Director Dominic Higgins getting the set just right before filming

Above:  The smoke machine is used to create atmospheric “haze” on set. This creates a more pleasing cinematic look by  flattening or fading out the background, which helps make the actors stand out more. It also enables us to create some really dramatic lighting.

Big thanks to our hard working crew for their part in making the day such a success too, and also a huge thanks to Lickey Parish Hall for allowing us to film some scenes on their premises and to Hillscourt Hotel for providing accommodation.

Of course a huge thank you also goes to Sir Doug Ellis whose support made this film possible.