• Simon Roptell


I believe there is a magic in art and in film making it comes when a character you penned, comes to life and roars, really roars right at you. I had initially conceived the character of the King to be someone much older and greyer than Gary Boulter. I wanted a father for the role, a grandfather, a King that has seen Kingdoms fall and the castle around him decay. I wrote pages of monologue with relish and I screen tested many, but I didn’t have my King, not the way I dreamed it.

Then Gary’s head-shot popped up in my casting inbox. His hair was dark, so he didn’t have the years and his age on paper anyway reflected this. But his show-reel showed great range and comic timing. I instantly knew I liked this actor. We communicated and I sent him through an excerpt or two and he filmed himself, sent it through and I was blown away. The King may not have had the years but he had the mileage. Here was my character at not even 50 but was as deep and as feudal worn as anyone could be. He knew the beats, knew the humour and he sang the lines.

When you take on the role of editing a graphically rich piece as this, you are in it for the long hall. There are monologues and takes of Gary that last well beyond the five minute mark and I am riveted. Moments like this take you away from the production. You forget you are the writer, director, editor and you become the audience and this is where the magic for the filmmaker resides. All hail this art!


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