After attending the Werner Herzog workshops I decided enough was enough and I needed to start making films. I’d been building my businesses for 6 years at various locations across Europe (the reason for setting up the businesses in the first place was so that it would provide me with an independent source of finance to make movies, so I didn’t have to go through the usual funding rounds). This was a clear goal from the outset, but the business was getting successful and required more of my time.
So 6 months after the Herzog workshops, I’d set up the production company, had finance in place and began pre-production and filming.
The Mother was shot on location in Southern Poland with filming completed in September 2012; we shot the film in Poland because the cost options were very favorable, not to mention the incredible
industrial landscape in Silesia. The film is currently in post, we have a number of interested sales agents and begin the rounds of festivals and taking the film to market; With the momentum we
are now scouting locations between Poland and Sweden for the next film due for production late 2013; The Guerilla film handbook has been invaluable in terms of practical issues dealing with sales
and related issues around distribution, I also really like the case studies section;
Lee Mackintosh Jones
For further information www.matkafilm.com
Lee Mackintosh Jones is one of the UK’s leading environmental scientist’s, a theatre director and a film maker. Born in Benbecula Outer Hebrides, Scotland. Was invited to Poland to direct Macbeth in Silesian Theater in Katowice. He lives between Poland and London. A graduate of the Werner Herzog Film School. Lee has directed numerous theatre plays in London, and directed TV drama at the BBC. His theatre credits include: GOB, Whiskey In a Jar, Polar Bears, Macbeth. Matka (The Mother) is his first feature.
Whilst working on a play in London, about the complexity of family relationships, and as part of my research I’d come across a photo of a woman who seemed to me to be full of contradictions, a distressed physical presence yet there was this calmness to her, a distance, so one starts asking questions, who is she, what does she do, is she married, is she a mother? This was the trigger for the story and of course I was then intrigued and continued asking more of these types of questions about her, then slowly a drama begins to unfold, an energy where by you simply have to do something about this idea. So once I had the an outline of the characters I began the writing process, but I wanted to create a sense of unpredictability, a sense that none of the characters are in control of their own destiny, incidentally, this is the thing that binds them together, the actors input during the rehearsal process, aided by the research and visiting the locations prior to filming also added greatly to final scripted version as we were uncovering new things, new points of reference with which to explore in greater detail.
The film essentially deals with consequence, if you keep doing the same then you’ll keep getting the same outcome, this was the challenge for the mother character in the film. Cinematically we wanted to create a doc style narrative, not to highlight small details through the structure, to skim over the details in the hope that they will then become key elements of the film, we are just following the events as they unfold, I didn’t want anything to interfere with the audience connection for the characters. I heard a saying from a Polish artist who said make a film like a sculpture that you have to enter, to be inside of, where everything there is important, that’s my goal for the film.