Hi, this will be brief as I don’t have much time. When the marathon obsession of the Great British Bake Off appears on the horizon, I revisit the world of The Cake Maker movie and feel inspired to reconnect. Get baking, writing, creating and eating. Yes, its that time again, August 24th…
Where did it all begin? It was way, way back in 2007 when I won £1500 from Images of Black Women Film Festival for my short film, Shantell Town. The money was to go towards another short film, but I’d just been shortlisted to make a £10,000 short with B3 Media. My script was chosen and after several drafts of development, we made Enter The Preacher in 2008. After two heavily, stylised films I wanted to go back to basics. This was now 2009 and the prize money still hadn’t produced another film. I went to Cannes Short Film Corner with Enter The Preacher and was inspired by the other filmmakers I met. Two women imparticular. They’d been Cannes the previous year with a short and returned with a feature. I was like, “I’m gonna do that”. I came back from Cannes with attitude: “I’m not asking. I’m telling”, “Taking control of my destiny”. Proper fighting talk.
Another thing I took from Cannes was the name Aristotle. Before going to Cannes my future-husband met a guy called Aristotle who was from Cannes. He told us he’d be there for the festival and we met up. I thought if this guy can be called Aristotle, then so can one of my characters. A normal person can have an amazing name, that is probably a part of their journey.
With The Cake Maker, I wanted to love making films and find my reason for doing it.
The Cake Maker Recipe #2 – The Script
Currently working out my company accounts, I have to admit I felt a little depressed about how much money I’ve spent whilst not earning anything. Since filming The Cake Maker in February 2010, I’ve been a full-time mother raising my two children who are now five and three.
At one point last year, I had to sit down and reflect on my choice of career. Ask myself why I chose to do this and was it the best way to raise a family. Applying for the Women and Film Television Mentoring Scheme, allowed me to take stock of where I was and where I wanted to be in the future. The conclusion I came to was that if anything, I’m teaching my children to pursue their dreams and I wouldn’t be happy doing anything else. I realised I was actually very lucky having a clear goal in life.
The basics of every day living, like earning money, is what keeps so many people out of film. Having heard it so many times, I accept making money is challenging. Surviving is the reality. We have to think of new ways to generate income from our content. But I’ve never allowed a lack of money prevent me from doing what I wanted to do. I’ve never had any money so that would have meant no university, no going to America to study for a month and no to making films.
Yes, there is a lot of putting your hand in your own pocket, but as my brother ( also my accountant) pointed out. When I start making money, I can offset a lose against the profit.
I’m Paulette Caletti, creator of The Cake Maker movie. I’ve worked in production since 2001 and during that time freelanced with Callbox Diary for five years.
Having recently been a speaker at Underwire Freelancing 101, I came away thinking I should have given better tips. So here are my rapid fire top ten tips. Some of this may seem very obvious but it’s worth repeating.
- Knock on doors – it’s great to be able to put a face to a CV, so pop in and introduce yourself.
- Prompt invoicing – equals prompt pay. Production staff are also freelancers so may only be around one week after the job.
- Make good tea – you can tell a lot about someone by how they make tea.
- Don’t be late – nothing worse than being late to a shoot.
- Relax – when you’re sharing a small office space, you become very aware of any tension.
- Be professional – always arrive ready to work.
- Be nice – happy, helpful, keen people always wanted.
- It’s fine to say no – you don’t have to take every job you’re offered.
- E-mail confirmation – proof of the job and pay.
- Have fun! – it’s great being your own boss so enjoy the freedom.
We can’t be all things every day, so if you have a bad day remember there’s always tomorrow.
Underwire Festival Programme Launch – 30th September 2015 7pm
The film was shot in our rented flat five years ago where we still live. We’re still on set and this is The Cake Maker kitchen, #CMMKitchen.
Today I’m working on new images for the film. These could just be a test, but if they’re good enough I’ll use them for the poster. Money of course is an issue so I’m using my Nikon Coolpix camera. The i-phone 6 is good for testing out different filters. Because the film’s being released online, I don’t have to worry about printing. I just need a brand image to use across social media platforms.
Stefan Lubomirski de Vaux shot behind the scenes photos during the shoot. To promote the film I need a poster to convey what the story is about. The Cake Maker is a gangster-thriller with baking elements.
Great! I really want to get started and share how we made the film. This blog will talk about the journey from way back in 2009 and lead us up to current events. I never thought I’d still be talking about cakes six years later, but that’s the beauty of discovering your path.
After every film I make, I always say I’ll learn from it and not make the same mistakes twice. Unfortunately most of the time I forget to write things down, thus making the same mistakes. This blog will help me take note of my methods and by sharing them hopefully be of use to others.
I love learning from other filmmakers’ experiences and the jump from shorts to features is a big step, but once you’ve done it other aspects of the industry make more sense.
This blog will discuss the four corners of The Cake Maker movie: gangsters, cakes, Brixton and film.