Tuesday, 15 December 2009


Hello, to introduce myself, my name is Tom Stuart, and I am working with Alex Barrett and Christine Hartland to produce the feature film of Life Just Is.

On Sunday 13th December 2009 we made our way to the ICA in Central London to read through the script with 7 magnificent actors. To hear the script read aloud brought the characters to life and threw new light on the whole story. We were extremely lucky to have a talented group of performers who brought all their experience and imagination to play in the world of the script. Not only that they were perhaps the first collective audience of Life Just Is, and as such they became critics in the discussion following the read through. Getting actors involved in the creative process is a really superb development tool that is no doubt sorely underused by the UK Film Industry. A read through usually only happens once the film has been cast and production is imminent, often very late in the day, meaning any subsequent changes may be rushed and under pressure. A film script is hugely complicated and the process of making the film is inherently collaborative, so ultimately the earlier and more generous the feedback and co-operation, quite frankly the better.

Alex responded bravely to the honest but constructive thoughts and feelings of the actors. Taking the proverbial bull by the horns we met on Monday 14th at the BFI. We spent 3 hours analysing the drift of the discussion and picking apart what we felt was important, so that Alex might be best prepared for further work on his script in the light of this intelligent audience opinion. The aim is to enable a good script to become a great script. I thoroughly recommend a read through to any and every filmaker interested in writing the best script they possibly can, and as a member of the ICA you get a world class arts venue for free! An experience that is both invaluable and stylish.

I think this read through has been the biggest creative boost to the project since my involvment. I am very excited by the prospect of a new draft of Life Just Is, which Alex is aiming to produce in the New Year. Indeed 2010 promises to be a great year in the evolution of Life Just Is, so watch this space.

- Tom

The cast of the ICA Lab with producer Tom Stuart and writer/director Alex Barrett. Back row (left-right): Tom Stuart, Nicola Raby, Rebecca Eve, Shane Zaza, Nicholas Banks, Matthew Thrift. Front row (left-right): Charlotte Workman, Matt Prendergast, Alex Barrett.

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