With The End being screened on television and online this week, we asked director Ted Evans to reflect on making the film and how it changed his life. This is what he said:
It’s around this time three years ago when I got the nod to make The End under BSLBT’s Zoom Focus Short Film Scheme. This was to be my second film but in all honesty, it felt like my first.
G.A (Go Ahead) which I made as part of the Zoom scheme, was my first foray into making short films and the whole experience was like being at film school. I was learning how to make films, let alone how to be a director.
Even though G.A turned out to be something very different from what I had originally written, it was great fun and I was hungry for more. With The End, I had something that was rock set in my mind and I had a chance to really work on something I felt I knew quite a lot about.
(Above: Terry Edwards in The End)
It was a gamble with its large cast and the many set-ups, especially with the shoestring budget we had, but after three very successful years [of winning awards across the world] I think we did a great job of it.
I never knew what to expect with regards to the reaction of the film, I knew it would provoke a response but I wasn’t sure how the film would be received and I’ve quite simply have been blown away by the fact that the film has travelled so far and that so many people have seen it.
I got tweets from a neurosurgeon, Oscar winning actress Marlee Matlin, and I got emails from places like the university of Hamburg in Germany.
One high school teacher in the States showed the film to her class so that they could write an "Essay of Speculation" in which they are supposed to think about possible conclusions to an environmental or societal change.
I’ve received many touching messages from people who have changed their minds about their identity or who felt positive about their deaf children and want to show the film to them when they grow up. Never in my wildest dreams did I think this little film of ours would create such a response.
I’m really proud of the cast and crew, they did such a fantastic job. We’ve won a fair amount of awards* which is always an honour but I'm just so glad people still see the film.
I’m very excited about the EOP festival in Belgium which takes place next month. It looks massive and we are competing with amazing films from disabled filmmakers all over the world. I'm also really delighted to see the film at Crystal Palace International Film Festival - also next month.
This is, as far as I'm aware, our first solo introduction into a mainstream festival. The End was part of the Zoom screening at the East London Film Festival, which was also fantastic but here at CPIFF we are alone, amongst a strong collection of independent films and I’m just glad we are in there and that people outside of the deaf and disabled communities can see the film.
The film obviously means a lot to me and I’m lucky I got to make it at the right time. It asks the audience a lot of difficult questions and when writing the script, I was personally addressing these questions myself and because I knew how I, and perhaps other people, would feel about the issues surrounding those questions, we struck a chord with our audience as a result.
I feel it is a film that is both honest and relevant and that is partly the reason it has done well in my view. The End has definitely been the springboard for my career but I’ll work day and night to write another film that can outclass it.
The End is being shown on television and online here on the BSL Zone this week. Click here to watch it online, or tune in to: Community Channel at 2pm on Tuesday 15th October, 7.30pm on Thursday 17th October, and 7.30am on Saturday 19th October.