Sound Asleep, the comedy short film I have been writing, producing and directing, has finally wrapped! It stars Danny John-Jules (The Cat from Red Dwarf).


Long time coming – here’s how it went and lots of photos.

After 4 producers, 4 casting directors, 3 art directors, 3 times finalist for funding, 3 locations, 2 Directors of Photography, 2 builds, a gruelling kickstarter, and just one resilient director, in December I flew to Spain to shoot it.

Nadaav Soudry director with Danny John-Jules, the Cat from Red Dwarf, on the set of Sound Asleep Film
Nadaav with Danny John-Jules on the set of Sound Asleep

Director and crew head to Spain

The project had been struggling in the UK. Our budget prevented us from being able to afford both the set build costs and the studio space to build it in at UK prices. In Spain we not only managed to resolve that but also engage the exceptional art director, Marcelo Renieblas Paredes.

Coming with me was Emmy Award winning Director of Photography Franklin Dow (of Oscar nominated documentaries Virunga and White Helmets) and camera assistant Naomi Hancock. Producer Dino Webber, production assistant Nick Gaven and runner Kristen Abel drove the van of SLV film equipment, and a generator loaned by Warner Brothers from London to Madrid.

Arriving on set in Madrid

We arrived at the film studio on the outskirts of Madrid to see the amazing set Marcelo and his team had been building. It was a thrill to see Dean’s flat become reality. An odd, hyper real, anachronous reality. Perfect for this quirky comedy.

Sound Asleep Film, Nadaav Soudry, Franklin Dow, Marcello Renieblas Paredes
Nadaav and the crew during the set build

The crew got together and we put the finishing touches to the set and started pre-lighting. When Red Dwarf’s Danny John-Jules arrived, we began a brief rehearsal.

Danny John-Jules on the set of Sound Asleep
Danny John-Jules on the set of Sound Asleep directed by nadaav soudry

Danny is an amazing presence to work with. Years of experience and natural talent meant he was unlike any actor I have worked with. He brought precision, skill, comedy timing and wit to the role beyond my expectations. With no one to bounce off on screen, the film really benefits from his inspiring performance and commitment.

Short Film – Long Days

There’s no point in hiding from it – this was always going to be a tough shoot. A £250,000 film made for £10,000. Days were long, conditions were not glamorous, and Madrid in winter is cold! Much colder than us Brits anticipated!

The team really pulled together. Danny’s performance, Marcelo’s set and Frank’s lighting coming together on screen inspired everyone to give everything they’ve got.

Nadaav Soudry director and Franklin Dow Cinematographer on the set of Sound Asleep
Nadaav and DoP Franklin Dow plan the next shot
Nadaav Soudry Director, Franklin Dow Cinematographer and the crew of Sound Asleep film
Nadaav and the crew on set
Danny John-Jules and Marina H on the set of Sound Asleep, directed by Nadaav Soudry
Danny John-Jules and makeup artist Marina H

International Film Crew

Working with a foreign crew has challenges; the language barrier primarily. This was overcome with a mixture of patience, drawings and google translate, as well as the efforts of bilingual 1st Assistant Director Josemari Martínez. By the final day, it was barely evident anymore and British DoP Frank Dow finally remembered his Spanish gaffer’s name. (Thanks for your patience Adolfo!).

Director Nadaav Soudry, Danny John-Jules and the crew of Sound Asleep watch playback on the set of Sound Asleep Short Film
Nadaav, Danny John-Jules, Naomi Hancock and Marcelo Renieblas Paredes anxiously watch playback to see how the practical effects worked.
PC133381-copy.jpg Danny John Jules in makeup on the set of Sound Asleep, with makeup artist Marina H, writer and director Nadaav Soudry
Danny John-Jules in makeup
Nadaav and the crew

The final shots were a triumph. All the departments came together and pulled everything out of the bag. As Marcello’s set was blown up, Danny’s character stumbled through his wrecked home. Marina H’s makeup was spot on, smoke and lighting was perfect, props fell at just the right moment, and even the dog barked on cue. We had one chance at that closing shot, and we nailed it.

Exhausted but satisfied, all that was left was to pack up the van and get back to London, in time for a well earned Xmas break.

Nadaav Soudry director on the set of Sound Asleep film
Nadaav relaxes after a good final take on the set of Sound Asleep

Edit and Post-Production

As I write this, Nick is busy completing the log and we are preparing for the edit. There’s still a lot to do. Edit, vfx, grading, foley, music and sound design. Plus a few pickup shots we need to get in London. We believe this will be a really special piece so we’re not going to hurry – we couldn’t afford to even if we wanted to!

Thanks to all the kickstarter backers and friends and supporters of the project. You can keep an eye on the film’s progress on our kickstarter and facebook.

Sound Asleep

Starring: Danny John-Jules

Producer / Director / Writer / Editor: Nadaav
Producer: Dino Webber
Director of Photography: Franklin Dow
1st Assistant Director: Josemari Martinez
Art Director: Marcelo Renieblas Paredes
Sound Recordist: Juan Carlos “Charlie” Arribas
Gaffer: Adolfo Berzosa Rodriguez
Makeup Artist: Marina H
Costume: Sammm Agnew
Original Music: Rich House
Camera Assistant: Naomi Hancock
Art Department Assistant: Luis Morales
Production Assistant: Nick Gaven
Runner: Kristen Abel
Dog Trainer: Mariano Galán
Cuddles the dog: Cavatina
Logo Design: Peter Ayres

The cast and crew of Sound Asleep, starring Danny John-Jules