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28 October 2014

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Illuminating What

Behind the Scenes of 'Small Dark Places'

Illuminating Small Dark Places | split screen

'Illuminating Small Dark Places' is a BBC documentary about the creation of the film 'Small Dark Places', which is scheduled to be shown on BBC Three in late 2008.  The documentary was commissioned by the BBC alongside the film as part of a Multiplatform Media Training Project.

The documentary explores the filmmaking process and this website intends to answer some of the questions a budding filmmaker might have about what it's like to make a documentary.

A mixture of interviews, fly-on-the-wall footage, and film clips, the documentary focuses on several key characters involved in the making of 'Small Dark Places', with writer/director Susie Watson at the centre.

The crew were Christopher Lee Ball as Director and Producer, Rachael BernSousa as Producer and Editor, David Biswell as Camera Operator, and Karen Payne as Production Coordinator.  For several months beginning in April 2007 we attended every meeting and discussion, kept tireless watch on the set, and spoke to just about everyone involved in the production.  Like the 'Small Dark Places' crew, we completed all the work in our own time, balancing busy day jobs with a passion for creating the documentary, often sacrificing our early mornings, lunches, and evenings.  By the end, we had captured over 50 hours of footage covering:

  • 4 months of preproduction
  • 5 days on the set
  • The film's premiere
  • Dozens of interviews

This is your chance to find out more about the documentary and the film it explores, in the particularly postmodern enterprise that is a film about a film.  Our crew followed the same developmental path as the film itself:  preproduction, production, and postproduction, and you can follow along, too.  For clarity’s sake, and in an attempt to make the differences between the making of 'Illuminating Small Dark Places' and 'Small Dark Places' clearer, for the documentary we'll simply call these phases 'Getting Ready', 'Filming', and 'Putting It All Together', respectively.  Want to know more?  Go to 'Getting Ready' to see how we geared up.

Learn more

Creating the documentary:


Illuminating Small Dark Places | sound recorder

Find out more about how we did it


Illuminating Small Dark Places | film crew

Meet those who were involved

Related links | Small Dark Places

Learn more about the film:

The Project

Small Dark Places | Graham from Graham & Alice

How it all came about

The Story

Small Dark Places | Lady Welling

What are Small Dark Places?

Susie Watson

Small Dark Places | Susie Watson

Director, Small Dark Places

Kathleen McLynn

Small Dark Places | Kathleen McLynn

Producer, Small Dark Places

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