The Naked Lunch was one of those ideas that just hit me, and I started laughing. I had the image of this guy confronted with unexpected nudity, and his girlfriend being a bit mischevious. The bee came later...
I wrote the script initially thinking that I would use a voice over, but rejected that not long after when I realised that it was superfluous. Casting didn't take long - I'd wanted to work with Alex for a while, and being the shameless hussy that he is, he was all too willing to take his clothes off. I'd met Alexia when she was doing an acting for the screen course that I was filming, and when I asked her if she minded being naked, she said no.
I introduced the two of them to each other, and within about five minutes they were an item.
Casting is all about chemistry.
I put an open call out on Shooting People asking for actors who didn't mind being naked, and Amanda and Gil were both a real find, and a joy to work with. This being a Straight 8 film it was important to find actors who could nail it in one take, as there would be no opportunity for re-shoots. Everyone nailed it on the day.
We went up to shoot at my parent's house in Aylesbury (thankfully they went away for the weekend), and spent the entire Saturday shooting the film in sequence.
Trying to get the sound to sync to the action is always a challenge with Straight 8 films, and we tried to match it by filming on mini DV besides the super 8 camera, so the DV would pick up the sound of the shutter, and we'd be able to work out timings later. It kind of worked.
I'd prepared the shoot by storyboarding all the shots, and then cutting them together in Final Cut Pro to give us a guide for the timings, although we squeezed in the extended ending on the day. I was gutted that we ran out of film just before we got a shot of Alex driving away revealing a numberplate with 'THE END' written on it.
God knows what the postman must have thought, who arrived just as we were shooting the scene where Amanda opens the door to Alex and Alexia. He didn't say anything - just handed over the letters in a fairly stunned silence, and went on his way.
We'd kept the bee in the fridge until it was ready for it's close up, although I still think I may have shot him a little early. He still looks pretty lethargic.
My long term collaborator Sid Merrett put together the excellent soundtrack to the film. It premiered at the Rushes Film Festival in 2004.