Co-production: Impact on the Artist

The short film ‘Eggshells‘ was co-produced with women with lived experience of domestic abuse and coercive control. Here the professional artists who supported the making of the film talk about their involvement and the impact of the work on their artistry. 

Made By Mortals has been working with women living with domestic abuse to coproduce the short film, Eggshells, to raise awareness of non-physical domestic abuse in older adults.  Shot on location in Greater Manchester, a team of professional actors, artists and production crew came together to turn the women’s lived experience into the final film.

The cast and crew usually work with ideas, scripts and stories imagined and created by others working in the creative industries, so how did it make a difference to the artists on Eggshells, to work on bringing people’s actual lived experience to life?

Photo by Daniel Browne

“Working on the short film ‘Eggshells’ was a privilege as a filmmaker…” Gino Evans, Film Director and Editor

Director and Editor of Eggshells, Gino Evans, talks about his work on the film:

 “Working on the short film ‘Eggshells’ was a privilege as a filmmaker, I learnt a lot about coercive control in older couples and the devastation it has on women’s lives.

Before I started on the production, Made By Mortals had worked with a group of older women that had experienced tremendous suffering from men who had used coercive control to abuse them. The group developed the emotive idea of walking on eggshells because this is how a lot of the women felt when they were being abused. Real examples of abuses were discussed and provided for the film. These elements, along with the main character trying to escape, formed the main body of the film.”

A Great Experience

Cia Allan, the actor who plays Elizabeth in Eggshells, discusses the impact of working on the film, “I really enjoyed working on the project. It was challenging for me as an actor to sustain the intense levels of emotion required, so it was a great experience. The storyline opened my eyes to the whole issue of coercive control and sadly, I have to say, I was able to recognise the scripted behaviours in the marriages of some people I know – two women with abusive husbands and one man with an abusive wife. I think it hugely increased my empathy with victims of this behaviour.”

Gino Evans continues, “When working on this project with Made by Mortals what came across straight away was the passion for making something meaningful that could strike a chord with women who are being abused and need help. In pre-production, everything was extensively thought out and discussed so it would be right for the film. We had to source a lot of eggshells, and Made by Mortals loved the Art Director’s suggestion of doing it sustainably by getting used eggshells from a local cafe (Thyme out, Didsbury).” Gino concludes, “There was a sense of making something important, and with all the pieces in place, I’m very proud of the final film. I hope it is shared far and wide and encourages women to seek help.”

Eggshells was commissioned by Oldham Safeguarding Adults Board, in partnership with Social Care and Society Manchester, and funded by The Ideas Fund, who is delivered by the British Science Association and funded by Wellcome.

Find out more…

Watch Eggshells and let the Made By Mortals team know how it impacted you in the comments section.

Read more about how our Hidden programme challenges people to walk in another person’s shoes.

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