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Interview : TF1 'Sarah's Room'. Hanna Standbridge on Acting in a Micro Budget Feature

Originally from an article written by Neil Rolland in 2014

Hanna Stanbridge plays the mysterious, manipulative title character in Sarah’s Room.

Please tell us a little about yourself and how you go involved inSarah’s Room?

Scottish born and bred I have been lucky enough to work with Grant previously on a 48 hour film competition entry, the feature film Christmas Hear Kids.

A year or so later Grant contacted me directly saying he had a script he’d love to work with me on. I love working in Scotland though I’ve now relocated to London and have recently finished a play at the wonderful Play, a Pie & a Pint Season at Glasgow’s Oran Mor.

In 2010 I played the young female lead in her first Horror FeatureOutcast. This role won me BAFTA Scotland’s New Emerging Talent and Edinburgh International Film Festival’s Trailblazer Awards.

Fortunately for me, the tail end of last year saw me back in the horror genre with Let Us Prey which has not only the brilliant Liam Cunningham but a wonderful array of Scottish talent from Johnny Watson to Bryan Larkin. I’ve been luckily enough to work in TV and on stage but film is where my heart lies.

Please tell us a bit about your character?

Sarah is a complete enigma. She is strong, confident, loving…a lot of positive characteristics. Unfortunately these are either overshadowed or used in the wrong way by her manipulative, controlling, dangerous traits.

How did you prepare for this shoot? How did it differ from any other film you have worked on?

As I was in London, Grant and I managed to discuss the character via telephone and emails (the joys of the 21st C!!) It was great to make decisions through discussing the character at length and Grant was great and bouncing ideas off of. The shoot was completely different from others as we suddenly decided on the first day of shooting to not use the script, using rehearsals just before each scene to see what we could improve on or what made more sense. The story changed dramatically from the original script. This was a wonderful way to work. It was so exciting to see what would develop. It was scary and challenging in a good way

How difficult was it to make a film in 5 days?

There are always time issues on any shoot, whether you have two days to shoot or a month you always get to the last day and cram a bit in at the end and come out thinking, ‘if only we had just a few more days”. I think that’s one of the challenges of film making…so many creatives on one set means everyone wants the absolute best, no one will settle for “that’ll do”.

What have you learned from your experience on Sarah’s Room?

That knowing your character inside out is imperative. Then you can just trust that even if the script is taken away it’ll be fine…ish!

What advice would you give to anyone considering taking part in a low-budget Scottish feature film?

Don’t think of it as a low-budget job…its a job. It needs as much if not more preparation than any other job because you’ll have one guy doing the lights and being the runner so just knowing you know you’re part inside means you can concentrate on doing the best job you can while others run about in a panic.

By Neil Rolland.

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