The unscripted flashback…

So… Halloween aside an exciting weekend just gone by. On Saturday we had arranged to shoot some stills of our lead actress in uniform for “Broken”, that would then be used as props in the film. A friend of mine and fellow short film-maker based in Southampton, Paul Bird, had acquired some modern British forces uniform on loan for us to use, and it was up to me to find a suitable background for the pictures.

Initially I thought I might just use a derelict building or something fairly vague, as I felt that as this was for photos only, to be used as background in the final film, I shouldn’t waste too much time and energy trying to find somewhere.  But then online I stumbled across ACF hospitality, a company who offer tank-driving experience days to businesses and individuals across the UK. It turns out they have a Bristol base, so I called them up and asked if we might be able to feature some of their military vehicles in the photos, and they seemed more than happy!

So now we were going to have an actual tank and all the correct uniform, it suddenly seemed a shame, and indeed a waste, that we were only shooting stills. So, initially dismissed at script stage, I quickly devised of a short sequence we could shoot inside the tank (where our Bristol locale as opposed to Iraq or Afghanistan would not be apparent!) that would match a monologue our main character delivers in the film, at present the only time we hear of what happened to her when she was injured.

My camera-man and producer Paul Dudbridge stepped in as a wounded soldier she is trying to save, then with the aid of some fake blood, a couple of large torches and some trace paper for diffusion, to aid our lighting in the darkened space, we got our shots!

It may be that in the edit we don’t end up using it, as it may not feel appropriate to do so, but I felt as all the ingredients were going to be there on this one day – we should at least give ourselves the option! And it was amazing how much it worked once we were actually inside the tank and the actress was in uniform.

I look forward to playing with the footage once the film is finished! And no matter what happens, it was great fun.

Paul and Lucy pose for photos atop an APC (Armoured Personnel Carrier)

From left, director Simon Pearce, producer/operator Paul Dudbridge & Lucy Harvey (Sarah)

The footage was shot using a Sony HDV Z1 camera shooting DVCam, which will be heavily graded and have a grainy, harsh look added to it in post-production, when inserted into the film.

“Broken” will be filmed on Digi-Beta.

“SHANK” Update

Just a quick one to say “SHANK” is now available to buy or rent on iTunes! £4.99 to buy, or £2.49 to rent.

Also, after 18 months on the festival circuit the film is still going strong  – with screenings about to take place in Switzerland & Finland in November. And of course the film is also still available on DVD. So please do check it out if you haven’t already!

Another big thanks to producer and writer Christian Martin who’s slaved away (and is still doing so) behind the scenes to market the film and who’s made it possible for so many diverse audiences around the world to see it!

Pearce Snr.

I’ve just completed a very exciting edit project, which was in fact a showreel for my dad Roger Pearce, an established camera operator who’s been working in film & TV for over 30 years.

Do check it out at

It was great fun getting to play with footage from the likes of “Casino Royale” (2006) and “The Mask of Zorro” (1997). I only hope one day my showreel can look that good!

Thanks to Lou Fargeot for designing the site (he also did this one), you can check him and his work out if you’re in need of a website at

Finally, I’m excited to confirm that Roger will be Director of Photography on my upcoming short “Broken”. I can’t wait to work with him!

“Broken” latest

I had a great production meeting Saturday with writer Chris and my producer Paul Dudbridge for the short. We managed to get one of our trickier locations locked and it looks like possibly a second now too – so just one more to go! I’ve also been speaking to a composer in the last week about doing the score for the film.

We did some further refining on the script and actually ended up losing a character. It was someone who became an aid of sorts to our heroine, who helped her to reconnect with a “normal” life, but we ultimately realised it was stronger in earlier drafts when she began to overcome this struggle on her own – so we decided to return to that. We also decided to up the “grit” and to take things a little darker….

In the meantime, Paul has just uploaded the two commercials we worked on together in North Wales to his website, so take a look at those if you get the chance – Paul directed and I operated on both which we shot back to back.

I will also be shooting his next short “Maria”, which we’ll be doing just a week before we start on “Broken.” His film is a dark drama which revolves around a teacher and pupil who form an unusual friendship…

In other news, the US co-producer of my directorial debut feature (“SHANK”), produced by Bonne Idée Productions, Robert Shulevitz, will be coming over to work on the short, so I’m very excited to work with him again. We’ll also be getting together to discuss an exciting new feature project… so watch this space!

Finally, saw two very good films recently – so if you haven’t seen them yet I can highly recommend both “Buried” and Ben Affleck’s “The Town”.

More updates soon as we continue prep and begin rehearsals.

Broken cast!

Just had a great day of auditions at the ITV West Studios in Bristol for new short “Broken”, I think it’s safe to say the film is cast. I haven’t workshopped with actors like that really since “SHANK” so felt great to do it again. We shoot for 3 days at the end of October so will now be sourcing our locations and assembling our crew whilst we start rehearsals with the main actors.

We’ve also just recently had the latest draft of the script in, this time from talented local writer Will Griffin, whose short “Winters End” was broadcast on ITV in 2008, and who did some doctoring for us and took a pass at Chris Marshfield’s original.

More on this project soon….

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Simon Pearce Blog


Here’s where to come for all the latest news on where Simon is, what he’s doing – and what he is shooting! Through this blog he’ll be keeping us updated on everything from the trials and tribulations of getting a film made, trying to make it as a young director, fighting for work as a freelancer, as well as keeping us abreast of all the news and information related to his latest production.

Check back regularly for updates.


News Archive

August 2019

Simon is now in pre-production on his next project – the short action/thriller “Officer Down”. Set amidst a divided country, with fear and civil unrest at it’s peak, the topical and pulse-pounding film tells the story of a young British police officer, Alex Trent, who must overcome his fears and bias to save an enemy that […]

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RT @punished_picnic: the problem with the availability of professional editing software is now any old twat feels empowered make a four hou…

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