Roseanna: “From Harry Potter to music videos”

Well what can I say? Well firstly, Manuel, thank you for doing this video was so much fun, and giving me the opportunity to work with you, allowing me to learn more about how it’s all done!

So I am Roseanna Brown, a singer, songwriter, teacher and actress (I like to think). I have always had a passion for music since I can remember so I want to be able to do everything that I can in it. I love writing music not just for myself but other artists; it’s just too much fun to even explain. I teach piano and singing and love every single moment of it. I also act and do film work, more recently and over the past few years I have been in the Harry Potter films; it’s such a great experience and I think helped me to be able to perform in front of a camera (which is harder to do than it looks).

I met Manuel de Teffé firstly in Rome when I was about 13, when he was working with my father on a music video for a boy band called Wot Nxt. I’ve changed a lot since then but the passion for music just grew stronger, so when he asked me to do a video I jumped to the opportunity.  I’m an excitable, bubbly person who always loves to laugh so you can imagine how much laughing and joking around went on, but I still worked hard, I promise. At the same time I had teaching and I was doing a performance of Carmen Jones, and Harry Potter filming, but somewhere in there, there was more than enough to do this too, I wasn’t going to let it pass me!

It’s very different to working on set at Harry Potter. On set there are over 100 people at a time smaller depending on the scene you are doing and there is a lot more waiting around and checks. It’s a great laugh chatting and getting to know the cast and crew too. They are very precise with what they want from us to the point where we did a wand camp so we knew exactly how to fight with spells and the moves you use with them, attacking and blocking. I have made some of my best friends there and will always keep them close to me.

Manuel told me one day ‘we need to get you a boyfriend’ at the time I was a little confused, so I rang up my actual boyfriend asking if he knew anyone to replace him for a few days to be in the video, but I had already thought of Sam to do it. I have worked with him in many shows so I knew we would have a good connection and be able to work together and he would also be professional enough with the time frame we had to get everything we had to do. Hey presto! We did it.

I wanted to make sure that in the video there was a sense of knowing that the past is the past and the future always holds something new and amazing that you don’t expect, that things that have always been there for you, like your family, will never go away and hold you close no matter the mistakes you make. I found this almost a challenge, trying to completely bring across what I wanted from the song to the video and I hope that I did it justice. It’s the most fun yet hard work I have done, and well worth it.

It all wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for Manuel though. Having to work and put up with me with all my jokes, but he truly made the video to what it is, helping me to get into the song more to try and bring across it’s messages.  I have to Thank you Manuel for thinking of me for this and for putting up with me for the weeks we did this. It looks great!!! I cannot thank you enough.  I hope you all like it too!

Introducing Sam Burn

A huge hello to whoever is reading this post. My name is Sam Burn, and I am an aspiring actor currently studying Theatre and Drama at the University of Essex. I’ve just turned twenty years of age, and with my teenage years left behind me comes the yearning for new challenges and experiences. Working with Manuel de Teffé has been one of those new experiences, and acting under his direction has been an uttermost pleasure.

I’m guessing you’re wondering how I came to meet and work with Manuel, I was actually very lucky in my honest opinion. My old friend Roseanna Brown, who I’m sure you have heard of if you follow this blog, contacted me asking if I would like to act in a music video for one of her songs that of which Manuel was directing. I had just returned home after finishing my first year of University, and naturally the idea of acting in a music video interested me as it was something I had never done before. I accepted the offer and was given the times and dates of filming, and that was that. I didn’t know that Manuel was directing, or what I was expected to do upon set, but I was still excited and eager to start the process.

In the past I had not done much film acting and the majority stage, so my initial thoughts dwelled upon how to act in front of a camera, and how different it would be compared to stage acting. From these thoughts I prepared myself mentally, as I would do if I were acting in the theatre. My character as I later found out was the boyfriend of Roseanna’s character who had split up with her. The song is all about remembering a better time when the two of them were together, and showing how the break up happened. The way I imagined my character was as a calm, chilled individual, who just floats around on a breeze, a sort of free spirit if you will. Manuel gave me the direction I needed to shape the character, and from this I flourished. There was really no explanation on how the break up actually came to be, so in my mind I just imagined a situation: Keeping a calm and cool demeanour, my character just got bored and decided to move on to another girl, just telling Roseanna’s character outright, not caring about her emotions. I feel I played it well, and was shocked when Manuel stated in a certain scene I looked just like James Dean or Tom Cruise in Top Gun, a very flattering compliment indeed!

The process of filming the video seemed to go quite quickly. It only took place over two days for me, and although they were long days filled with location changes, travelling, and waiting for the sun to show its face, it was still very enjoyable. Shooting in London for me on the second day was a personal highlight, as spirits among everyone were high due to the location and positive reaction of the general public. I feel filming could not have been better, and was brilliant the way it was, apart from when I got a rash on my legs from wading around in a wheat field for an hour. Oh well, you must suffer for your art.

As an actor, I have been under the command of many directors, and I can safely say that Manuel falls under the rare category of directors that are both good at what they do, but also have a sense of humour. Again, he is one of the few directors I have worked with who I truly respect, a pro who knows what he wants, and knows what he is doing. I would very much like to work with him again in the future, and would encourage anyone else to do so. You will not find a nicer guy so focused on his work, I’m guessing it’s because he’s Italian.

If you’re still with me and are reading this, I thank you. You’ve managed to sit through and read my shambolic sentence structure and grammar without closing the page. I would like to thank Manuel once again for putting up with me for two days, and hope he enjoyed himself as much as I did.

So for now my friends, Arrivederci.

Sam