Can’t Hide It is an emotional docudrama that charts real-life. Directed by Grant Archer and Richard Miller, it’s a true story based on an experience with breast cancer. We caught up with Richard to ask how the film was made
D&CFilm: Can’t Hide It packs an emotional punch. Where did the story come from and do you have personal experience to the issues it touches on?
Richard Miller: It’s a true story based on my partner’s experience with breast cancer the year before. This made the writing process as authentic as a film could possibly be as scene for scene it is based on actual events. Choosing which elements to include or leave out was a challenge, but the focus of the film was around communication and that led to how we shaped the story.
D&CFilm: Can’t Hide It has got some really positive reviews. Have you had any audience feedback and what has it been like?
Richard Miller: We have been delighted with the reviews as they all touch on the lead actors’ relationship and that was vital to us. It’s really had a limited audience so far with only a small cast and crew showing and so we can’t wait to see what people make of it. We are really proud of the film and I think our lead actors pulled off two amazing performances.
D&CFilm: You filmed in Burton Hospital. How difficult was that to arrange and what do you think it added to the film?
Richard Miller: My partner was treated in the exact ward we filmed in. The hospital could not have been more helpful to us once they understood the story. We filmed the scene on a Saturday morning for about 3 hours and without it the scale of the film would be much smaller and it would have missed such an important educational and impactful scene.
D&CFilm: You’ve worked with the two leads Gavin Fowler and Esther McAuley on Lazy Girl as well as Can’t Hide It. How important is it for directors – and even writers – to build a rapport with actors (and vice versa)?
Richard Miller: Lazy Girl was the original name for Can’t Hide It. We changed the name to be more in-keeping with what we were trying to convey in the film. I have known Gavin years now and he is a brilliant actor with a huge amount of screen and stage experience while also being one of the most grounded people you will ever meet. I asked Gavin if he knew any actresses that he would recommend for this part and he suggested Esther who could not have been a more perfect fit. Rapport with actors is vital, especially when making a film like this as they need to understand the story and emotion behind it. I could not imagine the film with anyone different in the lead roles.
D&CFilm: Where does Can’t Hide It fit with the rest of your work?
Richard Miller: It really doesn’t at all! This film is a docudrama and our previous work is much more in the land of fiction. We have made films across the spectrum of sci fi, horror, and drama but nothing like this.
D&CFilm: What’s your background and what drew you to film?
Richard Miller: Self-taught and until recently with quite a small network of people to call upon – this is something I have decided to work on in the next year to bring more skills on board in our team. I have always loved film and as a kid I would get the newspaper as soon as it came out and highlight all of the films on that week and recording them to my VHS. I must have had hundreds of films on tape. I didn’t consider making films until my early 20’s when the first DV cameras came out and Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later was released.
D&CFilm: For the cast and crew how emotionally draining was it to make Can’t Hide It, and is that more than is usual on set?
Richard Miller: It was all okay until the haircutting scene on the last day. That left a couple of people on set crying mainly due to the outstanding performance from Esther which included a little bit of ad lib.
D&CFilm: Can’t Hide It is on the festival circuit. How can we keep up with it and with your other films?
Richard Miller: We have a Facebook page for our films under Body in the Box productions and our Twitter handle is @bodyinthebox
D&CFilm: Thanks Richard!
The review by Guy Russell on Midlands Movies says “these fictional characters are written with such care by Richard Miller that they could be any one of us or any one we know.” Catch up with other reviews on Body in the Box social medias.
Can’t Hide It was at the English Riviera Film Festival on
Saturday, October 12 as part of the Finalist Screening.
For times and tickets, go to the ERFF site.