Set in 1962, First Time Loser tells the story of Patsy, a Northern Irish teenager who runs away from a shotgun marriage. He escapes to Liverpool and finds himself caught up in the music scene during the rise of Merseybeat.
First Time Loser was produced by Ace Films and was my first collaboration with them. Ace Films have a professional background in music and so a lot of their films are music driven. 60s Liverpool is an ideal setting for such a film, but proved more challenging than we initially thought.
For an independent production it’s quite ambitious to film a period piece. Although many of the locations we used have changed little since the 1960s in terms of structure and exterior, satellite dishes, lamp posts and passing cars proved problematic, resulting in the shoot taking longer than originally planned.
More challenging still was when a whole group of extras turned up, in specially bought costumes from the late 60s. We had specified early 60s but somehow there was a miscommunication. A frantic few hours ensued, with a conveyor belt of make up, hair and costume, wiping Mary Quant flowers off people’s faces and trying to make them look a bit more ‘Mad Men’. No to female quiffs, yes to beehives. No to Beatles haircuts, yes to male quiffs.
Yet despite these difficulties, the shoot was a success; First Time loser went to Cannes this year and will hopefully be released by the end of 2012