The stories and poems I love reveal the comedy and tragedy of the everyday. Stories about people you believe in, and care about; poems about moments that transform without any obvious drama. The films that inspire me are those that allow the viewer to know intimately the characters being portrayed, so that their stories are compelling even if the action might at first appear mundane or ordinary.
Lovers Lane is about two days in the life of a couple. I wanted to create a snapshot of a long-term relationship. There are no obviously dramatic moments but, over the course of the film, both characters complete a personal journey.
Frankie is an attractive 30-year-old woman. She works part time as a Teaching Assistant at a Primary School, and also as a youth worker. She enjoys the company of children and young people - but is not ready for any of her own; she feels she relates to them at their level not as a ‘grown up’. She has been finding herself increasingly frustrated in her relationship and bored - trapped in a comfortable life she drifted into almost by accident. She wants more excitement but doesn’t know where to look for it. An adventurous spirit and thrill-seeker, she feels she settled too young for the security of George. She loves him, but wishes he shared her drive - or at least her desire - for more from life.
George is by no means unattractive, but he is somewhat unremarkable - average height, average weight; a short-back-and-sides sort of style to him. He is bearded - which is his small rebellion against the corporate world he finds himself in, almost by accident. He once harbored ambitions to be a writer, but his priorities have changed over the years - now he’s happy to maintain a comfortable existence for himself and Frankie. And - who knows? - maybe there will be children to support soon too. George is completely in love with Frankie, but he has become complacent about showing it… or rather he shows it by providing for her, by being reliable and doing the things a man ‘should’ do around the house. He has failed to notice her becoming bored and restless; he considers himself happy and has no idea that Frankie might see the world differently.
When developing Lovers Lane, I was strict about limiting the story to two characters in two locations, set over the course of two days. Partly this was a tactical decision – based on the budget available; but it was also a strategic one – I find constraints helpful in the creative process, providing a focus and demanding a problem-solving approach to story-telling.