This post was written by Daniel Boocock.

We were 3 hours over schedule, and the police were hanging on for me. As good as they were, I could tell their patience was being tested. It was freezing, assault rifles were blasting in a residential area at 2 a.m., there had been no time to rehearse the gunfight, I had hardly any crew, the guns themselves kept jamming, and I knew certain people had messed up many of the takes.

There was no extra money, hardly any to begin with and I said to myself… I’m going to have to come back and do this all again with new people, only with tighter restrictions, no time to rehearse, fewer resources, and less freedom than what I originally had.

I did a bit of wheeling and dealing, made a couple of moves here and there, and went back to shoot the gunfight a second time round at a later date as well as several other scenes. It turned out for the better given how overstretched things were and how little time there actually was but I’m under no illusions that that’s the way it is until the big backers are involved. 

Action is always the trickiest thing to shoot as well especially when pushing for a spectacle and substance feel without the financial resources. I always like to aim high though and be ambitious so in that respect I’m not deterred. All in all, those were just some of the tightropes I was walking whilst making Rip & Run. There were plenty of others, too. As a filmmaker, you have to take everything in your stride and not be fazed.

The Rip & Run idea is a proof of concept, an initial teaser for a larger story specifically aimed at cinematic TV. Rip & Run has a neo-western feel with modern-day sensibilities. The story focuses on aspects of money laundering, international crime syndicates, drug trafficking, corruption, and good people doing desperate things for what they deem necessary. If you like things like Heat, The Town, Miami Vice, Elite Squad, and Breaking Bad, then Rip & Run will be up your street. 

Riprun_hiresPoster for 'Rip & Run'Credit: Courtesy of Daniel Boocock

Its inspiration came from the type of things I myself like to watch. '90s action dramas and '70s neo-noirs were very much inspired by crime films of the '20s and '30s. On top of that, however, was my own imagination and also knowing, that at an audience level, there is a massive demand for quality action-drama crime capers. When those projects hit, they tend to hit big.  

I pretty much funded the vast majority of Rip & Run myself. The numbers I had were literally next to nothing given the scale and ambition of the project alongside its logistical challenges and constraints. My logic, nonetheless, is to show people that if this is what I can do with virtually nothing, then imagine the possibility of what can be done with something. Upscaled and expanded with the right kind of setup, I firmly believe Rip & Run can go on to be something special indeed.

Right now, it’s a diamond in the rough. All it needs is to be extracted and polished. The goal would be to remake it as an officially backed pilot then expand it into its own series and up the drama and scale. The proof of concept as it stands right now is the very first step towards that outcome. 

Rip_and_run_3'Rip & Run'Credit: Courtesy of Daniel Boocock

To test the waters, I had two screenings of Rip & Run in the U.K.: one in Liverpool (where I am from) and another one in London. These were two totally different types of audiences. One was more celebratory and target audience specific. The other was more formal and critically orientated. I could see it catching on as the drama played out. The looks on people’s faces, and the reactions they had to certain scenes told me so much. Many were genuinely immersed. Leaning forward towards the screen at times, even those who were actually in it. That made me laugh given they knew what was coming. 

All in all, the responses have been overwhelmingly positive. The bottom line is that everyone wants to see more. So many people who I didn’t know came up to me wanting to know what was next with the story, to know what happened or happens to certain characters. If a broadcaster or streamer is going to back it.

It’s very much early days but I could see they were excited. That was precisely my aim: to leave people wanting more. 

Rip_and_run_4'Rip & Run'Credit: Courtesy of Daniel Boocock

Out of those who’ve already seen it only one person (that I know of) saw the twist at the very end coming. People went nuts for that because it opens up another level to Rip & Run as a whole. I was glad to see those positive reactions. It’s confirmation that the idea has value. It also confirms not just to me, but to any potential future collaborator that the Rip & Run idea with the right kind of setup can go all the way. 

If a filmmaker can, then they should find a way to create a proof of concept, especially if they have a bigger idea or expansion for the same story. It serves as an appetizer. People will know it's not meant to be the finished piece. But if there is quality on show, then it will be there for all to see.

So, what are you waiting for? Start creating your proof of concepts now whether it's for a feature or tv!

This post was written by Daniel Boocock.

You can find more of Daniel Boocock's work on his Instagram and on his website.