Ludo: Series of short films. When a troubled teenage boy is forced see his school counsellor, she discovers a hidden talent. Followed by a behind-the-scenes documentary.
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-Come on, please.
The piano's right there and I was getting...
Are you listening?! Oi! Come on!
This way - now.
How are you feeling about this, Ludo?
Are you OK?
Are you going to talk to me today, or...?
Do you know it's very rude to ignore people?
Why did you do that, Ludo?
You know, it's very rude to ignore people.
MUSIC: Jackson Cage by Bruce Springsteen
# Driving home she grabs something to eat
# Turns a corner and drives down her street
# Into a row of houses she just melts away
# Like the scenery in another man's play
# Into a house where the blinds are closed
# To keep from seeing things she don't wanna know
# She pulls the blinds and looks out on the street
# The cool of the night takes the edge off the heat... #
MUSIC CLICKS OFF
HE PLAYS A GENTLE TUNE
-That's amazing, where did you learn to play like that?
My dad taught me.
Oi! Ludo, wait!
Please, Miss, I really don't want to get expelled.
Look, I won't tell Mrs Jenkins.
If you promise to play like that in our next session.
Can you try this one for me?
-What is it?
-It's my favourite song.
Arms out, please. Thank you.
Now turn around, please.
Thank you. Arms at the side, please.
Arms out, please.
Arms out, please.
Turn around, please.
Lud, all right, bud?
God, I missed you, boy.
Hiya, babe. All right?
-What's the matter?
-Back to your seat, Cooper.
Right. Come and sit down.
God, look at you.
Shooting up now, aren't you?
You're getting as big as me now!
You've got to laugh.
So... How's school? All right?
Yeah. Yeah, it's been good.
-Lessons are boring, but...
How's your mam, all right?
She's OK, yeah.
-You looking after her?
Aye, good boy.
So, what's she been up to, then?
Hanging around with her boyfriend.
But it'll be just like it used to, when you're out.
You and Mum, you can take me bike riding.
-We can go to the cinema.
-We can carry on piano lessons.
Yeah, we can.
Um... Look, I...
I've got something to tell you, all right, bud.
I didn't get parole this time.
-You said two weeks!
Don't be like that. Lud! Lud! It's six months, Lud.
They said I can try again.
Lud! Don't walk away, man.
Lud! Come here! Jen!
HE RESUMES PLAYING
Why does he keep ringing you?
carry on playing.
No, stop it!
It's not on. What about me? You've got responsibilities to me,
and us as well, and nothing's getting done. I'm not having it.
No, I'm not having it.
Are you listening to me? I'm not having it!
-Now, shut up and just get in the car.
Have they forgotten the bloody eggs?
Do me a favour, love, go back in and tell them, will you?
Don't ignore me. Go!
CAR DRIVES OFF
Are you going to play anything today, or...?
Why do you stay with her?
To the end, Ludo, please.
OK, she said no to this Friday's concert.
But if you keep practising, then...
-..we've got plenty of time for the next...
-Ludo's on the piano.
-He's trying to play in our concert.
-Ludo, get down off that stage!
-Give him a chance.
-Get him down off there.
Ssh! Just listen to him play.
I don't want to listen to him play.
-Get him off!
-What's he doing?
You're making a fool of yourself.
Get off the stage!
AUDIENCE AND CHILDREN CLAMOUR
AUDIENCE QUIETENS DOWN
Even though it's summer holidays,
Hawthorn School in Pontypridd is a hive of activity.
A production team from the TV scheme It's My Shout has descended
for the filming of Ludo.
The first draft probably took me about...
only a couple of weeks, to be honest. I scribbled some notes down
over an hour, and then I typed it up over a couple of weeks
and then just submitted it.
In a way, I suppose every writer has part of themselves
in everything they write.
So when I grew up, I grew up on a council estate,
it had, like, single-parent families,
it had dads that weren't around, so it's got those elements within it.
OK, so the character I'm playing is Ludo.
He's a 13-year-old boy,
and he's a bit of a troublemaker.
Yeah, he gets into fights at school,
usually because he's getting bullied.
Ludo stays happy playing piano.
He finds it very soothing to play.
Once me and my brother entered this talent show.
He was, like, playing the piano, I was obviously singing.
Yeah, we came third in the end.
And it was, like, our first time doing it.
Come on, Jack. Let's rock this joint! Hit it!
'We were called the White Brothers.
'I played piano, usually Jerry Lee Lewis. And my brother sang it.'
Although the crew made full use of the school location,
and even shot the prison scene in one of the classrooms,
the hall was a million miles from the kind of location
imagined in the original script.
Like, the first draft, it was set in the Millennium Centre,
there was, like, a thousand extras. It was this big performance.
When we come to Hawthorn High School and saw the battered old piano
that we've used, but it's still got character,
and it kind of matches who Ludo is.
Having so many people in the hall
was obviously a big challenge,
mainly just to cover everybody
and get reactions from different characters.
There's not a lot of dialogue within the scene.
So it was important to get the reactions
and to tell the story through those reaction shots.
It's just that moment, because he just sits on the piano,
he's getting bullied, even the teacher's shouting at him to get off the stage.
And then when he starts playing,
everyone's just quiet and everyone just watches it.
Filming the piano being played
presented a challenge for the sound department.
We recorded the piano in the BBC.
The reason for that is because,
obviously, the environment we were in in the school hall,
with people in the background speaking and all that,
we don't want to pick that up on the track.
So, we record in a different environment
where it's a lot quieter, and it's better,
and we can play it back, then.
On the Monday, I went into Roath Lock,
there were about five different mics everywhere.
There was... I don't know how many it was.
There were two in the piano, one a bit back a bit,
and they wanted sound from all different areas.
And I played about three times.
I think they picked the best one.
The film not only gave Jack White his first leading role,
but also revealed his talents as a musician.
Jack White, the actor who's playing Ludo, as soon as we saw him,
I liked... His look was good, his mannerisms were nice,
and he's a really nice kid as well.
But it wasn't until the second audition
that he actually played piano.
And as soon as he played, that was it then -
we were like, "Wow, this kid is special."
The actor we were looking for to play Ludo,
we were looking for someone who was going to be very natural.
The piano playing was kind of a massive bonus when we found Jack.
The piece when Ludo is discovered by Mrs Steele
was Jack's own composition, which was really helpful,
because we were struggling to retain the rights
to other tracks by Einaudi, and Jack volunteered his own work,
which obviously we don't need the rights for.
I'm more of a listener-learner on piano.
I usually listen to a song, and I play off that.
I can read music, I just look at the music just as a basic structure.
I would play little bits to him.
And he would love it, and he'd want to have a go,
so I'd let him have a go on the piano.
And I just knew straightaway, I'm thinking, "Hang on a minute,
"you're so little yet you can play a little bit of classical, like that."
The crew actually came outside quite tearful,
because they'd seen his journey as well
and they've got the whole journey
of getting all that cast and crew and everything together
and to have that one moment where he's amazing and he plays
and everyone's just completely still and silent, just watching him,
I think it's quite special.
When a troubled teenage boy is forced see his school counsellor, she discovers a hidden talent. Perhaps his skill will allow him an escape from his problems, but will the teacher escape from hers? Followed by a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film.