Ludo It's My Shout: Short Films from Wales


Ludo

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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Transcript


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Ludo, out.

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-Come on, please.

-Out.

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The piano's right there and I was getting...

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Are you listening?! Oi! Come on!

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Get here!

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BOYS JEER

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This way - now.

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How are you feeling about this, Ludo?

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Are you OK?

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Are you going to talk to me today, or...?

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Do you know it's very rude to ignore people?

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PHONE VIBRATES

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Why did you do that, Ludo?

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You know, it's very rude to ignore people.

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THEY WHISPER

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SHE LAUGHS

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Stop it!

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Mum.

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Mum.

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SHE LAUGHS

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No!

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MUSIC: Jackson Cage by Bruce Springsteen

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# Driving home she grabs something to eat

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# Turns a corner and drives down her street

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# Into a row of houses she just melts away

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# Like the scenery in another man's play

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# Into a house where the blinds are closed

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# To keep from seeing things she don't wanna know

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# She pulls the blinds and looks out on the street

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# The cool of the night takes the edge off the heat... #

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MUSIC CLICKS OFF

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HE PLAYS A GENTLE TUNE

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-Sorry.

-That's amazing, where did you learn to play like that?

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My dad taught me.

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Oi! Ludo, wait!

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Please, Miss, I really don't want to get expelled.

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Look, I won't tell Mrs Jenkins.

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If you promise to play like that in our next session.

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Yeah?

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All right?

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Can you try this one for me?

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-What is it?

-It's my favourite song.

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Arms out, please. Thank you.

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MUSIC CONTINUES

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Now turn around, please.

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Thank you. Arms at the side, please.

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Arms out, please.

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Arms out, please.

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Turn around, please.

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Thank you.

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Lud, all right, bud?

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God, I missed you, boy.

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Hiya, babe. All right?

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-Shane!

-What's the matter?

-Back to your seat, Cooper.

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Right. Come and sit down.

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-All right?

-Yeah.

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God, look at you.

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Shooting up now, aren't you?

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You're getting as big as me now!

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You've got to laugh.

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So... How's school? All right?

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Yeah. Yeah, it's been good.

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-Lessons are boring, but...

-Yeah?

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How's your mam, all right?

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She's OK, yeah.

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-You looking after her?

-Yeah.

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Aye, good boy.

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Good boy.

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So, what's she been up to, then?

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Hanging around with her boyfriend.

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But it'll be just like it used to, when you're out.

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You and Mum, you can take me bike riding.

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-We can go to the cinema.

-Yeah.

-We can carry on piano lessons.

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Yeah, we can.

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Um... Look, I...

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I've got something to tell you, all right, bud.

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I didn't get parole this time.

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-You promised.

-I'm sorry.

-You said two weeks!

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Don't be like that. Lud! Lud! It's six months, Lud.

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They said I can try again.

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Lud! Don't walk away, man.

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Lud! Come here! Jen!

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HE RESUMES PLAYING

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PHONE VIBRATES

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PHONE VIBRATES

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PHONE VIBRATES

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Why does he keep ringing you?

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Just...

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carry on playing.

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No, stop it!

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It's not on. What about me? You've got responsibilities to me,

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and us as well, and nothing's getting done. I'm not having it.

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No, I'm not having it.

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Are you listening to me? I'm not having it!

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-I'm sorry...

-Now, shut up and just get in the car.

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Have they forgotten the bloody eggs?

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Do me a favour, love, go back in and tell them, will you?

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Don't ignore me. Go!

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CAR DRIVES OFF

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Are you going to play anything today, or...?

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Why do you stay with her?

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To the end, Ludo, please.

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INAUDIBLE SPEECH

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Right.

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OK, she said no to this Friday's concert.

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But if you keep practising, then...

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-Why bother?!

-..we've got plenty of time for the next...

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MOTHER GIGGLES

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HE SOBS

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-Ludo's on the piano.

-What?

-He's trying to play in our concert.

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-Ludo, get down off that stage!

-Give him a chance.

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-Get him down off there.

-Ssh!

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Ssh! Just listen to him play.

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I don't want to listen to him play.

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Ssh!

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-Get him off!

-What's he doing?

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LAUGHTER

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You're making a fool of yourself.

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Get off the stage!

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AUDIENCE AND CHILDREN CLAMOUR

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AUDIENCE QUIETENS DOWN

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Even though it's summer holidays,

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Hawthorn School in Pontypridd is a hive of activity.

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A production team from the TV scheme It's My Shout has descended

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for the filming of Ludo.

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The first draft probably took me about...

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only a couple of weeks, to be honest. I scribbled some notes down

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over an hour, and then I typed it up over a couple of weeks

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and then just submitted it.

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In a way, I suppose every writer has part of themselves

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in everything they write.

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So when I grew up, I grew up on a council estate,

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it had, like, single-parent families,

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it had dads that weren't around, so it's got those elements within it.

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OK, so the character I'm playing is Ludo.

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He's a 13-year-old boy,

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and he's a bit of a troublemaker.

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Yeah, he gets into fights at school,

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usually because he's getting bullied.

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Ludo stays happy playing piano.

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He finds it very soothing to play.

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Once me and my brother entered this talent show.

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He was, like, playing the piano, I was obviously singing.

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Yeah, we came third in the end.

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And it was, like, our first time doing it.

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Come on, Jack. Let's rock this joint! Hit it!

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'We were called the White Brothers.

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'I played piano, usually Jerry Lee Lewis. And my brother sang it.'

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Although the crew made full use of the school location,

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and even shot the prison scene in one of the classrooms,

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the hall was a million miles from the kind of location

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imagined in the original script.

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Like, the first draft, it was set in the Millennium Centre,

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there was, like, a thousand extras. It was this big performance.

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When we come to Hawthorn High School and saw the battered old piano

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that we've used, but it's still got character,

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and it kind of matches who Ludo is.

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Having so many people in the hall

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was obviously a big challenge,

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mainly just to cover everybody

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and get reactions from different characters.

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There's not a lot of dialogue within the scene.

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So it was important to get the reactions

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and to tell the story through those reaction shots.

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It's just that moment, because he just sits on the piano,

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he's getting bullied, even the teacher's shouting at him to get off the stage.

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And then when he starts playing,

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everyone's just quiet and everyone just watches it.

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Filming the piano being played

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presented a challenge for the sound department.

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We recorded the piano in the BBC.

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The reason for that is because,

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obviously, the environment we were in in the school hall,

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with people in the background speaking and all that,

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we don't want to pick that up on the track.

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So, we record in a different environment

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where it's a lot quieter, and it's better,

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and we can play it back, then.

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On the Monday, I went into Roath Lock,

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there were about five different mics everywhere.

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There was... I don't know how many it was.

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There were two in the piano, one a bit back a bit,

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and they wanted sound from all different areas.

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And I played about three times.

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I think they picked the best one.

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The film not only gave Jack White his first leading role,

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but also revealed his talents as a musician.

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Jack White, the actor who's playing Ludo, as soon as we saw him,

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I liked... His look was good, his mannerisms were nice,

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and he's a really nice kid as well.

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But it wasn't until the second audition

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that he actually played piano.

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And as soon as he played, that was it then -

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we were like, "Wow, this kid is special."

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The actor we were looking for to play Ludo,

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we were looking for someone who was going to be very natural.

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The piano playing was kind of a massive bonus when we found Jack.

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The piece when Ludo is discovered by Mrs Steele

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was Jack's own composition, which was really helpful,

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because we were struggling to retain the rights

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to other tracks by Einaudi, and Jack volunteered his own work,

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which obviously we don't need the rights for.

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I'm more of a listener-learner on piano.

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I usually listen to a song, and I play off that.

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I can read music, I just look at the music just as a basic structure.

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I would play little bits to him.

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And he would love it, and he'd want to have a go,

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so I'd let him have a go on the piano.

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And I just knew straightaway, I'm thinking, "Hang on a minute,

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"you're so little yet you can play a little bit of classical, like that."

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The crew actually came outside quite tearful,

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because they'd seen his journey as well

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and they've got the whole journey

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of getting all that cast and crew and everything together

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and to have that one moment where he's amazing and he plays

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and everyone's just completely still and silent, just watching him,

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I think it's quite special.

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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.


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