The 12 Labours of Gryff It's My Shout: Short Films from Wales


The 12 Labours of Gryff

The 12 Labours of Gryff: Series of short films. Teenager Gryff summons the strength of his childhood hero, Hercules, as he cares for his terminally ill mother.


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Transcript


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You love this book, don't you?

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Once in a while, a boy comes along -

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a boy so strong, even the gods are jealous.

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You all right?

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Who cares? Come on. Let's just go.

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They decide to test him,

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one impossible labour after the other,

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in the hope he'll fail.

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His first task is to defeat the Nemean lion.

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CAT MEOWS

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-Morning, Mum.

-Morning.

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Pass me water, please?

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Thank you.

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You get milk?

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Er, yeah. Well...no.

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Complicated.

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Should make a list.

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-Sorry.

-Help you remember.

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INTERCOM BUZZES

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I'll get rid of them.

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'How is my favourite patient doing?'

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Oh...

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Great drying day out there, Gryff.

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How are we doing?

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Eh?

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Be an angel and go fetch something for me, would you?

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Oh, anything.

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His second labour is to cut down the Lernean hydra.

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Here we go.

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All right? OK.

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Thank you.

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You're welcome.

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Good work on the bramble, Gryff.

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Nice one.

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Bye.

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His third labour is to catch the Ceryneian hind.

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DRAMATIC MUSIC SWELLS

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Nesta! Nesta!

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Stop!

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What's the matter, Gryff? What's wrong?

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-You won't tell on me, will you?

-Tell what on you?

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-About the garden.

-Oh, Gryff!

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You're doing amazing, amazing.

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Next, he must trap the wild boar of Erymanthos in a block of ice.

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Then clean the Augean stables.

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MUSIC TAILS OFF

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INTERCOM BUZZES

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-You're too young.

-You always think I'm older.

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His sixth labour is to slay the Stymphalian birds.

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I am so cold. Is that my jacket?

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-Selfie Queen?

-Yeah, and her happy snappers.

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HEAVY ROCK MUSIC PLAYS

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MUSIC BLARES

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Oh, you should see Kara.

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She looks just like her mother, that one.

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-She is.

-Shouldn't have done that, though.

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That was really nasty.

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-Oh, you...

-SHE COUGHS

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Mum? You all right?

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DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES

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Ding-ding! Aye-aye, Gryff.

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Still trying to grow that bum fluff?

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Come on, feel some real man whiskers, eh?

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His seventh labour is to capture the Cretan bull.

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-Are they for me?

-Yeah.

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Pass them here, then, before you ruin them.

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Left the price on, too.

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£1.42.

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Last of the big spenders, eh?

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You and her all right, or what?

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-Good, so...

-Well, I'm around and that.

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Yeah. No, we're good.

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Honest?

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Because I've got an idea that might cheer your mam up a bit.

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Oh, yeah?

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COUGHING

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WHEEZING

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-Sure you don't want me to call 999?

-No, no!

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Meet me in the car.

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Yeah, right. Just give me a minute.

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COUGHING AND SPLUTTERING CONTINUES

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The eighth labour was to capture the mares of King Diomedes.

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No!

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Mam. Shh...

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It's OK. It's OK, it's OK.

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It's OK. It's OK. Shh...

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-It's OK.

-SHE SIGHS

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DRAMATIC MUSIC SWELLS

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MUSIC STOPS, CAR HORN BEEPS

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It's OK.

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Keep it running, yeah?

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Block up.

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Hey! Hey, you!

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You want a shot?

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SHOUTS OF ENCOURAGEMENT

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BELL RINGS

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THUDDING

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You all right, bud?

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I'll get you some water.

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The ninth labour was to bring back the belt of Hippolyta.

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Here we go, then.

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Coach!

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You don't think she'll be cross, do you?

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What saint did you swap places with?

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The hoops she went through just to get in the ring, let alone win.

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She never gave up on anything in her life, and neither should you.

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-Stay strong, yeah?

-Yeah.

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-Are you coming in?

-No. No.

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Not tonight. You did the hard work. You take the glory.

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Labour number ten is to capture the cattle of Geryon...

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Think you could lend some milk?

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..protected by his two-headed dog.

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-Hey.

-You're pleased with yourself.

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I got you something.

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Oh...!

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SHE CHUCKLES

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I've got something for you, too.

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The apples of Hersperides.

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The 11th labour.

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One bite of these makes you immortal.

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Yeah, but you wouldn't want to crack your teeth, would you?

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Not even to live for ever?

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Who want to live for ever smiling like...?

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I just... I guess...

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I just wanted you to live for longer.

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I know you do, strongman.

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So do I. So do I.

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Eh, remember the 12th task?

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Capture Cerberus from the Underworld.

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You do know that it's me that's got to do that one, don't you?

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Old Three-Head had better watch out,

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because your mam can still pack a bit of a punch, you know.

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Know what's going to make me happy,

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while I'm up there, watching over you?

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You cry once in a while. OK?

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Because that way, I'll know how much you love me.

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SHE SOBS

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Once in a while, a boy comes along -

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a boy so strong, even the gods are jealous.

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They decide to test him,

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one impossible labour after the other,

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in the hope he'll fail.

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Scene 29, shot 24, take two.

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You need to hug again for the camera.

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When Torfaen's Andy Toovey was asked

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which of the It's My Shout scripts he'd like to direct,

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he didn't take long to choose The 12 Labours Of Gryff.

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Action!

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The script was always one of the ones that stood out

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in terms of the way it brings this very old story,

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the story of Hercules and his 12 labours,

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together with a contemporary setting.

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Once in a while, a boy comes along -

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a boy so strong, even the gods are jealous.

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There's something really interesting about the way the script, kind of,

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looks at these themes of strength

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through Hercules and his mighty deeds,

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beating all these monsters, but then Gryff,

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in this kind of mundane setting, doing something equally difficult,

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if not more courageous, in caring for his mum,

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who is dying of cancer.

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You get milk?

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Er, yeah. Well, no.

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It's...complicated.

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Little track number...

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I think, for an actor, the film set is a really hard place

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to be vulnerable on camera,

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because, although it doesn't look like it

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when you see it on TV or on film,

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for those actors in there,

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they're actually surrounded by 40 people,

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who all have these different jobs to be doing.

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There's a lot going on immediately before action is called.

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Even just the calling of "action" reminds them

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that they are on a film set doing a job,

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rather than in this imagined situation

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where they have to bring so much emotion to the surface.

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I just want you to live for longer.

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SHE SNIFFS

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Yeah, you've just got to prepare yourself emotionally.

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You just think of bringing your own personal experiences into it,

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lock out all the crew, which is, there's a lot of them there,

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but then I just pictured my children sitting in front of me,

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instead of Zabian, and having to tell them

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the news that Evelyn has to tell Gryff, really,

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so you draw on that personal emotion, then.

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Yeah, it was rather difficult,

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but...I don't know,

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I got through it and I just thought about who I was talking to

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and just the camera and forgot about everyone else.

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I knew there was loads of trainees as well around us,

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so that made it a bit more difficult,

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but I think I pushed through pretty well anyway.

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-Morning, Mum.

-Morning.

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Pass my water, please.

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I really liked, in Zabian, the fact that it felt,

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even from meeting him, that there was a lot more going on

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beneath the surface than he was willing to reveal.

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It looked like he was holding things back.

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To be honest with you, I just had such a connection

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with Vicky, Victoria, my mum in the play,

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that...I don't know, I just took it off her.

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She was, she was...

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She brought out my emotions, in a way.

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But also, I went in my personal issues at home and stuff

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and took it, just brought it out.

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That's how I brought my emotions to the table.

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Vicky and Zabian actually auditioned together.

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They did an improv together, which blew us away,

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because it was moving, it was powerful.

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I think, in different ways, they could both relate to the story,

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and that just gave their portrayal of the characters

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added depth, sincerity, authenticity.

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That was absolutely...

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I'm an emotional wreck!

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With Evelyn, it's...

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Yeah, she was a boxer, you know.

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She was this tough character, a champion,

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and I think she tried to keep that for as long as she can

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through her life and through the illness,

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and the day of the shooting is the day

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that she's obviously telling Gryff,

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she's telling him goodbye, basically.

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And...

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SHE CLEARS HER THROAT

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So she's going to lose that strength a little bit then, you know?

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-TEARFULLY:

-Sorry.

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I think we see a lot of images of strength around us,

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but they are usually associated with visible strength.

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BELL RINGS

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THUDDING

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The heart of this story is actually the strongest thing Gryff can do

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is show his mother how much he cares,

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allow what's inside to come out.

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I just wanted you to live for longer.

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I know you do, strongman.

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Strength can mean a lot of things, but I think,

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in a situation like this, it's...it's being strong to carry on

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without that person you love, without that bond

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and somebody who's been in your life that long.

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It's like losing...losing a limb, isn't it?

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It's like having them ripped away from you

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and you having to carry on.

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That's the hard bit, and that's where people,

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I think, have got the strength to be able to do that.

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I just want to say thank you to everyone from me and Andy.

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It's been an amazing three days.

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Zabian and Vicky, absolutely fantastic.

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Thank you.

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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Teenager Gryff summons the strength of his childhood hero, Hercules, as he battles through the daily chores and cares for his terminally ill mother.

Followed by a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film.


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