13 September 2021

Early Days by Nessa Wrafter

By Nessa Wrafter


Early Days tells the story of a new Mum who has experienced a traumatic birth and is suffering from post-natal anxiety. Intrusive thoughts and flashbacks from the hospital threaten to collapse her fragile world.

Idea for the film:

This is a quite simply based on my own experience of childbirth and the early days of motherhood. I used moments, memories and conversations from my own life to construct a narrative which I felt hadn’t (at that time) seen on screen before.  The whole experience was so visceral that it felt like a movie in my head already – translating to the page and then screen felt like the most natural thing to do.

How long did it take to film? Plain sailing?

It took three days to film, but of course the pre and post production was a much longer process. I’d say from bringing on the producer Clancie, through to our premiere at the BFI Southbank was around nine months…which is appropriate now that I think about it! Anyone who has ever made a film will know that it’s never plain sailing all of the time. Last minute threats to our leading lady’s availability, the crowdfunding journey and working out what to do with a VFX sequence (which I ultimately abandoned) were all some tough moments!

What next?

I’m going into development with two excellent producers: Helen Simmons and Stephanie Aspin of Erebus Pictures, on my debut feature. It is another idea based on a personal experience, though a little more light-hearted, I hope! I’m directing a short film for Oscar-winning company Slick Films soon, written by exciting new talent Martha Watson Allpress.

I’m in the writers’ room for Season 3 of Smother for BBC Studios/RTE, and developing an original TV series with Lisa McGee for the ITV/Dancing Ledge Mentorship Scheme. I’m also pitching various other shows to commissioners through the company I co-own, Klick Productions.

Back to Behind the Scenes: Issue Four

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