Sheffield actor Jamie Sandersfield and Australian counterpart Caroline Dehn create online drama Talk Soon during lockdown

A young Sheffield actor has collaborated with a stranger on the other side of the world to create a lockdown love story that’s now online.

Tuesday, 18th August 2020, 10:00 am
Jamie Sandersfield and Carolin Dehn in Talk Soon
Jamie Sandersfield and Carolin Dehn in Talk Soon

Jamie Sandersfield found his career had juddered to a halt during the pandemic but a friend’s recommendation put him in touch with Caroline Dehn. Together they created Talk Soon, a 13-part series on YouTube.

Former King Edward VII School pupil Jamie, from Crookes, plays student Max, who has just returned from a university exchange trip to Australia and finds out he’s made more of an impression than he thought on a young woman he met called Rosie.

But lockdown has just started and they’re thousands of miles apart, so will they overcome all those obstacles to take a chance on love? The gentle, bitter-sweet story is told alternatively through the couple’s eyes as they keep in touch by email.

Jamie said: “A friend of mine told me that he knew this girl who was in Australia. She had been studying over here but she had this idea for a series she wanted to make.

“He said to her, ‘you should get into contact with my mate, Jamie’ as it sounded like something I would be up for doing. Me and Caroline got in touch and bounced some ideas around. She’d already written the first episode at that point.

“I just got an immediate sense of what it was and where it could go. We chatted about the story as a whole and started writing it from there.”

The duo worked to a tight schedule, aiming to put out two episodes a week. They did all the writing, filming and editing themselves.

Jamie Sandersfield as Max in Talk Soon

Jamie, who now lives in London, said: “At the end we were pretty up against it but it all worked out in the end.”

He said he enjoyed the challenge. “Basically, the whole time was me and Caroline. We would each write our own episodes and obviously we’d chat about the overall story.

“I was genuinely in London and Sheffield and she was genuinely in Melbourne. We couldn’t collaborate physically. We did everything ourselves.

“We wrote and directed ourselves and filmed everything individually, sometimes with friends and family chipping in and helping out. We would edit episodes ourselves and watch them and go over any notes and redo bits and film and get them out.

A painful moment for Caroline Dehn as Rosie in Talk Soon

“It was a real two-person operation, which was challenging.”

Jamie caught the acting bug at King Ted’s and also went to Act One drama studio in Ecclesall, who encouraged him to apply to drama school.

He had learned film-making techniques on his course at Guildford School of Acting and last year worked with friends on Steal Suffering, “a film about jazz and all the places we find hope”.

Jamie co-directed the short film, which was funded by raising £19,000 through Kickstarter. They managed to organise one cinema showing before lockdown.

“That was amazing,” said Jamie. “It fed into making the series, even though it’s on a much smaller scale.”

He added: “Part of it was ‘just let’s make something’. Caroline had this vision for it. We wanted it to be a story that people could connect to in this time and something that would talk to the situation but also something that would act as distraction and keep people feeling positive about the whole thing.”

Jamie and Caroline have now entered the series into short film festivals. You can watch Talk Soon on their YouTube channel.

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