Interview with Outward Film Network

I think it’s safe to presume that people around me know I’m very private and reserved when it comes to talking about myself. I’m quite happy being in the shadows and just being left to get on with the behind the scenes saga of making a film.

However, I was approached by the kind folks over at Outward Film Network who asked if I would like to be interviewed for their amazing website which is tailored towards the indepdent filmmaking scene and the kindness they showed me as well as their devotion to the indie filmmaker scene persuaded me to drop a few thoughts down to their questions…. well I say a few…. about 4,000 words later, I was all waffled out.

Anyway, here is the link to the full interview over on their amazing site. Check them out please! Thank you so very much to Mark and the entire team over on the page, who are all absolute superstars!

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Borderland (2022)

Very proud to announce I’m working on this film throughout 2021 in both producer role as well as writing the script for director Ben Thompson, who has been our fantastic DOP on past films such as Checking In and House of Screaming Death.

The synopsis will be released at a later date, but Borderland promises to be a violent modern-day drama/thriller that places its characters at the forefront of current human right violations pushing them to their very edge.

I cannot wait to work with Ben on this film, and supporting him to bring the script to life. He has fantastic visual ideas already, and I cannot wait to see them realised on screen! For now, here is the official teaser poster art!

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Midlands Movies

Just wanted to say a massive THANKYOU to the folks over at Midlands Movies for listing Sustain as one of their most anticipated films of 2019! Really means a lot to us all!

No pressure then too! You can read their article at the following address!

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Filming Sunshine Block 2

This past week we’ve been filming back on You Are My Sunshine, and it has been both emotional and new in a strange way. Emotional, because the performances from everyone are just stunning, and are keeping us in awe! But new in a strange way because Joe and Tom are now both older and played by Charles O’Neill and Ernest Vernon who are now inhabiting the roles and taking over from their younger co-stars/variations (Jack Knight and Steve Salt).

So for myself, it’s been a happy set of challenges to direct one set of characters via multiple actors (and this will be extending to the character of Ethel too, previously played beautifully by Charlie Clarke and in block 3 by the equally wonderful Rosemary Manjunath).

One thing that does make life a little easier is the modern day setting, no longer are we limited by the design palette of 1970s decor and clothing (which is still great to play with of course!), but now we can present the more up to date story in a design way that is different and yet allows these same characters to exist in their own right, but not too far that they ever become too dissimilar to what comes before we have already shot.

Thank you also to Jonathan Butler who is the newest addition to the film in the form of John, Joe’s nephew and Ethel’s son, who acts as a generational bridge between the past and present! Just wonderful working with you!

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So thank you to a wonderful cast/crew again and for the patience of folks who have also helped us (with locations and so much), such as my grandparents (whose home is now Tom and Joe’s), while a special thank you again goes to the Rev Colin Such who allowed us to use the graveyard around the Rushall Church (the same place we employed for House of Screaming Death), as well as Sophia French from Walsall Council.

I couldn’t do this without everyone! You’re all superstars!

Sustain Storyboards

When it comes to directing, I strangely never really use storyboards, even though they are amazing to see created! I have a distinct visual in my head instead, and relay that via numerous pre-production meetings with my DOP accompanied ALWAYS by my shot lists (which is my preferred tool).

However, sometimes I do make a few doodles, especially when I’m really excited about a concept, a shot, the potential mise-en-scene that in turn could further the ambiguity or themes locked in the narrative.

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So it was great to stumble upon these original sketches/notes I made a few months before we even began production on Sustain in late 2016 – especially since now I can compare them to the final film shots which turned out better than I could ever have dreamed – and all achieved through the wonderful cast/crew 

PS – what’s even better is that these two scenes were filmed about a good month apart too – good ole’ movie magic 🎬

Petrichor

Recently, I had the amazing honour to be asked by the wonderful Cameron Moon if I’d be interested in directing his short script entitled Petrichor.

Working with Cameron and forming a lifelong friendship with such a loving and creative soul on previous projects, I sprang at the chance to do it and have felt incredibly honoured that Cameron would trust me to help bring his beautiful script to life.

We filmed in Birmingham City Centre this past Sunday, January 27th. It was great because it allowed both myself and Kaushy to work directly behind the cameras again (our GH4s), something we’ve both been wanting to do a lot more of in the coming year, so it was fantastic to play with natural lighting (and planning for any LEDs to employ to light up any other additional areas maybe), and we got some haunting performances from both Cameron (who also starred), as well as Paula Mur, an exceptionally talented actress.

Some of the main inspirations for the film was the opening sequence of Last Tango in Paris, as well as Lost in Translation (which is what attracted and excited me the most initially), albeit with Cameron’s own unique touch thematically.

It also allowed me to play around with framing compositions inspired by my own love of similar ones from Michael Mann, a favourite director of mine, and whose work has influenced me visually in past films such as Sustain and Sunshine, and many more.

On the day also, we were joined by Kevin Totts who took the above images while we were shooting and I’m sure you will agree, they are simply gorgeous. Artwork in the film was offered by the stunningly talented Barbara Witkowska, while the score will be provided by the equally talented Dom Mason.

I hope when it is released after the festival run or if you see it on there somewhere, you will see what were all trying to achieve, something delicate, something full of hope as well as dashing it with a sprinkle of kindness. Something the world seemingly lacks a lot of these days.

Thank you Cameron x

Get Ready for SNARL

Werewolves are just a myth right? 🐺 SNARL is now in preproduction from director L.J Stark Greenwood and stars Jay Podmore, Charlie Clarke, Jack Knight and Troy Dennison. It has been written and will be produced by myself with executive producer duties falling onto Pat The Bull Films and BrumTown Films. 

This past weekend, the cast met up for the first time to go through the script with director L.J. while also doing costume tests as well as other preparation.

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You can also check out the cast talking about the film below in our new promo!

The film is expected late 2019. Keep checking back for updates! Because there are lots more to come before we start filming this Easter 2019!

Jay Podmore joins SNARL

Lots of things going on behind the scenes of this film we’re prepping to shoot early next year and now we can announce a new addition to the cast!

Next up joining the SNARL cast alongside Charlie Clarke and Jack Knight is the equally amazing Jay Podmore, who will be playing Elijah, in this eerie new Werewolf tale from director L. J. Stark Greenwood, which starts shooting in April 2019.

Stark comments; “Jay is a fantastic actor and having seen him already in our previous effort, Sustain and just how commanding he is in that, he was just a natural choice to pursue for the role of Elijah and I cannot wait to see what he does with this highly conflicted character through his stunning on-screen talents as well as how he bounces off Charlie and Jack’s characters! It’s going to be amazing!”

SNARL is being directed by L.J. with a script by Dave Hastings who also produces. Will Bradshaw is director of photography while Kaushy Patel is on executive producer duties with Troy Dennison providing special make up and creature FX with Alex Bourne.

The film is expected late 2019. Keep checking back for updates!

Sustain has locked!

We’ve been working so hard on Sustain all year in the edit, so it was truly a wonderful moment when our amazing editor Sam and myself finally got it visually locked down this past weekend. All the differing shots, scenes, temp music, months of doing little insert shots that have blended in with the rest of the original shoot is just a joy to finally see! We even made a little video to mark the occassion!

PSX_20181028_150958.jpgOf course, this is by no means the end, we still have sound mix and scoring to do now, as well as beginning to ramp up promotion again. You’ll be seeing stuff appear over the next few weeks of course, but this was a magical moment and I wanted to share it.