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!
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!
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!
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!
Last Saturday, we had the pleasure of completing our first readthrough of the scenes that will bring the modern day versions of Tom and Joe to the screen. This part of the film will run parallel to the scenes we shot this past summer and show how the events of the 1970s, the drama and the conflict, still have repercussions today in a highly emotive way.
Starring Charles O’Neill as Joe, Ernest Vernon as Tom and Rosemary Manjunath as Ethel, this block also welcomes Jonathan Butler to the narrative as John, Ethel’s son and Joe’s nephew, who becomes a metaphorical bridge between generations.
The read through was a fantastic success and we discussed certain scenes afterwards, discussing how we can do them to make the film the best it can be. As well as this, we
showed two of the completed scenes from the summer shoot that showed how Jack and Steve had played the characters, noting little mannersisms that could be brought through into their modern day counterparts by Charles and Ernest.
A fantastic and successful day! Lots more prepping to come!
With have been in the edit these past few months starting to piece together the 1970s scenes of Sunshine we shot over the past summer and it is going really nice. We’ve had some fantastic initial feedback to some rough scenes shown privately as well. So we thought it would be the best time before we go back into hibernation mode to prep block 2 to share a few shots with you all from the film. We’re incredibly proud of this journey so far and we hope you agree that these first few shots showcase the amazing craft and abilities of not only our wonderful cast, but also the crew, all of who worked so hard to help begin bringing this story to life. An adventure that will continue into 2019.
The first official shot from the film with the amazing duo Jack Knight and Steve Salt – these pair are incredible on screen together and have brought these younger versions of Joe and Tom to life more than we could ever have dreamed ❤
Your second official look at the film shows the wonderful trio that are Jack Knight Charlie Clarke and Simon Bamford – this was an amazing day, and we couldn’t have done it without them and also the amazing support of Vicki Phipps at Mindful Gifts who completely changed their whole store into a 1970s lounge for us to film these scenes! Thank you! 🌈🌈🌈
Going into official imagery hibernation now as we reveal this final publicity shot (for now), as we prep block 2 over the next few months. But gosh, this scene was emotional, the last time we’d have to film one with both Jack Knight and Steve Salt – they both nailed it. It was a perfect fitting moment to say goodbye to them, their characters and their part of the story of their lives so far. Thank you guys and crew 🌈❤🌈
Thank you to both Heather Large and the Express & Star for their continual support of our projects around the local area, always there to help us demonstrate the filming world going on around folks in the Midlands. Really does mean a lot!
The print article is below, while the extended online version is at the following link.
It ‘s still here! If you haven’t already DONATED, please have a look over the campaign page for You Are My Sunshine! There are lots of perks to choose from for you to get involved with the making of this wonderful film that we are really excited about making!
We have also been releasing new posters, videos, interviews as well as other goodies! So heck out our social media page’s to see all the good stuff! We’ve also been welcomign new exciting and amazing cast memebers including Kiah Reeves as Mavis and Simon Bamford (Hellraiser, The Offer), who will be joining the film as Martin, Joe and Ethel’s stern father.
As mentioned, we have also been releasing a host of small videos too as well with some of our lovely cast! Have a snoop below!
We’ve been having meetings, discussions, scheduling tasks, locations scouts as well as going through waht each day of shooting will entail as well as welcoming our production runners to the film as well, some of them working in the camera department, some with the ADs, all of which are fascinating to watch and see them grow as their own filmmakers!
We are all really passionate about making this film, and we really would like your help to do this. Even just a £1 would be like GOLD to us! So please Donate, or SHARE if you can too, all over your own social media pages. Thank you!
Willem is coming along very well and to celebrate the edit getting to this stage, I wanted to showcase the amazing two actors at the heart of this very special story, both Chris Johnson and Thomas Loone who are just absolutely stunning to watch on screen. Bearing in mind that the colour grade below is experimental at the moment, and not what the final film will potentially look like, it is wonderful to see this short film bring to life an unsung hero you’ve probably never heard of. Mr Willem Arondeus.
I really cannot wait to for you all to see these guys in the film. I am over the moon with what they’ve done and the passion and dedication they have brought to the project. Thank you lads.
We filmed this last August, when the lads first met and we had a first official meeting together to go through the script and the ideas (a YEAR!!!), and it was a fantastic moment to see the lads having a great chemistry, especially as it then came through on film beautifully!
So without further ado, we present the You Are My Sunshine teaser trailer starring Steve Salt and Jack Knight. These two are going to break your hearts. I promise.
And watch out for the amazing DRONE footage that was filmed and captured by Morgan Perry, who will also be joining us again on our summer shoot for some eqaully stunning aerial work!
Amazing few weeks chatting with the ever wonderful and supportive Sophia French at Walsall Council, who is not only a brilliant help with the locations and planning for You Are My Sunshine, but is also an unseen hero for helping us on both Sustain and House of Screaming Death too – honestly, without this lady, we couldn’t do half the stuff and use most of the places we get for these projects.
She is quite simply stunning and I’m always just so overwhelmed to get the council’s backing and help for these projects and beyond!
Thank you Sophia for your continued kindness and faith in us!
PS – She makes for a cracking writer too! Her work is great!