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!


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!

Borderland portrait poster

Sustain Updates!

We’re nearly there! Sustain is almost upon us! Over the last few months, we’ve been working on both the sound mix as well as developing the score. Of course, these are not things that magically appear very quickly, they take time and care. And because we are very passionate about the film, the last thing we’d want to do is now just skimp on these elements after taking so much time to lock the cut and get it as great as it can be, in order to honour our wonderful cast and crew.


So, on the sound mixing side is the amazing James Hall from RetroRain – you may recognise the name too from previous Sustain posts, as he was with us during production, developing the behind the scene featurettes you saw snippets from. Of course, they will be going into the future making of documentary we have planned, so you’ll be seeing more of James’ work there too. However, he has been also busy on the sound mix, creating ambient tracks to bring the world within the narrative to life as well as working on ADR with us, and cleaning up audio that needed some tweaking along the way (be gone background HISS!!) – this is why you’ve seen us recently posting on the social media pages in regards to ADR sessions with some of the cast again such as Brett Dewsbury and Matthew Kinson, which is always a delight to watch.

ADR is a fascinating process for me, and it’s also equally enjoyable too, having a laugh as well as the actors seeing some of the locked cut for the first time, so it’s exciting and I’m glad we’re getting this done just to make SUSTAIN as best it can be! Thank you James for your continual amazing work!


On the score side, we have the equally amazing Hans Michael Anselmo Hess, who has produced a simply stunning and atmospheric score to help also bring the world of SUSTAIN to life. The process I go through when editing with Sam, is that we use temp scores from a variety of different film soundtracks already out there. This allows me to see how scenes are working, and to help get the emotional feel of them right, to know they are doing exactly what I intended them to do and which supports the fantastic performances already. I’ve done this on our previous efforts such as House of Screaming Death and Checking In, so if it ain’t broke, why try fixing it if it works for you!

After the inital locked cut was signed off, Hans then came onboard and myself and Troy held Skype meetings with him to discuss ideas based on what we’d ultilised in the temp score as well as seeing what Hans wanted to bring to proceedings as well. Since then, Hans worked on sections of the score which I then would listen too. I would provide any notes and he would then resume working on it and more. It’s a fantastic process and really interactive and enjoyable. Every week we had long Skype conversations to go over more ideas and thrash out our creative thoughts.

And now we have a score that really gives SUSTAIN another essence of character which compliments the already stunning sound design James is doing, the fantastic editing Sam is doing and allows the entrie cast/crew to shine even more! And to show you what I mean by that statement, check out the samples from Hans’ final score below! Utterly compelling in both design and feel! I cannot wait to work with Hans again on both SNARL and YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE! Check out Hans’ website here!


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!


ADVENT Synopsis & Casting Call

It’s always a bit weird to talk Christmas in May time, however, very proud to present this latest on ADVENT! Really excited by this and the stories that are coming your way will be amazing and all very different in tone and style, yet completely Christmas in spirit still!

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ADVENT Synopsis and Casting Call Press Release – More details, please contact Kaushy Patel

PAT THE BULL FILMS in association with LIGHTBEAM PRODUTIONS return to their AWARD WINNING ANTHOLOGY FORMAT of film-making that has previously seen them score BEST FEATURE FILM for both 2014’s CHECKING IN (London Film Awards) and HOUSE OF SCREAMING DEATH (Midlands Movie Awards 2018), this time fixating their movie narrative on everyone’s most wonderful time of the year in ADVENT.

Made up of three substantial yet uniquely identifiable Christmas tales, ADVENT sees 7 specific lives all caught up over the course of December 24th 2020, starting with Matthew Wood’s opening segment story, HO-HO-HOSTAGE, a comedy that follows Mary and David along with their son Dylan. Tucked in bed on Christmas Eve, little Dylan hears footsteps downstairs, and investigating leads him into a burglary situation. With he and his family held hostage by criminals in their living room, it is up to one of Christmas’ original visitors to step in and help out.

Continuing with the spirit of the season, Kaushy Patel presents THREE GHOSTS, chronicling the Wilkinson family, whose continual fighting and arguing tips the balance on Christmas Eve. However, this continual emotional struggle has finally taken its toll on all of them both mentally and physically. Fearing that all hope is lost, they decide to proceed with a devastating course of action. Their only hope? Three Christmas ghosts, who are determined to show each of them how their consequences would have emotional repercussions and that their presence in the world is a blessing and not a hindrance, as they believe. An innovative new take on Dicken’s classic novel, reflecting the strain of modern life on our mental health.

Concluding this new bold anthology is Dave Hastings’s third segment, DOMINIK, which tells the true story of a quiet and gentle stranger, who begins to appear at Midnight Mass every Christmas Eve at a local nearby church. As Susan Wormbourne and her husband, Colin, the vicar, attempt to find out who the young man is, they discover a heart-breaking and tragic past, one that finds him now lost in a country he does not originally come from. An audacious reinforcement of how our many differences can actually bring out our greatest strengths.

As ADVENT concludes, the characters and events help reaffirm that Christmas is not just a time for gift-giving, mince pies and office parties, but also a time when we need to watch out for those in society more vulnerable than ourselves, and to reach out and lend a helping hand in a more complex contemporary time. ADVENT is produced by KAUSH PATEL of Pat The Bull Films, in association with Dave Hastings of Lightbeam Productions. The film is written and directed by Matthew Wood, Kaushy Patel and Dave Hastings.

Segment 1 – Ho-Ho-Hostage
DIRECTOR: Matthew Wood
AUDITIONS: Audition Video Based (Please note all auditions will be given a specific time within this window)
KEY DATES: All night shoots, 5 pages a night for 4 nights and one night for exterior pickup shots.

Mary has been married to David for 3 years. She is a loving mother to Dylan. She is protective, smart and patient. She works in an office. Under duress, she thinks of others and awaits opportunity. Patient and quick witted. Worked hard for her lot in life.
David has been married to Mary for 3 years. He is a loving father to Dylan. He is good-hearted, protective and has a great sense of humour. He works in finance but never brings his work home. Beta male personality but rises to the occasion.
[DYLAN] [GENDER: MALE] [AGE: 5-8] Dylan is an excitable kid who cannot wait for Christmas. He understands danger, but his father in particular encourages his imagination. Asks a lot of questions, loves his family. Dylan believes in Santa without question and has taken a bit of a know-it-all attitude to Christmas this year.
[ANT] [GENDER: MALE] [45-55]
Ant believes himself a victim and is very self-entitled. He sees himself as very smart and in control. When confronted with the truth, he lashes out with a violent tendency. Has no problem hurting people, but smart enough to know he’d get further without. He is the kind of man who holds grudges without stating so. Not particularly physically threatening.
Craig is a hired hand for Ant’s plan. Young but having some experience in organised crime. Craig has a good heart but believes what he is told, that he deserves these things. Raised poor, grafter. Brings James along to give him an opportunity. Plays the straight man. Wants to get the job done without harming people.
Young and eager to earn money, James is fresh out of school with no future. He takes the offer from Craig because he needs the money. He holds no personal attachment to the scheme. Often distracted and not quite realizing what he’s signed up to. Doesn’t tell jokes, but states what is on his mind openly.
Omnipresent, ever happy and with a permanent chuckle. Santa knows all, sees all, but believes there to be good in all. Happily plays along with people because he has all the time in the world. Sees everyone as children. Impenetrable. Magical creature, almost removed from every scene. Would see fake Santa’s as flattering more than anything.

Segment 2 – Three Ghosts
DIRECTOR: Kaushy Patel
AUDITIONS: Audition Video Based (Please note all auditions will be given a specific time within this window)
KEY DATES: A mixture of day and night shoot – 7 day shoot.

JACK [GENDER: MALE] [30s/early 40s]
Sharp dresser and financially motivated but also frugal in his needs. He wants to make sure his family are financially secure and happy, but has no time for them.
JESSIE [GENDER: FEMALE] [mid 30s/early 40s]
Jessie is very family orientated and sees Christmas as a sign of joy and happiness. She wants to have the best family Christmas but her only set back is her husband Jack who is not supportive. Very Sarcastic and direct.
She is aware of her parents fighting and tries not to side with any one of them. But this has affected her deeply. Actress will have a role that is very emotional and distressing.
Energetic and full of life.
Vibrant and energetic.
A short scene in the street that requires an actor begging.
An actor that is 6 feet tall would be ideal, Will be in heavy make-up or mask. This character has no dialogue.
No dialogue but a short scene around a dinner table.
No dialogue but a short scene around a dinner table.
A family around a dinner table. All ages. No dialogue.

Segment 3 – Dominik
DIRECTOR: David Hastings
AUDITIONS: Audition Video Based (Please note all auditions will be given a specific time within this window)
KEY DATES: All night shoots, 5 pages a night for 4 nights and one night for exterior pickup shots.

DOMINIK [GENDER: MALE] [LATE 20s/early 30s]
A young man from Eastern Europe, quiet, gentle with a rugged and harsh exterior and a sincerity to not offend others. He appearance at Midnight Mass reflects an attempt to try and find peace in a world where a tragic past haunts him.
A conventional vicar’s housewife and gentle soul. Believes in making the most of life and having faith in people. She becomes interested in Dominik, and uncovers his tragic past that tests her own beliefs in the process.
A kind man, has time for everyone and married to Susan. He has a cheeky side for a vicar but takes his role equally just as responsible. As the story unfolds, his worry for Susan as well as Dominik unfold.
Susan’s best friend, who keeps an eye over her while she tries to uncover the secrets of Dominik. Does not take fools lightly, but it a loyal and compassionate volunteer of the church.
Susan’s friend, who can be a little outdated with attitudes as well as quick to judge but an honest and innocent soul. Supporting role with some dialogue.
Susan’s friend and volunteer at the church alongside the other girls. Enjoys life and is quick to help/support if needed. Supporting role with some dialogue.
A regular visitor to the church and deliverer of alcoholic beverages to the Reverend. Supporting role with some dialogue.
Mavis’ Husband, a large man and volunteer at the church who is initially asked to watch the back door when Dominik first appears. None speaking part.
Lots needed to full church location for multiple Midnight Mass scenes (x4 differing changes of clothes and styles)

Interested Applicants are asked to send a self-taped audition of a dramatic scene of their own choosing, yet which they feel reflects the range of the role/roles that they would like to be considered for most. As well as this, a recent head-shot and any showreel material should also be attached with your application. Please send your video auditions via unlisted YouTube link or WeTransfer by MONDAY 24TH JUNE 2019.


To keep up to date on all the latest developments of this innovative and new festive anthology, please follow the film through Facebook at

For further press enquiries please contact producer Kaush Patel at

Advent has a release date planned for December 2020 and is presented by PAT THE BULL FILMS in association with LIGHTBEAM PRODUCTIONS.


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!


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.


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 🎬


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

ADVENT (Christmas 2020)

Next script/project announced for Christmas 2020 (yes we think that far ahead!) 🎄🎅
Three stories. All on Christmas Eve. All Through The Night. 🎄

Going back to the anthology format that we’ve worked with before, Advent will present three stories, all set on Christmas eve and all dealing with different characters, all trying to survive within their own lives. Some will make you laugh while some will make you think and appreciate what you have in your lives at such a celebrated time around the world.

ADVENT is scheduled for release Christmas 2020, and will be produced by Kaush Patel, while I will serve as co-producer.

More details to come later in the year and 1st draft of the script is expected at the end of February! Cannot wait!