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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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

SNARL Synopsis & Cast Announced!

Earlier this past year, I wrote about how I was working with our stunning Art Director L.J. Stark Greenwood on a film idea she wanted to direct. All about Werewolves.

So even though we’ve been working very hard on You Are My Sunshine, this has been busying itself in the background too.

And now we can reveal a few more details as well as the official Synopsis.

Snarl (2019)

England. 1934. A young man, Elijah, has been captured and accused of being a werewolf by Clyde, a self famed bounty hunter from a nearby village.

As Elijah is brutally tortured in a vain attempt to get him to confess, he suddenly finds himself secretly released by two villagers, Faye and her younger brother Benjamin, who believe he is innocent.

As they attempt to help the young man flee through the woods, all the while pursued by the maniacal Clyde, the night time forest suddenly reveals that some legends are not myth at all.

Starring Jay Podmore (Sustain), and reuniting Charlie Clarke with Jack Knight fresh from Sunshine, the film will be directed by L.J. with special FX by both Troy Dennison and Alex Bourne while Will Bradshaw is back as Director of Photography with Suki Sandhar on camera support. Kaushy Patel is on exec producer duties while I’m in the producing chair as well as writing the script.

We really cannot wait to film this in 2019 and see L.J direct the hell out of this wonderful cast and crew! Until then, here’s the official teaser poster!

Snarl Poster Theatrical 2018

You Are My Sunshine Indiegogo Campaign

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!

Crowdfunding Campaign Link

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.

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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!

 

 

You Are My Sunshine Teaser Trailer

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!

Project Updates!

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!

You Are My Sunshine Block 1 Readthrough

Today we had our first readthrough of You Are My Sunshine with stars Steve Salt, Jack Knight and Charlie Clarke joining some of the crew to go through their scenes of the script (the 1970s segments), as well as discuss dates, filming logistics as well as other pre-production items on the agenda….and all with sausage sandwiches and cuppa’ teas!

The readthrough was a fantastic success, with the lads really getting into their characters as well as interacting with Charlie Clarke’s Ethel for the first time, helping shape the dynamics we need to make this trio of fractured relationships work as best they can on film. It was also fascinating to see Charlie chat with Rosemary Manjunath who is playing her modern day counterpart. It is really a different and welcoming challenge for me to work with the same set of characters with multiple persons playing them!

I really cannot wait to see all of them as well as the additional supporting cast on screen and for you to see this story unfold even more.  Thank you to everyone who came along today. Was a wonderful one!

 

MA – Scriptwriting #1

So, some of you know and some of you may not, but since last September I have been studying for my MA in Film Studies at Wolverhampton University, and I’m enjoying it immensely. To be talking film back in academic settings is something I have missed for a few years now, and the opportunity to get funding for the MA coming up last year helped intensify my encouragement to go for it, like I’d been planning to for a few years now, just not being able to afford it.

Which brings me to this blog entry. This semester, I am taking part in the Scriptwriting module, a course that is very close to my heart already what with my love of writing, so when this was offered I jumped at the chance! So every now and again, on here, if you see MA Scriptwriting as a title, feel free to have a nose, but they are to help form part of an ongoing portfolio I guess you could say, for the coursework, which requires me to show my workings, my techniques as well as reflections on writing a script for submission in May time.

So, we started around two weeks ago, and I must admit, my brain has been a bit empty of late, as I’ve been doing some interviews about GRID, filming SUSTAIN, as well as working on post-production for SCREAMING DEATH – all of which are keeping it focused and mildly chaotic. But I’m always on the look out still for those small stories, the ones that are rarely seen, or even heard of, yet when I see them, they immediately jump out at me and my mind is immediately swarming with mental images of how a scene can play out, who could play a specific role, as well as what the conflicts could be (there’s always more than one, where would the fun be else!?). And this moment kind of happened to me the other day.

I stumbled across this article through a facebook group I’m part of, and when I read it I was taken aback by it. Because not only do the themes of being gay speak to me, but how brave this person was, and yet how scared he must have been at the same time.

LINK TO ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Willem Arondeus demonstrates the best of the human spirit in my eyes. He isn’t well known, his story has never been made into a film (why on earth not doesn’t really surprise me, Hollywood is not known for making that many films featuring a gay male lead in a blockbuster that could rival the likes of similar WWII biopics like Schindler’s List), and yet his life was purposeful. He quite possibly saved a few hundreds of people, maybe even more. He was also openly Gay and fought against not only Nazi occupation, but personal prejudice, and in a modern world where the US Government is openly causing segregation against communities of people, I feel this time is perhaps the best context for Willem’s story to be told.

Working Title: WILLEM

It is July 1st 1943. In a confined prison cell, Willem Arondeus, a Dutch resistance fighter, has been convicted of blowing up a building that held records kept by the Nazi’s of Netherland citizens, in an attempt to fight back against the ever growing rise of fascism.

As Willem sits alone in the cell, he is accompanied by a lone Nazi officer, who has been tasked to watch him, to make sure he doesn’t escape. As time seemingly counts down to some unspoken event, Willem decides to confide in this enemy, and reveals not only his homosexuality, but also recalls some of his most treasured moments from his life, as well as recounting the events of the bombing to justify his actions.

As Willem retraces everything about his life that was good, even those stemming from his open homosexuality, the guard suddenly comes over to him and places a kiss on his lips, revealing his own sexual insecurities that can never be realised. As the moment passes, the guard asks if Willem has one last request. He replies by handing the guard a piece of paper addressed to his lawyer, that simply states ‘Homosexuals are not cowards’.

As the guard suddenly pulls away for fear of being caught kissing his prisoner, more guards enter the room, take Willem outside and we hear a firing squad take his life, leaving the young Nazi officer with the message inside the cell still.

37297_retrieveassetAfter writing the above outline, I am very much more overcome by the possibilities that this short eventual script could achieve, through more dialogue, the idea of time running out, yet all the while Willem (seen right), never waivers, or loses hope. He had accepted his fate and stands defiant, against the Nazis and those who would attempt to oppress his life choices.

I also like the symbolism as well, that Willem is taken outside of his confinement, to defiantly stand in the face of death without ever compromising himself or his belifes under a blue sky perhaps (although we do not see the actual shooting, just hear it), while the closested Nazi officer remains in the cell, forever imprisoned by his sexuality.

Already I want to write and direct this film!