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By midlandsmovies, Sep 3 2019 05:04PM

Photo credit: Sam Irons
Photo credit: Sam Irons

Midlands Interview - Katie Redford

Katie Redford is an actress and writer from Nottingham in the East Midlands and we spoke to her about her latest film Ghosted, a mockumentary about the spiritual and unknown that was part-funded by the BFI.

Midlands Movies editor Mike Sales got the low down on Katie's regional connections, her admiration for Ricky Gervais and the trials and tribulations of getting her new film off the ground using crowd-funding and a grant from the BFI.

Hi Katie. Can you please tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into your current position in the industry?

Yes, of course. I'm from Nottingham. I was born in Stapleford but grew up mostly in Long Eaton. I went to London to train as an actress but one of my first jobs in the industry was working as a floor runner in TV. It was a brilliant job when it came to learning the different roles behind the scenes and witnessing just how much goes into a production, but I couldn't do it for long as I got too jealous of the actors!

And where did you go from there?

After a few years of juggling part time, I won the BBC Norman Beaton Fellowship which is a scheme BBC Radio Drama run for actors who haven't trained at an accredited drama school and I had 6 months working with the BBC Radio Drama Rep. From that point, I started working full time professionally as an actress in both TV and radio and started writing on the side for various local scratch nights. I was then accepted into BBC Comedy Writersroom so started writing more from that point.

Sounds great. Can you also tell us a bit about GHOSTED? How did you come up with the idea?

Ghosted is a comedy about a woman who loses her husband and as a result, turns to the world of the paranormal. We were both interested in different aspects of the paranormal and we just merged them together. My inspiration for the idea came from a paranormal investigation company that my friend runs. They meet at various old venues in Nottingham and Derbyshire with the aim to witness paranormal activity. The whole idea of the paranormal fascinates me but I also was intrigued as to know why people feel the need to find out / explore this bizarre phenomenon.

Photo credit: Toby Laurence & Jemma Benson
Photo credit: Toby Laurence & Jemma Benson

And how did the cast come on board?

Anna Wilson Jones, a brilliant actress who's also in the film, came on board to co-produce the project with us and suggested we send Alison Steadman the script. They'd worked together a few years before and thought it was worth a shot, which it most certainly was! We then approached the actors we really wanted and luckily, they all said yes!

What were the influences on your film?

There were a few, but I'd say mostly Spinal Tap, What We Do In The Shadows (Jermaine Clement's version), The Office & This Country. Duncan and I are huge fans of all of them and were inspired by mainly their tone and humour.

And what were the challenges you faced as local independent filmmaker?

There's lots of challenges - before pre shoot, during shoot and post shoot! In terms of pre shoot challenges, I think when you're an "unknown filmmaker, it's always going to be slightly trickier. It's a bigger risk when it comes to people investing in you and your project because they don't quite know what they're signing up for. For me, it was the first project I'd ever produced so there were lots of challenges for that reason alone.

Photo credit: Toby Laurence & Jemma Benson
Photo credit: Toby Laurence & Jemma Benson

And funding?

Funding is always going to be some what of a challenge but we decided to do things slightly differently and only apply for funding once we'd shot Ghosted. I was getting frustrated with the amount of hoops I was having to jump through to get a script read, let alone made, so we didn't want anything holding us up - we got a team together and shot it. It was afterwards that we launched a Kickstarter campaign and we managed to raise just over £6k, which really helped us in post.

How did the BFI involvement come about?

Again, it was something we looked into once we'd shot the film. I saw online that BFI NETWORK offered various grants and there was a Midlands branch so due to my connection, I sent an email along with our Kickstarter video. We recently found out that our Kickstarter video hugely influenced the decision to award us with the grant, so it really is vital getting that on point!

Was the process a smooth one?

Ghosted was one of the first short films to be produced by BFI Network in the Midlands so for us, the trickiest thing was simply waiting, as I think everyone was still finding their feet with the process of it all. But we were fortunate enough to have Alexzandra Jackson from BFI Network, who came on board as Exec Producer. Whenever there was a hold up or there was an issue, we'd just contact her and she'd reassure us with where everything was at.

Photo credit: Toby Laurence & Jemma Benson
Photo credit: Toby Laurence & Jemma Benson

And what has been the most difficult hurdle you have had to overcome yourself?

Firstly, to have patience - to accept that just because things don't happen instantly, it doesn't mean they won't happen at all. And secondly, if there's something I don't understand, to just ask. Because it was the first project I'd produced, there were certain things I wasn't sure about. For instance, when it came to paying our cast and crew (thanks to BFI Network funding!) I had no idea about issuing contracts and various clauses. As an actress, I'm used to my agent dealing with that side of things. But I just asked a few friends of mine who had produced and that really helped. The best piece of advice that was given to me from another producer was: "Everyone's blagging it. It's just about having the confidence, communicating and asking for help when you need it."

Moving onto your own personal tastes, do you have any heroes in the industry or favourite films you love?

I don't have a firm favourite - it's a bit all over the shop to be honest. I love Christmas films. And horror films. Paranormal Activity/ The Exorcist in particular. I also love Four Weddings and a Funeral. So, there's not exactly a pattern emerging. I have a few heroes in comedy; Ricky Gervais, Caroline Aherne, Ruth Jones & Peter Kay. They're all comedy legends who have carved the way for their own work.

And what has been your greatest achievement or success?

Having Alison Steadman as the lead in my first short film is pretty much up there at the minute!

So finally, what are your future plans for Ghosted?

It's currently doing the film festival circuit at the minute. It's doing well internationally having been selected for festivals in the US and Australia and we're looking forward to seeing it at Underwire and Aesthetica. We discussed plans for a TV series and have had a few meetings but they're just ideas at the minute.

And any advice to give to other Midlands filmmakers?

Get a good team around you. If in doubt, just ask. Don't let things hold you up - momentum is key! And remember, 'everyone's blagging it' - so just do it!

Thanks Katie!

Find out more about Ghosted at the official websuite: https://www.ghostedfilm.co.uk

The trailer for the film is below:

By midlandsmovies, Sep 4 2018 07:50PM

Midlands Interview - Emmeline Kellie

From Nottingham's Film and TV Tweet Up to acting in recent action film Outlawed, Emmeline Kellie is a force to be reckoned with after being involved in film in front of and behind the camera at every level of production.

With such a diverse cinematic background and with her new project Keep Breathing recently launched, Midlands Movies writer Guy Russell speaks to Emmeline about her short film which has been created in light of the #metoo movement.

Guy Russell: You’ve recently launched the funding campaign for Keep Breathing, is crowdfunding a format you have used before and if so were you successful?

Emmeline Kellie: Nope, this is the very first time! I still feel extremely nervous about it even though we’re already two weeks in! It’s been really hard because all of us have been working full time while running it so it hasn’t had the TLC it needs. I’ve come to realise that Crowdfunding really is a full-time job. I probably wouldn’t advise doing it unless you have a dedicated team to do shifts, or you can take four weeks off of work!

Please tell us more about Keep Breathing, I understand it tackles the importance of sexual consent?

Keep Breathing is a powerful and incisive look at attitudes towards consent, rape, and victim blaming. It has a tightly plotted script that challenges two characters that don’t conform to the typical depictions of victim and perpetrator. The situation we explore is extremely common and goes widely unreported, yet when it is reported, both parties often have very different perceptions about what they’ve encountered. Not every victim of rape says no, and not every perpetrator understands the boundaries of consent. This film will engage the audience, provoke thought, provide a voice and encourage discussion, which is the essential next step towards changing attitudes.

Whilst the message is extremely important to us, the script is actually something we’re very proud of as well. It has interesting characters and it’s gripping, pacey and emotional. The message is actually drawn out very subtly through it. Most of the dialogue is ambiguous and laced with deeper meaning, so it’s a drama on the surface, but an eye-opener underneath.

What has the reaction been so far?

Amazing. Of those who have been sent the script, we’ve had a few say it’s the best short film script they’ve read which is so encouraging. I think the last person to read it was a documentary filmmaker called Miguel Gaudencio who our writer Tommy Draper worked with about ten years ago. He said “I think this is Tommy’s best script. I LOVE it! It screwed my head, which is great, and I love the fact that characters are not stereotypical. It’s a very powerful drama and so well set up.” I was quite pleased with that reaction! Especially as Tommy’s other work is just incredible.

Since putting the campaign out there, we’ve also had a lot of people getting in touch saying much it resonates with them and how glad they are that we’re trying to do something about it. So overall, a really positive response!

Was there a specific moment which inspired you to start writing Keep Breathing, or was the idea brewing for a while?

I believe it was at 2:39am on Christmas morning just gone. I was in bed and couldn’t sleep. My head was swimming with #metoo stuff, and how even though everyone else had publicly nodded to their experiences of sexual assault and rape, I hadn’t felt I could because there were some incidents I just didn’t want to open myself up to talking about, and then there was one where I was still convinced that what had happened was my fault. I was drunk and had said no repeatedly, then after about half an hour of persistence while I was trying to sleep, I gave in because it was easier. I didn’t say the word ‘yes’ but my body gave in. Why didn’t I stagger out of there? Why wasn’t I firmer with him? Why did I even agree to staying there? But I was so drunk and verging on the edge of consciousness. He was sober. It really messed with my head afterwards for so long. But why? It seemed so trivial- just one of those things that happen when you get too drunk.

I then deliberately shifted my mind onto film because I didn’t want to think about it anymore. I said to myself “Right, come up with an idea for a film with two characters in one location so we can just crack on with it and make something decent in a month’s time”… and that’s when the idea just came to me. Checked the time. 2:39. Bam. Except it grew into something so much bigger that we wanted to put a lot more time and effort into, to do it justice.

You co-wrote Keep Breathing with Tommy Draper, what was Tommy like as a writing partner?

Amazing. The thing I’m really bad at is writing a first draft, but he did it quickly, threw some brilliant ideas into the pot and then we had a really solid foundation to work with. Mark, our director, was also involved every step of the way giving notes on every other draft. The first two drafts we did actually went in a completely different direction, and then we sat down to work out exactly what we wanted the piece to say which is what turned it into the compelling story we have now. Tommy and I took in turns to play with the script. He was fine-tuning the action and the drama while I was fine-tuning a lot of the dialogue. We had a good balance and I don’t think we had any disagreements. Having said that…. I’d love to see his response to this question! Probably quite different!

Your short film Cadence was quite the success, it has had over a million views and is currently being used as an education tool about driving awareness, is there something similar you’d like to achieve with Keep Breathing?

Definitely. We want to tour it around schools, colleges and universities with a workshop and presentation. The film will get students’ attention (we all liked watching videos in school!) and afterwards, we can kick off the conversation with a discussion about the story and characters. Getting people talking about it, thinking about it, and aware of it is the first step to solving it as it should mean that they are more mindful when in the moment. Once it’s done its educational tours and film festival circuit, we want to release it online with a campaign, containing some facts and statistics found in our on-going survey and research. Hopefully the festivals will help give it the buzz it needs for a strong online launch.

Keep Breathing and Cadence are quite similar in the sense that both short films have an important story to tell, they have narratives that will feel familiar to a lot of people but are not shown enough in the media. Is there a reason you’re attracted to telling stories like these?

I think the reason I found an interest in filmmaking was because of how movies made me feel, and the things I learned from them. For example, take the film The Butterfly Effect, this film realigned my thinking and outlook on life. I’m not even sure it intended to. I used to constantly be living in the past thinking “what if I’d done that differently, where would I be now?”.. I’d really dwell on my decisions after I made them, and it’d keep me awake at night wondering if I’ve done the right thing. Even when I was 6 I ran down to my mum crying at midnight because I regretted the choice I made about which sunglasses to buy three weeks previous. The Butterfly Effect made me realise that going back and trying to fix things would disrupt everything else, and that everything happens for a reason. Some other films that have influenced my thinking or taught me something valuable are Seven Pounds, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, Detroit, The Day After Tomorrow and tonnes more. Filmmaking is such a powerful tool. It provides entertainment and escapism, but it can also change the world.

Alex Stroud & Emmeline Kellie at the Midlands Movies Awards 2018
Alex Stroud & Emmeline Kellie at the Midlands Movies Awards 2018

You’re an Actor, Producer and Writer, do you have a favourite and why?

I’d say my heart belongs to acting but I really do love it all.

Do you see a future where you actively undertake all three roles or is there one you would like to focus all your efforts on in the future?

I think acting is what I actually want to do for a career. I really, really want to go into TV and work on lots of amazing projects with talented and inspiring people. In an ideal world, acting is where I’d make my income, however, I think I’m always going to have a passion project on the go as well. If I can produce at least one really decent film every year, I’ll be happy - it’s such a fulfilling experience.

What is your experience filmmaking in the Midlands, is it a good region to make films in?

The East Midlands is fantastic. We have such a wonderful close-knit film community and everyone is so keen and supportive. I think everyone has worked with everyone at some point, and we have at least a handful of amazingly talented people to fill every single position in a film crew. Apart from a grip maybe- I’m not sure I know any grips.

Was there a specific moment in your life where you knew you wanted to embark on a career in the media/film?

Not that I can remember. I’ve always wanted to act since I was small. I loved school plays, loved going to the Valle Academy of Performing Arts and loved making my mum sit through many private performances that I’m sure she was a huge fan of. Film came about quite suddenly when I was presented with the brief for my GCSE art coursework. My teacher said “you can do whatever you like, whether it’s a painting, a sketch, pottery, a sculpture, a cross-stitch… hell you could even make a film if you’re crazy enough!” … I chose crazy and I loved it. Picked up a crappy digital camera from my mum’s drawer, flicked it into video mode and bribed my friends to act for me, and then started shooting. Never looked back.

What should the industry be doing that it currently isn’t for independent filmmakers such as yourself?

Funding. I just feel like the amount of hoops you have to jump through to get any kind of funding secured for a film, whether it’s a short or feature, is soul-destroying. Although I do understand that there’s sadly not much money in the pot anymore. Maybe there should be more peer-mentorship and shadowing opportunities set up with the people who are achieving the things we all want to be achieving. I don’t really know but it’s so hard to move forward.

Keep Breathing aside, have you any other projects in the pipeline?

There’s lots of ideas being thrown about at the minute - I think it’ll either be a fun, snappy short that we can do on a couple hundred quid, or our first feature!

If people would like to take part in the funding for Keep Breathing, how can they do so?

You can find all details on our campaign page: www.crowdfunder.co.uk/kbshortfilm

Be sure to check out all the rewards! The campaign ends on 17th September at 10:00am.

By midlandsmovies, Jun 1 2017 08:52AM

The Graduate (2017)

The Curve Theatre in Leicester

Adapted by Terry Johnson, this new stage production of the famous 1963 novel (and the infamous 1967 film) comes to Leicester’s Curve theatre on the movie’s 50th anniversary.

Charles Webb’s novel is used as the basis alongside the adapted screenplay by Calder Willingham and Buck Henry which is all the more amazing knowing it’s been organised by special arrangement with Studio Canal.

Catherine McCormack (Braveheart, The Land Girls, 28 Weeks Later) is the play’s iconic cougar Mrs. Robinson (made famous by Anne Bancroft in the movie) and she is supported by Jack Monaghan as Benjamin as he fills the shoes of Dustin Hoffman’s film incarnation.

Immediately the talented director Lucy Bailey plays up the dark humour with hilarious lines delivered in quick succession warming the audience to the protagonists. Chuckles turned into belly laughs later on as the cast showed an amazing comedic talent especially including a brief but memorable role by Tom Hodgkins as Benjamin’s father Mr Braddock.

The stage design from Mike Britton was fantastic as we moved from home settings and hotels to elevators and wedding chapels. Large projected back-lit screens have the feel of 1960’s Super-8 film but this also allowed the production to utilise these in dream-like sequences to penetrate into the mind of Benjamin. This ingenious use of adaptation from the novel got the audience far more emotionally involved and broke up the scenes into understandable narrative chunks.

The music was sparse and came in the form of a few acoustic tracks but the lack of the iconic Simon and Garfunkel tunes was disappointing but understandable given the copyright issues no doubt. However, these sounds of silence were overcome by an engaging atmosphere created by the actors themselves and the background noise effects.

The lighting especially was first rate as it created a space on the stage for the drama and comedy to play out. Finally, the crew should be applauded again for the simple, yet effective, use of curtains. As well as a symbol of privacy and hidden secrets, the half-drawn fabrics created rooms and windows as well as a hazy visions of the society Benjamin fights against.

With the stage illusions complete, the funny gags continued and we see Monaghan’s Benjamin create his own worst world with his infamous liaisons with Mrs Robinson before his self destructive nature homes in on her daughter – a delightful Emma Curtis as put-upon Elaine.

Some adult nudity and arguments are handled with sensitivity and the actors have such great chemistry you are certainly with them every step of the way. Emotions eventually climax as the disillusioned souls come together and the illicit relationships are laid bare. Richard Clothier’s natural talent should also be singled out as the confident, then broken, Mr. Robinson as he plays a husband shattered by the forbidden revelations.

Catherine McCormack’s drunken antics were a joy to watch throughout whilst she infused the role with an eroticism that any male would desire and Monaghan equally steps up his talent to match. His performance is one of great depth as he has to give Benjamin both tender and pathetic qualities yet does so with ease.

With so many parts working together there was an audible silence at the play’s conclusion, the likes of which I had never witnessed in a theatre and whilst it riffs on the film, the ending relies far more on the novel.

The Graduate is such a quality production that to pick minor faults would do such a high class show a disservice. With audience engagement at a high and with charming performances and the remarkable technical qualities so well executed this is one affair you won’t ever want to end.

Catch The Graduate at Curve Leicester from 1st to 10th June 2017.

This production has an age guidance of 14+ and contains some nudity.

Tickets can be purchased from the Official Ticket Office at 0116 242 3595 with discounts for under 16s, over 60s, under 18s school groups, members and more.

By midlandsmovies, Apr 11 2017 06:10PM

Midlands Movies Mike speaks to Northampton based actress Kate Fenwick about her life in the industry so far.

Midlands Movies: Hi Kate, how are you and could you tell our readers a bit about yourself?

Kate Fenwick: I’m good thanks. Well, I am 22 years old and I am currently based in Northampton. I graduated from Northampton University with a BA in Acting which I received in 2015. On a personal level I rent an apartment with my friends and have a wonderful boyfriend who is also an actor.

MM: Thanks Kate. So you’re from the Midlands area then?

KF: Yep! But born and bred in Lincolnshire, out east! I was brought up in a cute little village called Middle Rasen.

MM: So after moving around the region how did you get where you are now?

KF: I’ve been performing since the age of 11 at various theatre companies in Lincoln. However, I was 14 when I was signed to my first agent.

MM: That’s very impressive!

KF: Well, it’s still very early on in my career so I wouldn’t say I am in a position to choose my own projects just yet - but my ultimate goal is to be working in film and television. If I could choose, being in a Netflix Original would be pretty amazing, or maybe a BBC 3 Drama.

MM: And what have you learnt upon the way?

KF: You have to understand your self-worth as an actor! I have agreed in the past to take part in projects where the money situation was pretty poor. I found it hard to say anything as I didn’t think I had a voice compared to other people working within the project.

MM: Is speaking up a hard thing to do for actors?

KF: It is something that I am still working on, but in this day and age, I do think actors should be more assertive so that we are valued just as much as everyone else involved in that certain project. Also, I want to be as consistent as possible, and in this industry, that isn’t something I can really control.

MM: You’ve recently appeared on the BBC show Doctors. Can you tell our readers about that experience?

KF: On set, everyone was so lovely and I was well looked after! I would arrive on set and then head straight to costume and then hair and make-up. After that, it would be a rehearsal and then filming.

MM: Sounds a great time. Has anyone helped you along the way? Any heroes for example?

KF: I think my drama teachers at school definitely had a part to play in my decision to become a professional actor. Their guidance and passion was contagious and they made me feel confident enough to fully commit. I would say my heroes are more personal based. My family are amazing and I wouldn’t be an actor if it wasn’t for my dad!

MM: Sounds like you’ve got a lot of great support around you. What are the hurdles you’ve had to overcome?

KF: I remember the night before going to University pretty clearly as my mindset of whether to go or not was constantly changing because I am very family orientated. I also wasn’t sure If I could do it. I kept saying to myself “I’ll make a final decision next week” and then “next week” and so on, but sure enough, it became the best three years of my life. Acting all day everyday with your best friends is priceless and I will always recommend going to Uni.

MM: That’s great to hear. And with regards to film, what are your favourite movies and what have they helped you with?

KF: Awakenings is probably my favourite film. I don’t think you can much go wrong really when a film is so closely based on a true story. I care for the characters much more and the performances in that film are stunning!

MM: And so thinking of the future, what does that hold in store for you?

KF: I would love to stay in the Midlands and earn enough as an actor to buy my own place here. The problem is though that an actor needs to follow the work, so I won’t have a lot of choice. Northampton is great because it is situated in the centre of the country with central routes. I do like to support local projects though and hope to continue doing this!

MM: Any final thoughts that could help others in a similar position?

KF: Well, people instantly think of London when you talk about sustaining yourself as an actor. But you are a small fish in the sea and I think it is so important to connect in other places for sure. I do believe that due to less competition in the Midlands, actors can be seen for longer and there is loads of stuff going on too.

MM: We couldn’t agree more! Thanks for your time Kate and all the best for the future.

KF: Cheers. It’s been a pleasure.

To get in touch and to find out more information about Kate contact her via Spotlight on the details here:

Pin: 1890-1202-7283 https://www.spotlight.com/interactive/cv/1890-1202-7283

By midlandsmovies, Nov 22 2016 10:02PM

Midlands Movies is pleased to showcase the work of local actress Kate Fenwick who has recently thrown her support behind Screen Northants.

Screen Northants is a Midlands social enterprise screen agency for Northamptonshire and works both as a production company as well as creating community films for children in need and develops young stars. They have recently released an Indiegogo crowdfunding video (see above) which stars a host of regional talent.

One such local talent, who also hails from Northampton is actress Kate Fenwick who has recently starred as a student and gang member in BBC One’s Waterloo Road, the British television drama series set in a comprehensive school.

With a range of accents used in appearances as diverse as Macbeth at Alias Theatre and Dream a Little Dream at The University of Northampton Kate has also been involved in musical theatre in her career.

Kate actually began her acting career from the age of 11, when she joined theatre companies around Lincoln and before long moved forward after finding a passion for stage and screen.

“This gave me a drive to start developing my skills set which lead me to my training at The School of Arts, University of Northampton. I enjoyed all aspects of training including modules on post-modern theatre, trestle masks, clowning and on-screen acting”.

When she started out, Kate played Little Inez in Hairspray and Fizzy in Bugsy Malone at the New Youth Theatre. More recently, Kate played a variety of roles in the stage version of Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange (made infamous by the Kubrick film of the same name) at The Royal and Derngate – the theatre in the centre of Northampton’s Cultural Quarter.

With a variety of different experiences Kate has also worked with Murder Productions who deliver interactive dinner theatre experiences where guests sit down to a 3-course meal with actors playing roles in a murder mystery night of fun and investigations.

Graduating from the University of Northampton with a BA in acting in 2015, Kate hopes to move into more Midlands film and movie projects and is looking for collaborative like-minded actors and filmmakers to work with.

To get in touch and to find out more information about Kate contact her via Spotlight on the details here:

Pin: 1890-1202-7283 https://www.spotlight.com/interactive/cv/1890-1202-7283

By midlandsmovies, Sep 21 2016 08:17AM

Midlands Movies Mike speaks to Nottingham born and bred actress Charlie Clarke who has already worked professionally in film, TV and theatre since 2008. We catch up with the local actress known for her “scream queen” roles.

Midlands Movies Mike: Hi Charlie. Can you tell our readers a little bit about your background?

Charlie Clarke: Hi there! Well, I am a Nottingham based actress, film geek, blogger and YouTuber. I have wanted to act for as long as I can remember and my favourite place to be is on a film set. I began performing aged 5 in various school plays, which inspired me to start dancing aged 9 and to join the amateur theatre, The Nottingham Arts Theatre, aged 11. I took part in various dance shows and amateur productions throughout my teenage years and even had the honour of choreographing "Tommy: the Who Musical" at The Nottingham Arts Theatre aged 17. I then began studying a 3 Year Musical Theatre course at Expressions Academy of Performing Arts, where I completed 2 Trinity Guildhall diplomas in both Speech and Drama and Musical Theatre.

MMM: Wow! That’s a lot of experience. What have you learnt on that journey?

CC: I quickly learnt to take audition rejection on the chin, get back up and brush myself off and move on to the next thing. I think anyone who enters this industry is a very brave person, but you have to grow a thick skin fast - If I'd have given up after my first rejection I never would have got going.

MMM: What’s your favourite genre to work in?

CC: Probably about 90% of my CV cries "scream queen" so I guess I could say I specialise in horror but I do enjoy working in all areas. I've been very lucky to be able to work on different projects across the genre spectrum with some incredible filmmakers but I always seem to circle back to horror. I think it's because it's something totally out of the ordinary, there's a certain amount of theatrics in a horror script I find and I love that - the theatre performer in me loves that!

MMM: What are some of the most problematic things you have faced in the film industry?

CC: I hate myself already for giving this answer but - myself - the hardest thing to accept as an actor, I think, is that no matter how badly you want a role or think you'd kick ass in a role, the director might not see you in that role. That hurts sometimes! I know some really amazing filmmakers and writers who I know have had a brilliant script with an awesome role coming up and when I've asked them about it it's a no because I'm just not the right casting type for that role. In that situation the hardest thing to remember is it's not a no because you're a terrible actor, it's a no because you're not right for the character.

MMM: With many years on set, what kind of experiences have you had with filmmakers?

CC: Every set is different, but every set has its own little bit of magic. Most sets though start with intros and a bit of a discussion of the way the day is going to play out, then the crew will set up for the first shots and the actors get into costume and make up - I really love this bit as I can feel myself becoming my character when I get into their clothes and their makeup etc. Then before you know it you're in positions blocking the scene through then the director is yelling action!

I've been on sets where everything has been shot in script order which has given me as an actor the whole run of the script to build up to an ending, but others are shot out of order which in some ways is a bit more challenging, but sometimes you get the most challenging scenes out of the way first then you can relax a bit more. Some days on set feel like a breeze when you manage to nail things in one take, other times can be more difficult when you feel like you'll never get it right and you're on take 12 or something but my gosh is it all worth it!

MMM: Do you have any heroes in film?

CC: This will sound weird coming from someone who talked about horror so much but I really really look up to Melissa McCarthy for one - the last couple of years she has smashed Hollywood and it's standards of what a woman in the industry have to be and it's so inspiring and so damn important! Young women wanting to be actresses still seem to believe they need to be a certain size, or have a certain face or hair colour or something else equally as ridiculous but actresses like Melissa McCarthy are challenging those "norms" and killing it! Jessica Lange is also a massive hero of mine, she's just got it. She's just a power house! Horror wise I am a big fan of Jane Levy from The Evil Dead remake and more recently Don't Breathe. She is a bloody brave actress - the whole ending of The Evil Dead is just final girl perfection in my eyes, something I really aspire to. Also how could you not love the legendary Jamie Lee Curtis?

MMM: All excellent choices. What do you feel some of your own personal successes have been?

CC: I've had a lot of wow moments so far but I guess the one that has to be up there at the top is being in the Opening Ceremony at London 2012 and getting to work with Danny Boyle and Kenrick Sandy. Every rehearsal was so much fun, I made friends for life, high-fived Usain Bolt and was a part of history. It was the most amazing time!

MMM: Thank you. Any favourite films?

CC: This is probably the hardest question! My favourite film changes every week but the ones that stick with me are - Edward Scissorhands, Nightmare of Elm Street, Sleepy Hollow, Planet Terror, Pulp Fiction, Labyrinth, Psycho, Pan's Labyrinth, Cloud Atlas...I could add a lot more, so I'll stop there!

MMM: Any filmmakers or films from the UK or the Midlands?

CC: Don't call me bias because I'm his other half but - Liam Banks of SuperfreakMedia is absolutely killing it at the moment! I met him nearly 5 years ago now on one of his university films and he just gets better and better with each film and it's been a pleasure to see this both professionally from working with him and personally. He lives and breathes film and I think this comes through in his work. I'm also a big fan of Dominic Burns, who I've met a few times now and would love to get on a set with, he's a very special talent. As well as these guys I really like the work of Owen Tooth, another person I would love to work with!

MMM: And what is next for Charlie Clarke?

CC: To keep challenging myself, to work on scripts I love, with directors that inspire me and hopefully I'll get to inspire future performers too!

MMM: Finally, what advice would you give to others just starting out?

CC: Believe in yourself, surround yourself with good people and don't be afraid of rejection. I've experienced it and I know actor friends and filmmaker friends who have experienced it too but if you really want it and love the industry you won't let this stop you!

MMM: Thank you Charlie and all the best with your future projects.

CC: Thank you so much for inviting me to take part. It was a pleasure.

Follow Charlie on her social media profiles below

Web - www.charlieclarkeactress.webs.com

Spotlight - http://www.spotlight.com/9314-0190-8701

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/charlieclarkeactressuk

Twitter - @CharlieCActress

By midlandsmovies, Aug 5 2016 09:25AM

East Midlands actress Shelley Draper speaks to Midlands Movies about her latest project with the Outward Film Network.

Shelley Draper has been acting professionally for nearly 12 years and has come a long way since her first foray into movie acting when she starred in corporate film back in 2011.

Now she’s set to appear in Junction 6, a new film written and directed by Matthew Simmonds from the Outward Film Network in the Midlands that explores the tight hold that pay day loans have on families.

Junction 6’s story follows protagonist Darren in an attempt to give his family all they could wish for, but finds himself locked into a meeting with those offering the financial aid.

Shelley describes her time on the set of this serious drama as having a very warm atmosphere with the director having a calm nature, which she says was needed when dealing with the film’s issues – as well as managing family dogs and drilling neighbours!

“Our day (to shoot) was a Sunday so the family whose house we were shooting in were present”, adds Shelley. “They were lovely though, and took the dogs out for a walk which gave us time & space, but the next-door neighbour decided to do some very loud intermittent drilling!”

With the sound lady being “fabulous” and Shelley sure they managed to get some clean shots, she also says that despite these location-based hiccups, she loves her work as an actress.

“I just love acting and the process of creating great work. Although, I do love work that makes people see things differently - from a different perspective than they may have done originally - and makes an audience think as well as feel. For example, theatre work I've done recently has highlighted topics such as conscientious objectors in WW2, monologues of Syrian refugees & some very abstract takes on relationships”.

As well as these themes, Shelley is also interested in being part of creating more films that feature women in key roles, but with the film not just being 'about' women. In addition, women actresses and directors play a large part in Shelley’s influences as well as a love for all things comedy.

“Julie Christie and Rita Tushingham are amazing in Doctor Zhivago and David Lean certainly knows how to do epic. E.T. is just so stunningly simple and real and I love comedy films such as 9 to 5 with Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton as well as Dumb & Dumber, Wayne's World, Bridesmaids and any of Woody Allen’s films”.

“I'd love to do a really off-the-wall comedy myself sometime. Something nuts. Just plain nuts”.

As well as fun times, Shelley says that being in the industry for many years has helped her overcome hurdles that all actors and actresses have to deal with in their careers.

“In theatre, you have to get over audition nerves. They tend to be of a different intensity each time! You also have to handle the rejection when it's a 'no'. These are things that get a lot easier with time & experience though”.

“A particular time when this happened was during one evening shoot where I was driving around Canary Wharf. We couldn't start till late and didn't wrap until 5am, so that hurdle was delirium caused by lack of sleep - and we had to drive back from London up the M1 afterwards that very morning. Luckily there were two of us to stop each other falling asleep at the wheel!”

With all her hard work and experience, Shelley is proud of her achievements to date and splits herself between the theatre and cinematic worlds.

“I am proud of performing at Nottingham’s Playhouse and being cast in two feature films this year, both of which have been a highlight. I also performed at the Edinburgh Festival last year and won the best actress award at the British Horror film festival in 2014. I'm basically living my dream”.

Finally quitting her office job in 2000 and starting from scratch to become a professional actress, along with having a family, the busy Shelley is not resting on her laurels anytime soon though with an upcoming part in 'The Devil Outside', a feature film shooting in Nottinghamshire.

Finally she says that commitment and taking your time is a key skill to have in the industry.

“Remember, it's a marathon, not a sprint. Get as much experience as you can, wherever you can, learn from your experiences every time and just keep going”.

To follow the progress of Junction 6 please visit the Outward Film Network: http://outwardfilmnetwork.com/

For further information about Shelley Draper please visit her website here: http://www.shelleydraper.com

Midlands Movies Mike

By midlandsmovies, Apr 25 2016 04:51PM

Midlands Movies showcases West Midlands born actress Rachel Chambers who recently starred in a brand new release called ‘One Thing Left to Do. Mike takes a look at this up and coming actress and her current projects.

Rachel Chambers has a wide range of experience in her career as an actress. Just last year, Rachel filmed with Crack It Productions on a docudrama series for Channel 5, but it is with ’One Thing Left to Do’ that she is currently riding high with.

In April 2016, the film screened at Warner Bros Studios in London and Rachel’s background has seen her also star in the BBC’s 'Doctors' show as well as working on two short films.

Directed by Shane Sweeney who is an up-and-coming actor and filmmaker with experience in feature film, ’One Thing Left to Do’ sees him write and produce Rachel in this story of dark brooding love and tension.

With such a diverse range of films, her role as Rosie in this new feature from Sweeney Productions is the culmination of a wide range of artistic endeavours both on TV, film as well as on stage. In 2015 she played Margaret in Mind the Gap – a National Theatre production directed by Matt Harrison.

Her short film credits include ‘The Cheat and God’ by Animus Pictures and Nyall Cook’s ‘The No Meet & No Greet’ where she played Anna. Not adverse to performing in any genre, Rachel also appeared as a drummer in a music video by Labrinth for his track ‘Treatment’ back in 2012.

A talent in more ways than one, you can find out more about Rachel in her showreel below and she can be contacted professionally via NINA LEE MANAGEMENT.

Rachel Chambers at Casting Call Pro

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