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By midlandsmovies, Jan 1 2019 12:18PM

Aurora (2018)


Directed by Louis Brough & Natalie Martins


Scarlett Light Media


This new Midlands short uses the region to re-imagine Sleeping Beauty in the Woods taking elements of both fantasy and drama in its new take on the established fairy tale.


We open on an ominous spinning wheel before waking up, funnily enough, with our lead Rose (Amelia Gabbard) heading downstairs on her birthday to a fate unknown.


In a kitchen we see an older lady, Aunt Fleur discuss a family secret with her own sister but unbeknownst to them both, Rose is within ear shot to this shocking truth. Here we find that Rose was taken from her parents who are both still alive and before they know it, they see Rose run off into the forest.


The directors use well-tailored fantasy costumes to evoke a world of wickedly wonder whilst the forest and woods are filmed in glorious green hues given the film an air of animation with their vivid and contrasting colours.


As Rose gathers her thoughts near a small brook, a stranger (David Wayman) arrives on a white horse. Again, the filmmaker takes us from the Midlands to a fantasy land complimented by a great sound mix and a fantastical string score.


The stranger expresses his fondness for her singing before the two embark on a walk around the woods and lakes. Gorgeous cinematography helps sells this wonderland and the acting is solid if a little melodramatic at times. Good location work is helped with the use of an historic building that could be almost gingerbread with its chocolate brown beams and flowery sweet garden.


One of her aunts eventually catches up with Rose to explain that Rose’s parents live in a nearby castle but she was hidden as a young child to avoid “something evil”. And then shares some of her own magical secrets with a wand literally up her sleeve.


The two directors have maintained and delivered on a special vision that takes a very different tact to many of the films from the region. It’s great to see this, and the Lord of the Rings influenced The Return of the Ring, focus on the fantasy genre. Especially when Tolkien’s real Middle-Earth was better known as the West Midlands.


In conclusion, the film is a well-executed and fun slice of folklore with its own spin. A magical tale with a real visual flair, you should check out Aurora for all its enchanting delights.


Mike Sales


Find out more about Aurora at the film’s official Facebook page here



By midlandsmovies, Nov 2 2018 10:21PM



Midlands Spotlight - Aurora


Midlands Movies editor Mike Sales discovers new local short film Aurora from regional filmmaker Louis Brough. From its fairy tale roots to an extended post-production period, the film has had a rocky road to completion but is close to release through the hard work of a dedicated cast and crew.


Inspired by the beloved fairy tale "The Sleeping Beauty in the Woods", new Midlands short Aurora follows a young teenage girl and her journey of self-discovery before the curse placed on her at birth takes over.


And although the film finished shooting in July of last year, since then local director Louis Brough has been deep in post-production but it’s not quite a ‘happy ever after’ just yet.


After losing the original composers, the score was rewritten and the mixing was a long process which the production spent a long time perfecting. And visual effects had a difficult task in removing telegraph poles and creating a floating book but, in his own words, "finally we are ready to submit the film to festivals and share it with the world”, says Louis.


“We had an amazing shoot in Hampshire's New Forest, capturing some terrific performances and have developed a beautiful and unique story”.



Alongside Louis is co-director and award-winning actress Natalie Martins and Louis explains, like the best old tales of yore, the idea has been gestating for a very long time.


“I originally wrote this idea down when I was 11 and decided this is a good time to develop this project. And after speaking to Natalie about it we both fell in love with the idea of exploring a coming of age story in a fairy tale setting”.


Louis adds, “Together we want to explore the character of Sleeping Beauty in much more detail than what has previously been explored in other adaptations of this classic tale. We will spend time with her and witness her reaction as she is told about the curse that has been following her for her entire life”.

This coming of age fantasy tale is an exploration of the Sleeping Beauty story told from the perspective of the girl who will fall asleep at the end of the film.


And although the audience may know that it ultimately has a happy ending owing to its many retellings, Louis hopes the intrigue will come from not knowing anything about this girl who will be awakened by true love's kiss.


And Louis suggests the film uses the familiarity to explore many more new ideas and themes.


"The concept of Aurora uses a tale we all know very well, but delves into depths which are likely to remain in the audience's minds for some time”.


The video of their funding campaign can be viewed below and check out the film’s updates on Facebook:


www.facebook.com/scarlettlightmedia





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