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By midlandsmovies, May 26 2018 09:40AM



Martin Sharpe Is Sorry


Directed by Lee Tomes & Daley Francis


Bang Average Films (2018)


“Two Academy Award Nominations. Too many allegations...”


This new 3-minute short comes from Midlands filmmakers Bang Average Films who previously impressed us with their comedy film Careering earlier this year.


They take a sharp turn here with a far more multi-layered drama about sexual harassment in the media which marks a stark contrast between their previous light-hearted effort and the serious subject matter we see here.


The short begins with a man (Dean Kilbey as actor Martin Sharpe) inside a hotel room staring blankly as he hears news reports about a famous man accused of sexual misconduct.


We are quickly to assume that this coverage is about him and this is confirmed as his PR agent starts to discuss with him the various options to mitigate the issues. With the #MeToo movement raising awareness in real life, the film approaches this difficult topic head on but throws in some controversial perspectives as well.


The strangely brown colour palette mutes some of the harsher themes at play and the film takes further risks with a rather comedic performance from Helen Lewis as Jane. This was an interesting direction to take and didn’t entirely work for me but at around the half way point there is a particular shift into more a more sombre and dark tone.


As she proposes the different options to the star including a non-confirming announcement that his judgment was impaired, Martin asks, “when did everything change?” Of another time, the film asks the audience to question how modern values have shifted from more previous “acceptable” times of the past. Combined with his protestations of innocence one could even suggest the film creates a tiny amount of sympathy.


However, this is dashed immediately as it contrasts with Martin’s statement, “I used to do anything I wanted” further complicating the issue and setting the audience in opposition to his big-headed arrogance.


As they work through which PR route to take – interviews, charity donations – the aforementioned tonal change occurs when Jane raises the subject of “aggressive allegations”. Jane’s previously jovial demeanour rotates 180 degrees with her acute question, capturing Martin off guard.


Martin’s “tart’s pants” comment continues to play with the audience’s mind whereby his adamant denial conflicts with his dismissive sexism and chauvinism.


Is it defending an innocent man’s accusations with a comment on witch-hunting and principles from another time? Or is it taking a moral standpoint that with clever media and PR you can spin these genuine victim claims into gossip and hearsay?


Well, the film leaves the audience to decide somewhat and a final shot of Martin entering a lift is juxtaposed with a raft of voices spinning through his mind with more (and multiple) accusations.


Tackling difficult themes, Martin Sharpe Is Sorry is not entirely successful with an uneven tone but its script and performances will make audiences contemplate the problematic subject matter in a world of spin and soundbites. But make no mistake, you’ll be thinking about the issues it raises far beyond the confines of its short runtime.


Midlands Movies Mike


Watch the full short below:






By midlandsmovies, Nov 27 2017 07:23PM



LEICESTER BASED FILMMAKERS ‘BANG AVERAGE FILMS’ ARE OUT OF THE GATE


‘Bang average’ is a term normally used in relation to something being pretty poor, but Leicester based filmmakers Lee Tomes and Daley Francis and decided to take the saying and give it a positive spin.


“I love the term ‘bang average’, especially in a Scouse accent,” says Francis, the screenwriter and producer of the group. “I can understand people might be scratching their heads when they hear that’s the name of our film group - especially when it’s a negative term - but there’s a reason for it".


The name Bang Average Films comes from the ethos of the filmmaking collective formed by Francis and Tomes - Low-to-no budget films that bring bang for their (lack of) buck.


“These days technology, information and guidance is easily accessible and you can reach millions of people in an instant,” said Lee, the man behind the camera and behind the editing desk. “There are no reasons - or excuses - for filmmakers to not be making films anymore. You can make a film on an iPhone. It might not be cinema ready, but if you’ve got talent it’ll shine through".


The term ‘bang average’ also applies to the ideal that not every film has to be on a level with Kubrick or Nolan. Filmmaking can (and should) be fun and achievable. If it’s not Hollywood standard, who really cares? At the end of the day it’s all about great ideas and great storytelling”.



Lee and Daley have made various short films together in the past, including the boxing mockumentary Rocky Road and the anti-bullying drama Common Ground.


Both films went to festivals and have been well-received, but then came a four year hiatus before Bang Average was formed, with Francis venturing into self-publishing and releasing four novels, and Tomes running Orange Fox Studios, a visual storytelling agency based in Leicester that specialises in making online ads and virals.


“We’ve both continued to tell stories, just in different forms,” Francis explains. “But we’ve always kept in touch and knocked ideas around. We work well together and that shows with our new film Careering".


After deciding that Bang Average Films will focus on 3-8 minute comedy and drama shorts, Francis scripted Careering, a tale about a crazed Careers Advisor who tries to convince college students to abandon their dreams. All in the name of (questionable) fun.


“Careering is a statement of intent, for sure,” said Tomes. “We want to be prolific, we want to have fun and keep the momentum going. But most of all, we want to move people: tears, anger and laughter are all welcome. I can’t wait to work on our next project!”


You can read our review of Careering as well as watch the trailer CLICK HERE


Bang Average official website https://bangaveragefilms.com/


Midlands Movies Mike




By midlandsmovies, Nov 17 2017 11:17AM



Careering (2017)

Directed by Lee Tomes & Daley Francis

Bang Average Films


“She'll guide you to your dream job... via a nightmare!”


The movie world has a history of short but great scenes of interviews from the antics of Step Brothers to the seriousness of Will Smith’s desperate father in The Pursuit of Happyness.


Ben Affleck has been in quite a few from a comedy turn in Good Will Hunting to something more sobering in The Company Men (and I’d add his sleazy boss from Boiler Room as well) and these experiences are ripe for picking apart as two strangers come together to judge one another.


With lashings of Brent-style Office humour containing awkwardness and embarrassment, Bang Average Films take a different path with their new short ‘Careering’. Focusing on a career advisor in a college, we are thrown straight into a short comedy film where things aren’t as they seem.


We begin with advisor Tracy sitting at a desk playing with a computer and a potted plant but the interview she’s about to start comes up smelling anything other than roses.


Then the chirpy Daphne (Hollie Burrows) joins and sits down on a nearby office chair. From Scooby Doo references to shortening her name, Tracy demeans Daphne (or “Daffers”) whilst possibly attempting to create a mood of light-heartedness. It is anything but jovial though and the brilliant ticks and quirks of lead actress Helen Lewis channel that weirdly unsettling “try-hard" colleague or boss we’ve all experienced at least one time in our career.


As the tables are turned, Daphne is shocked to see a celebratory drink being poured from a desk drawer hiding a glass decanter of liquor. The comedy comes from surprise as well as Tracy’s knack for ‘enjoying’ a job which turns potential artists and doctors away from their dreams. The tight script efficiently gets to the fun visual and verbal gags as the two lead actresses banter back and forth in an increasingly stunted relationship.


A cameo at the end from Flip You’s Peter James is a nice crossover to another Midlands comedy group – maybe a cinematic universe in the making, ha ha – but the trio of actors work well with their brief but important roles.


The Office comparisons are easy to make with any desk-bound comedy but directors Tomes and Francis keep their film short and sweet and is a great calling card for this new Midlands filmmaking group. With a hint of Pauline from The League of Gentleman thrown in as well, I envisage a long career in the Midlands movie scene ahead.


Midlands Movies Mike


Check out updates from Bang Average Films at their site and social media pages below:


http://www.bangaveragefilms.com

https://twitter.com/bangaveragefilm








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