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By midlandsmovies, Sep 19 2017 10:07AM



Midlands Professional - Birmingham actor Andre Pierre


Our Professional series continues as Midlands Movies chats to Andre Pierre – an actor form the region who shares his background and experience in the industry.


Mike finds out more about his past projects as well as his new major 2018 film “15 Minutes of War” directed by Fred Grivois.


The Midlands

Andre Pierre is a professional actor from Birmingham (West Midlands) and is represented by IPM (Imperial Personal Management). With over 7 years of acting experience, including workshops at The Crescent Theatre and Millennium Point, he took his experience to the Birmingham Theatre School before moving into short and feature films, TV and theatre.


“I have a variety of upcoming films coming up including sci-Fi drama “Graycon” directed by Duaine Carma Roberts, superhero TV pilot “Lucid The Dreamwalker”, an action thriller feature film “TONY” and an urban drama feature film called “Blitz In The Bitz” which are all premiering in October”.



Acting beginnings

“My foundation for acting in general started when I was 13. My first role into films was an educational short film called “My Life My Choice” and it was the first time I auditioned for any kind of film project. At the time I had no clue to how big and how much attention this film was going to receive”.


The trailer to the film went viral which was closely followed by a premiere at Star City in Birmingham. Andre Pierre continues, “Being part of this made me realise the power a film can have on people and was the turning point for me to become a professional actor. Since then I’ve had numerous leading and supporting roles”.


Exclusive Shot From Short Film “Last Night In Freedom” Directed By Click Jones Coming Soon
Exclusive Shot From Short Film “Last Night In Freedom” Directed By Click Jones Coming Soon

Overcoming Hurdles

“Staying committed regardless of how many no’s you receive sounds like a cliché but it’s very true in this industry. You have to have thick skin because part of your job is dealing with criticism from your audience, critics, directors, casting directors etc. You are going to judged by everyone and it’s something you cannot get past so you have to whole heartedly believe in yourself, believe in your talent and believe in your work ethic to reach the goals you set out for yourself”.




Superhero TV Pilot "Lucid The Dreamwalker" Directed By The Johnson Bros Coming Soon


Acting methods

“I always analyse the script and talk with the director first and foremost to make sure what direction they want the character to go in. But I always bring honesty and authenticity to my performances so want to make sure that you see the truth in the characters I’m playing. This needs to be related to the story so you are invested in them along their journey. I always try to see how my character moves and talks, how does he react in various situations etc so a lot of research in one or another. I always want my characters to be relatable, interesting and as grounded as possible to give the best performances”.


Challenges faced by actors on local films

“There are so many challenges it varies but it could be from noise being too loud on the location, actors dropping out at the last minute and filming days going on longer than expected. I would say, for actors, just prepare yourself for anything on an independent or short film because it’s all training grounds for the bigger platforms and it only helps you to get better at your craft when you go through these experiences”.

Andre Pierre Playing James From Feature Film “TONY” Directed By Jack Veasey
Andre Pierre Playing James From Feature Film “TONY” Directed By Jack Veasey

Acting experiences

“I think my best acting experience was filming in Morocco for the feature film “15 Minutes Of War” (15 Minutes De Guerre). It has been my first role filming abroad but also my first big role on a film on this scale with so much action, working with a Hollywood actress and rising movie stars as well as a critically acclaimed director. It’s been like nothing I’ve ever done before. I was developing the character, learning the language and filming the first week in Casablanca before shooting the rest of the film in Marrakech in the desert which was challenging within itself but also a pure joy I will never forget. The worst experience was not being fully prepared for an audition when I was starting out. It was so horrible [laughs] but it was also a learning curve for me to always to be ready and give yourself enough time to prepare for auditions in the future. I made sure that never happened again”.


Advice for beginners

“The best advice I can pass on is to try and get some form of training whether it’s in drama or theatre school, performing arts courses or acting workshops. This training gives you the foundation and tools to become the best performer possible. Using Star Now or Mandy (Casting Call Pro) are good for getting started to find some form of work as well. Another alternative route is to find friends that are making films and get involved - or even just create your own films”.


Best advice from others

“I was told to ‘risk everything’ and what I take from that is you have to risk looking like an idiot at times to bring out the best performance. There’s been many times where either the director or I had to push myself even further to bring out my full potential and sometimes you might think that’s not normal or you might be self conscious. That is the very thing what pushes it from good to great so I would always say push past your comfort zone. Now, when I’m usually fearful of something I haven’t done before, it only encourages me to do better and discover new skills about myself I thought I didn’t have”.


A Shot From Short Film “The Glove Game: Beginning” Directed By Josh Bliss
A Shot From Short Film “The Glove Game: Beginning” Directed By Josh Bliss

Future plans

“The future is looking very bright for next year and beyond. I’ll be in a lot more feature films and TV shows. My work is already opening up more opportunities than I ever imagined so I will be in fewer short films than before. The journey has been full of many surprises and I feel very blessed and thankful to be in this position right now”.


Final words

“I would say that you have to believe in yourself first and foremost and love the craft because this journey won’t be easy. It’s not going to happen overnight so enjoy the process, enjoy the journey and learn as much as you can from other creatives. Don’t wait on that big opportunity to come to you work towards it now whether it’s being part of theatre or short and independent films but get yourself out there and make your career happen!”.


Check out more from Andre Pierre on his Spotlight page here: https://www.spotlight.com/interactive/cv/0811-3493-3372


A Shot From Horror Short Film “Bless You” Directed By Daryl Grizzle



Midlands Movies Mike

By midlandsmovies, Sep 9 2017 07:48AM

BIRMINGHAM ON FILM II

9 - 17 SEPTEMBER 2017

 


Birmingham on Film returns this week with a celebration of the city’s waterways.

 

Last year Flatpack: Assemble launched a month-long season of Birmingham-related archive film, screening the best (and worst) films made in and about the city. Birmingham on Film II takes place from 9-17 September, with a focus on Birmingham’s 35 miles of canals.

 

Expect retro kids TV, Cliff Richard, Midlands alien sightings and everyone’s favourite disc jockey Alan Partridge….




STARMAN

Saturday 9 September, 7.45-10.00pm, Stirchley Baths, FREE

The John Carpenter classic, Starman (cert: PG) stars Jeff Bridges as an alien visitor to Earth who is knocked off course and must take an interstate road trip to rendezvous with a mothership from his home planet. 

 



DIY DRIVE IN CINEMA

Saturday 16 September, 2.00-4.30pm, Rum Runner Yard, Regency Wharf, £3

The chance to build your own mini-car out of scrap material and then park up for some Birmingham-based kids TV including Brum and Tiswas.

 

TAKE ME HIGH

Saturday 16 September, 6.00-7.30pm, Gas Street Basin, £10

Take Me High stars Cliff Richard as a self-absorbed banker who moves to Birmingham, buys himself a narrowboat and invents the Brumburger. This neglected musical oddity aboard a canal boat and a Brumburger is included in the ticket price. 

 

WATERWAY TO HAVE A GOOD TIME

Saturday 16 September, 4.30-5.30pm, Rum Runner Yard, Regency Wharf, FREE

Sunday 17 September, 2.00-3.00pm, Rum Runner Yard, Regency Wharf, FREE

A selection of canal related archive shorts curated by the Media Archive for Central England followed by a special screening of I’m Alan Partridge.



MADE IN BRUM

Sunday 17 September, 12.00-5.00pm, Gas Street Basin, FREE

Hop aboard the floating cinema and catch a wonderful selection of family-friendly shorts made in Brum.

 

COLOUR BOX SHORTS: NATURE’S TALES

Sunday 17 September, 12.00-2.00pm, Rum Runner Yard, Regency Wharf, FREE

An assortment of Flatpack family favourites from our Colour Box short film programme.

 

THE BARGEE

Sunday 17 September, 3.30-5.00pm, Rum Runner Yard, Regency Wharf, FREE

Harry H Corbett – better known as Steptoe the younger – is a bargee who ferries boats and goods up and down the Grand Union canal, wooing various women while his mate Ronnie Barker keeps an eye on the tiller.


Birmingham on Film II is part of Birmingham Heritage Week, which runs from 7-17 September.


For ticket information go to http://flatpackfestival.org.uk/2017/08/birmingham-on-film-2/


By midlandsmovies, Jun 19 2017 01:43PM



Europe's Largest Indian Film Festival returns to Birmingham this month with 11 independent films, 2 music documentaries and a host of talent over 10 days in 3 cinemas.


The Bagri Foundation Birmingham Indian Film Festival (BIFF) returns to the city this summer in partnership with the citywide USTAV celebration of South Asian culture. Sister to the Bagri Foundation London Indian Film Festival, (LIFF) it is regarded as Europe’s largest Indian film festival and will run from Friday 23 June until Sunday 2 July 2017.


The festival opens on Friday 23 June at Cineworld Birmingham, Broad Street with a glittering red-carpet Birmingham premiere of the historical epic, The Black Prince by Kavi Raz, a powerful UK-produced film launched at Cannes. It stars Punjabi singer Satinder Sartaaj, who will be guest of honour on the opening night, iconic actress Shabana Azmi (The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Fire), Jason Flemyng (Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, X-Men:First Class) and Amanda Root (Jane Eyre). The film dramatises the true but little-known story of the last King of Punjab who was abducted by the British Raj to be mentored by Queen Victoria.


Back into the 21st Century for the closing night, on 2 July, mac Birmingham will screen the surreal Malayalam road-movie thriller Sexy Durga directed by Sanal Kumar Sasidharan. Winner of the prestigious Tiger Award for best film at Rotterdam International Film Festival Sexy Durga set in Kerala tells the tale of a hitch-hiking couple who try to escape a road to hell after accidentally getting into a car of deranged gangsters.



The acclaimed festival features new and exciting cinema featuring cutting edge films that reaffirm the festival’s position as the ‘punk-rock of Indian cinema’ and is an edgy tie-in, to UK-India Year of Culture and complementing the BFI’s India on Film programme,


Further screenings include the regional premieres of Tamil comedy, Ticket - The Movie (Raaghav Ranganthan, 2017), anarchic Bollywood comedy Badman (Soumik Sen, 2017) and N Padmakumar's inspirational Mumbai drama A Billion Colour Story (2016). The festival experiments for the first time with horror with the disturbing Hide and Seek (Vishal Furia, 2016), plus the Regional Premiere of Pakistani gangster thriller, Whirlpool (Harune Massey 2017).


The Bagri Foundation Birmingham Indian Film Festival will also host an exclusive ‘In Conversation With’ including Bollywood Director, Ashutosh Gowariker who directed Bollywood superstar, Aamir Khan in the Oscar nominated Lagaan: Once Upon A Time in India (2001) and the epic historical romance Jodhaa Akbar (2008) starring former Miss World, Aishwarya Rai.


Cary Rajinder Sawhney, LIFF & BIFF Director, says: “We are delighted to bring Birmingham audiences a carefully curated selection of the very best new Indian and South Asian independent cinema; all films are English subtitled, offering a rare window into over a billion South Asian lives. This year's selection includes premieres of new comedies, gripping thrillers, shocking horror and insightful true-life documentaries as well as bringing together UK previews of major award-winning films from the world's greatest film festivals."



New venue partners for this evolving festival continue to help it serve a broader diverse audience and this year the festival is delighted to welcome The Mockingbird Cinema and Kitchen, based at the Custard Factory in Digbeth. The festival’s long-term venues include Cineworld Birmingham Broad Street and mac Birmingham.


The films screened are in a wide range of South Asian languages to reflect the linguistic diversity of Birmingham’s Indian and South Asian communities and all films are subtitled in English.


Check out the event's official websites to purchase tickets and find out even more information about this exciting Midlands event: www.birminghamindianfilmfestival.co.uk




By midlandsmovies, May 23 2017 09:43PM



Cult Screens heads to the Midlands region for Summer 2017 extravaganza


Cult Screens is a luxurious open air cinema experience heading to carefully selected unusual, spectacular locations throughout the country, which launches Thursday 25th May with the Oscar-winning ‘Moonlight' at Oxford Castle.


But it won’t be long until the Cult Screen experience hits the Midlands with a line-up of great movies for film fans to enjoy in the coming months.


Running until late September, the highly anticipated summer schedule includes films ranging from cool cult classics like Fight Club and Pretty Woman to modern masterpieces like La La Land and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.


As well as these there is a whole host of fan favourites like Top Gun and Dirty Dancing. Cult Screens hope to bring all the comforts of the ultimate cinematic experience to the great outdoors with deckchairs and beanbags scattered for the taking.


They also recommend bottles of chilled Prosecco and can offer a superb selection of crafted beers and classic cinema comforts like fresh popcorn to gourmet street food.


For the Midlands explicitly, locations confirmed for this year include Coventry Cathedral Ruins and The Arena, Lower Trinity Street in Birmingham. The full line-ups are below.


Perfect for a girls’ night out with a difference, a chilled Sunday or Saturday date night, tickets are priced from £13.95 - £45 with various seating options available from BYO blanket to deckchair and single or double beanbags.


For more information and tickets please visit www.cultscreens.co.uk


BIRMINGHAM




COVENTRY





By midlandsmovies, May 17 2017 01:21PM



STILL

Directed by. Carl Timms

Dark Matter Films


“What the fuck made me do this for a living?”


Written, produced and directed by Midlander Carl Timms, his debut short entitled STILL is a zombie-infused story filmed entirely in Birmingham and comes with a unique premise that tackles the often ‘chase-based’ nature of this horror genre.


Starting with a voiceover questioning the main character’s motivation for wanting to perform in the first place, the film begins with a human statue standing in a town centre. Panning around we see the chaos and disaster caused by a horde of zombies who are shown attacking the public in the background.


The human statue conceit may be a nod to Edgar Wright’s Hot Fuzz (and ergo Shaun of the Dead) but it is a uniquely good idea as it focuses on a protagonist frozen in time when his instincts are to run. Especially since the camera rotates around the static man (painted head to toe in gold no less) and it is revealed he is face-to-face with an infected blood-lusting zombie.


As cramp, heavy breathing and nose itching start to become a concern, the short uses this inactivity to create high tension as the minutiae of human feeling is brought to the forefront as he stares down the closely positioned zombie.


A great score comes from Matthew Steed who uses an alarm-based synthesiser composition to highlight the emergency nature of what is going on, whilst the excellent special make up effects by Stuart Conran (head make-up effects artist on Shaun of the Dead and The Descent) are gleefully gruesome.


The short combines horror and comedy with the living statue soon craving a toilet break at the same time as entrails litter his shoulder and blood and gore splatter his gilded suit.


Still takes time to perfect each beat and as the tension rises, the statue asks who else has possibly survived and we head into another superb sequence. The audience is shown the aftermath of what has happened to a street artist whilst the similar act-copying “wheelbarrow man” is exposed to his own dangers.


The film uses close-ups to great effect as the actor Joe Capella uses all his talents to show his concerned face. This great performance has to display anger, determination and being petrified with very little movement and he delivers a first-rate act.


As a decision is made to leave, an injury is sustained and we get a comedic limping/zombie shuffling chase – possibly the slowest seen since Will Ferrell’s ice-skates-on-land chase in Blades of Glory. Again, another great idea in a film already full to the brim with them.


But is the celebratory escape short lived? Well, you’ll just have to watch it as we’re not giving up any spoilers here.


An outstanding concept, fully realised and delivered with a great cast, huge laughs and some superbly shocking terror, STILL is a great entry into zombie folk-lore, despite the fact the genre has a tendency to easily become stilted. You’ll find no such slowness here in the most fast (and fantastic) short about a statue you’ll ever see.


Midlands Movies Mike


Follow the film at https://twitter.com/zomshortstill & view at www.vimeo.com/ondemand/zomshortstill


By midlandsmovies, May 13 2017 09:51AM



Father Phantom Studio’s special effect on Birmingham’s film scene.


When you enter the Father Phantom Studio, the first thing you notice isn’t the 8 foot tall Predator that towers over you; it isn’t the eerily realistic yet bald bust of Heath Ledger’s Joker; it’s the passion of founders Ben Fallaize and Laura Viale Durand. They’re the kind of people you could listen to for hours.


From the hair-raising details of how wigs often originate from humans (before it’s painstakingly and individually hand-threaded over 40 hours) to tales of blood work special effects that literally blows the mind, they’re a whole other level of film aficionado. But it’s not all about gore and guts. Ben and Laura’s acute attention to detail and backstory creates characters rather than monsters and this approach has seen them work on the long-running Thriller musical as well as a string of films, including docu-horror Cain Hill and Director John Adams’ upcoming Aux





In addition to their film and theatre work, Father Phantom Studio’s line of collectibles is the embodiment of their obsessive eye for subtleties. Creating bespoke collectibles to order, each item’s uniqueness is ensured, with the cast thrown away once completed. As self-proclaimed perfectionists, their most popular sculptures are often taken from the actor’s death mask itself or from the original Hollywood mould which include original imperfections. To see for yourself, Father Phantom Studio will be exhibiting at Birmingham Horror Con on the weekend of the 28th and 29th of October.


Taking inspiration for the studio name from Father Death and the Phantom of the Opera, Ben and Laura recognised Birmingham as a city on the up for film production and as a result, relocated to the Jewellery Quarter. They are actively looking to engage with makers of both independent and mainstream films and can be contacted via the link below. We at Midlands Movies can’t wait to see what they do next.


Do you have a passion for props, special effects an make up? Have you finished studying & have experience in film/theatre hair or make up? If so, Father Phantom Studio are looking to expand their team and can be contacted directly through their website here


Robb Sheppard

By midlandsmovies, Apr 26 2017 08:12AM



Midlands Feature - Birmingham filmmaker Duaine Carma Roberts


Midlands Movies features Birmingham based filmmaker Duaine Carma Roberts and his upcoming sci-fi short Graycon.


Running the past 3 years, Duaine Roberts set up CarmaFilm in the West Midlands and it was not too long before the talented filmmaker had attracted the talents of Birmingham cast and crew to make his first films. First up he created a mystery-drama called Curiosity Calls whose success was followed by a drama Cleo’s Choice.


The filmmaker jumped into both projects with two feet as rather than shorts, he created hour-long films with Cleo's Choice also entered into the Black International Film Festival. This prestigious event is part of the MVISAs which take place annually in Birmingham. Both films are also available to watch via the CarmaFilmUK account on Vimeo and Midlands Movies is pleased to include the full feature Cleo’s Choice here on our site.


Roberts’ new film Graycon is a short drama, with a hint of sci-fi,about two inventors who start work on a time device in hopes that it can reverse personal tragedies for them. They face challenges from people in the film who would rather have the device for their own personal gain.


It stars local talent Andre Pierre, April Nerissa Hudson, Adaya Henry, James Edge, Romayah McCalla, Ackeem Gibbs and Nisaro Karim. Most of these actors have performed in theatre as well as having a variety of TV credits.


More recently, Adaya Henry won Monologue Slam and is part of Channel 4s new scheme to work with talent in Birmingham which Duaine is particularly pleased about.


With a premiere of Graycon planned in for the Autumn film festival season, Duaine is well on his way for further accolades and is one to watch in the exciting world of West Midlands film.


Please check out the film above and follow progress of Graycon here https://twitter.com/CarmaFilmUK







By midlandsmovies, Apr 10 2017 11:00AM



Birmingham production company Rotunda Films feels the UK deserves its own superheroes as it launches a new crowd-funding campaign to create a series of films featuring a unique range of characters.


A group of West Midlands creatives are coming together to launch a new selection of local superheroes in their own shared universe.


Taking the Marvel and DC template, the filmmakers are specifically looking to focus their efforts on the UK, taking on the American-centric shows on Netflix. And with the team they have put together they feel British superhero fans are long overdue and simply “deserve to have their own heroes”.


They are starting this ambitious project with their film Mystic Highway, where they will be creating the first characters in this exciting new world.


Along the way audiences will be eventually introduced to a variety of characters as well. These heroes include ‘Spitfire’ (who is a symbol of the British resolve to stand against the odds) and ‘Vesta’ who does not consider herself a hero but does what any loving parent would do to protect those she loves.


Also in their plans are the female Code-X, a former military-trained special forces operative with few words and The Father, who oversees the missions, guiding the heroes in the right direction. There is rogue element Blu Silver and finally there is Myst, the demon hunter.


As the project gets underway, contributors will receive first access to the films VOD services and there’s scope for backers to be part of this world and appear in one of the adventures and even get a chance t be made into their very own action figure!


As with all low budget films, the creators are raising funds for general costs as well as special effects and props for their production.


With a 10 day shoot scheduled for later in 2017, Rotunda Films say that, “this is merely the beginning and we are hoping to use the first film as a proof on concept for the rest of the project”.


Follow their project at Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/uksuperhero as well as watching the video above for more information


Rotunda Films official sites:

http://www.rotundafilms.com

https://twitter.com/rotundafilms





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