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By midlandsmovies, May 17 2018 07:02AM



Midlands Review – Rough


Directed by Chris Stone


Stoke on Trent based director Chris Stone has a history of creating great showreels for actors from the Midlands and beyond. But he is never afraid to tackle his own short dramas and delivers a high concept sci-fi short in his new film Rough.


Making films since he was a young boy, Chris has a background in scriptwriting, casting and editing which all come to play in this new short.


Set in a forest location, Rough has a cast of two - “mother" and Dawn - who seem equally confused and investigative amongst the dense trees. Electronic and motorised sound effects are used well to infer Dawn is a robot and the actor delivers her lines in a monotone effect to create the feel of her cyborg.


Unsure of how to describe the detail of the broken bark on a tree (“rough”) we are informed she comes from a factory and her digital memory can recollect timescales down to the nearest minute yet there is one past event that she cannot (or will not) recall.


Reminded by “mother” that she has been “owned” Dawn for far longer than the android realises we are told the revelation that Dawn is also the last person to have seen her missing child, Jamie.


Dawn’s strange behaviour (“would you like to hear a song?”) hints at a more eerie presence whilst she freezes to a standstill as she follows instructions to “stay” showing her current subservient nature.


Dawn refers to her companion as “mother” yet she is chastised for doing so and told she will never be her child as the frustration with the droid boils over into emotional anger.


Unable to compute we are shown her “corrupted memories” with a soft-focus flashback to the missing Jamie who is shown being strangled and buried by Dawn in a bout of mysterious fury.


With a host of fantastic flourishes if there was one problem with Rough, it was actually the lack of credits which would have given the stupendous actors their due. An online search could provide no answers and it’s a shame that filmmakers omit such a key part of promoting their film.


Whatever your level of filmmaking and despite a successful pedigree, creatives could gain more exposure with a certain amount of online presence over on IMDB or on their social media pages. If nothing else, it shows respect to the cast and crew who were involved.


That aside, clocking in at just 2 and a half minutes, Stone proves his showreel-making skill with a to-the-point short that demonstrates a wide range of talent from the actors, the sound, the music and a punchy little narrative with a technological twist in its tale.


Midlands Movies Mike


You can watch the full short on Vimeo here:




By midlandsmovies, Jan 10 2016 11:53AM

Midlands Movies Mike enters January by taking a look at Stoke-based filmmaker Chris Stone who has come out from his undercover mission to release his new espionage web film series “Year of Spies”.


Chris Stone’s varied background from the BBC to filming LA music videos has helped him set up his biggest project to date with the release of his Ipcress File inspired spy series. With a Royal Television Society nominated documentary also behind him, this new project compliments his previous work that has been showcased on ITV and MTV as well as being premiered at Pinewood Studios.


“Year of Spies” is the culmination of all this hard toil and Chris has turned to the internet to release this impressive 12-part thriller which unfolds over the course of a year.


Under Christ Stone Films, the director also offers custom-filmed show reel scenes for up and coming actors to show off their acting talents. Helping others to demonstrate their skills to casting directors he gives new actors and actresses a route to much needed first-hand experience of working in front of camera with a professional director.


"Year of Spies" also continues Chris’ bold visual style with Hollywood influences and larger than life heroes with Bond-esque action sequences. This major difference from his previous work is the project will be made up of individual self-contained mini stories. Chris says they are “set in the same 'universe' rather than one long continuous narrative”.


Using both his experience as a short filmmaker and finding a new route to audiences via the web, Chris has built a fanbase online and his Victorian vampire adventure 'Blood and Bone China', won 'Best Web Series of 2011' at the Indie Intertube Awards and has been viewed over 300,000 times on YouTube.


Chris also hosts seminars and practical lessons on film-making and web series production around the country, including at the UK's largest film festival Raindance and if you bring a script to Chris he is more than happy to work alongside budding writers too. So local filmmakers and actors should definitely get in touch if you want to work alongside this exciting talent from Staffordshire.


For more about Chris, his films and his future projects and local support then please check the links and watch the exciting trailer for the "Year of Spies" series via YouTube below:


Official website: http://www.yearofspies.com

Director's website http://www.chrisstonefilms.com




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