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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, Aug 27 2019 07:25PM


Photo courtesy of Jade Jones-Blackwood
Photo courtesy of Jade Jones-Blackwood

Midlands Interview - Birmingham director Ruth Holder


Midlands Movies editor Mike Sales speaks to Birmingham based Ruth Holder about her latest film Lost Identity as well as her struggles as an independent director and her love of Guillermo del Toro.


Hi Ruth. Can you tell us a bit about yourself? Are you from the Midlands?

My name is Ruth Holder, I’m 19 years old and I’m from Birmingham. Storytelling has been a passion and love of mine since I was very young but it wasn’t until I watched Pacific Rim in the cinema, that I dreamed of becoming a filmmaker and seeing my films on the silver screen. This dream is what motivates me everyday.


And how did you get into your current position in the local film community?

By taking a huge risk. I dreamt of making my own film whilst I was in university so I had two choices - keep dreaming or make it a reality. So I decided to step outside of my comfort zone and make the film despite having no prior experience in doing so, and it’s the best decision I ever made. Now I can finally say that I am a film director, that I have made my own film and to be able to say that still feels so surreal.


Photo courtesy of Jade Jones-Blackwood
Photo courtesy of Jade Jones-Blackwood

That's great. What’s the latest project you are working on?

I recently made my first short film called, ‘Lost Identity’, which I directed, wrote and funded myself. The film explores how we alter our appearance and the way we behave, in order to please other people. By doing so, we put on a fake identity, a ‘mask’ if you will, in order to fit someone else’s perfect image. I wanted to show how this can affect someone emotionally and mentally because I believe this is something a lot of young people can relate to.


And can you tell us a bit about how they came about?

Lost Identity was influenced by my experiences in secondary school. I was hardly ever paid any attention to when I first started, no one even batted an eye at me and I hated it, I hated feeling like I was invisible. So I changed who I was in order to get my classmates attention and yes I got the attention I hoped for, but not in the way that I expected.


I was called ‘bitch’, punched and hit repeated like it was a normality and used by those who I thought were my friends. I knew that what was happening to me was wrong and knew it was unacceptable but I deluded myself into thinking that it was okay because I was finally getting the attention that I wanted.

So I decided to make a film about what happened to me, not only to share my experience and inspire others to stand up for themselves but also to heal. Working on this film made me realise that I'm still hurting from my past experiences and to grow and move on, I knew I had to tell my story.


Photo courtesy of Brandon Humphries
Photo courtesy of Brandon Humphries

As well as the personal experiences, what were the other influences on your film?

In the film, I use coloured lighting to illustrate the different stages that May, the dancer and lead actress in my film, goes through. This idea was inspired by Guillermo del Toro’s use of colour and how he uses it has a medium for visual storytelling in his films. Pacific Rim, one of my favourite films from him, has such a vast colour scheme and you can’t help but be immersed in the film’s visuals because of it. This is something I wanted to achieve with Lost Identity and I believe I did.




Photo courtesy of Brandon Humphries
Photo courtesy of Brandon Humphries

Do you or projects you choose specialise in any genres?

Since I’m just starting out there’s not a particular genre that I want to stick to at the moment. Right now, I’m keeping my options open and experimenting with different genres to see what works for me.


What do you think are the challenges faced by local independent films?

Depending on your audience and goals for your film I think independent filmmaking has its advantages and disadvantages. For instance, if you wanted to reach a mainstream audience that could prove difficult because independent films aren't distributed the way mainstream films are. Most independent films either are seen in festivals or sent straight to DVD, whereas mainstream films are screened in various cinemas internationally.


Since I’m targeting young people I do want this film to go mainstream because I believe the message of the film can impact and change so many lives. So, even though on paper it sounds impossible, I’m going to work hard to make it possible.


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

The most difficult challenge that I’ve faced is doubting myself and my abilities to make a film. To jump into the role of director with no prior experience was daunting. But I had such a great support team, my family and my mentor, Campbell Ex, believed in me and helped and supported me every step of the way.


Do you have any heroes in the industry? Any favourite films?

Christopher Nolan and Guillermo del Toro. I’ve always loved how Guillermo del Toro’s films use colour as a medium for visual storytelling and how Nolan can create such compelling stories on a large scale. It’s these two facets of storytelling that inspire my films. Also they're two of the biggest names in the film industry. This is a standing that I aspire to earn as I continue to make films. There are few young, female directors in the film industry whose names are known worldwide. I'm going to change that.



Photo courtesy of Jade Jones-Blackwood
Photo courtesy of Jade Jones-Blackwood

What has been your greatest achievement or success?

Making ‘Lost Identity’. I honestly didn’t think I was going to be able to do it because of how impossible it seemed. But I had such an amazing cast and crew who worked hard and passionately to help me bring my vision to life and I can’t thank them enough.


Finally, what are your future plans?

At the moment, I’m working on getting my film, ‘Lost Identity’ screened to the public so that’s my number one priority as of right now.


My dream is to have it screened in the BFI IMAX, which is ambitious to say the least but I believe that it’s possible. God had brought me this far and I know he has so much more in store for me. The BFI IMAX is just the beginning and it will happen, I know it will. Just wait and see.


Another ambitious plan of mine is to work with Christopher Nolan and Guillermo del Toro this year, which again sound unrealistic but I will make this dream of mine a reality.


Thank you, Ruth.


Ruth Holder - https://www.instagram.com/ravenblackstudios/

Brandon Humphries - https://www.instagram.com/b.humphriesphotos/

Jade Jones-Blackwood - https://www.instagram.com/wavy.jxde/

May - https://www.instagram.com/mxtb_/

Eduards Caklais - https://www.instagram.com/eduards_caklais/

George Allen - https://georgeallen.eu/

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





By midlandsmovies, Oct 31 2018 03:03PM



Local filmmaker Rebekah Fortune hosting two events at the Birmingham Film Festival


Tamworth set film “Just Charlie” was directed by Rebekah Fortune of Seahorse Films and the talented filmmaker is passing on her world of experience during a number of fantastic upcoming Midlands events in 2018.


First up, Rebekah will be hosting a panel sponsored by BFI NETWORK and The Producers Forum which is aimed at those wanting to make their first – or even trickier second – feature. The event will include a wide range of experts including Jack Tarling whose feature Gods Own Country won awards across the globe as well as being nominated for a BAFTA.


Clare Peace who has produced many independent features that have secured world-wide distribution and Alison Solomon, a respected Midlands casting director will also be in attendance.


Rebekah adds, “I will also be talking about my experiences of making my first feature ‘Just Charlie’ which has won awards across the globe including at The Edinburgh International Film Festival”.


The event will include both a Q & A session as well as networking opportunities and runs from 4pm to 6pm on Sunday 25th November 2018.


Click here to purchase tickets via Eventbrite



The second event involving Rebekah is a screening of her first feature ‘Just Charlie’. Midlands Movies reviewed the film here but this screening will be the first time the film will have been shown in Birmingham.


Having won the prestigious Audience Award at last year’s Edinburgh Film Festival, numerous awards internationally and plenty of critical acclaim, the film tells the story of football star, Charlie, who has the world at his feet.


With a top club desperate to sign him, his future is seemingly mapped out but the teenager sees only a nightmare. Trapped in the body of a boy, Charlie is torn between wanting to live up to her father’s expectations and shedding this ill-fitting skin.


The film itself was shot entirely in and around Tamworth and Lichfield and involves local cast and crew and the evening will also be followed by a Q & A from the filmmaker.


Click here to purchase tickets via Eventbrite



But that’s not all! Rebekah is part of Cinesisters Midlands which is a group set up for female directors and producers in the East and West Midlands to come together as a peer mentoring opportunity.


Midlands Movies has covered the group on our blog here and the group has helped nurture female directing and producing talent in the region. With meetings held on the second Monday of each month at venues across the Midlands, the next dates in their diary if you wish to join are:


* Broadway Nottingham 12th November

* The Light Wolverhampton 11th December

* Phoenix Leicester 14th January

* BOM Birmingham 11th February

* QUAD Derby 11th March

* The Albert Tamworth 8th April


And those interested can contact the group at wearecinesistersmidlands@gmail.com


For more information on Rebekah’s current and upcoming work check out her production company website at www.seahorsefilms


By midlandsmovies, Sep 4 2018 08:45PM



Midlands Spotlight - StarMan


Regional film production company Nine Ladies Film return with StarMan, an ambitious short about human frailty and an alien encounter. Midlands Movies Mike Sales uncovers more about this stellar new production.


StarMan is the most recent release by British filmmaker Stuart Connock Wheeldon who explains that the film is not just a tale of financial hardship. In fact, StarMan "seeks to topple the film industry’s under-representation of people of a poor socio-economic rank", says Stuart.


As a timely criticism of the abandonment by the UK Government of ex armed forces personnel, the film tells a journey of homeless ex-paratrooper Mark (Nigel Barber) and his efforts to survive in a world of judgement and misconception.


His chance encounter with the open-minded Lisa (Mia Mills) spurs him onwards to realise his final mission: that of returning to a life beyond the constellations.


The story continues as Mark’s interactions with Lisa urge the viewer to question the modern-day surge of prejudice and spurious charity. Stuart explains that Lisa’s husband (Elliott Rennie) offers "condemnation of her efforts to help Mark; his opinions representing the ever-growing cultures of narrow-mindedness and self-servitude".

As well as looking at current issues regarding army personnel, the film hopes to be an indictment of our plastics epidemic and propensity to waste food as well as our discarding of religion.


Derbyshire writer-director Stuart has been able to assemble a formidable group of actors and crew for the filming in and around Wirksworth in Derbyshire.


The film was written by Stuart himself and Nick John Whittle. Doug Cummings was 1st Assistant Director, Jordan Frater Sound Recordist, Jennifer Whitmore Production Designer and Wheeldon was the film's director.

With a zero budget, the filmmakers have pulled together all their resources and have released the films's first trailer below and be sure to check for updates at the official website http://www.nineladiesfilm.com/starman.html






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, Aug 19 2018 06:38AM



Midlands Spotlight - Korky Films and JAM-AV present Dumped


Midlands Movies Mike discovers more about forthcoming new film Dumped from Lee Charlish and his Korky Films production company.


West Midlands filmmakers, and Midlands Movies Award winner, Korky Films have joined with JAM-AV to announce their second collaboration with a new comedy short film called Dumped.


The short is currently in pre-production and has cast the two main actors, Marian Elizabeth and Stuart Walker, who will be joined by a strong, experienced crew.


Marian Elizabeth has a wealth of experience in both feature films, shorts, TV and theatre and has been working in the industry since 2004. She has recently finished a horror feature for Mangled Media called We Wait in the Woods as well as feature film Blood and Bones (2016) and as Becky in When Quips Go Wrong.




Stuart Walker has a solid background in comedy with a long-list of credits in film, both feature and shorts, TV, radio and theatre, as well as commercials.




Jay Langdell of JAM-AV Media Production is lined up as Director of Photography and he will be assisted by Damien Trent of Doktored Films.


And last but not least the production has secured high-profile musician Chris Pemberton who is currently on tour with James Blunt, to provide the musical score.


Dumped is written by Lee Charlish of Korky Films who will also produce and direct the movie, which is expected to run for approximately 8 minutes.


Based on an uncompromising true story, the short will have some unique visuals and will hopefully have audiences cringing and laughing. Dumped will reveal a young couple called Steve and Kelly who in the early stages of courtship decide to spend their first night together.


The following morning, content and happy, the couple share breakfast before Steve leaves for work and whilst Kelly tells her friend all about the previous night and blossoming romance, she has an urgent need to use the toilet.


Unfortunately for her , things take an awkward turn and Kelly is presented with a problem which could ultimately lead to love ending before it’s begun.


With the movie hopefully shooting in October find out more information about Korky Films and the ongoing production of Dumpred at the following links:


Twitter - @korkyfilms

Instagram - @korkyfilms

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


By midlandsmovies, Aug 5 2018 11:54AM



Midlands Spotlight – West Midlands filmmaker David Knight


With his new film Suicide Blonde selected for a prestigious new regional film festival, Birmingham filmmaker David Knight made a big change when younger to find a new career in the film and TV industry. Midlands Movies Mike caught up with his latest and future filmmaking plans.


David Knight started his journey to be a filmmaker at the age of 21. Walking away from a bar management career of 3 years, David took the big plunge to forge a new path in film and television.


With lofty ambitions and a love of all films he quickly enrolled at Solihull College on a Media and Production Course. And after just 6 months his first short film Rendezvous was already handpicked to be part of the official selection of the 2004 Stourbridge film festival.


As well as receiving favourable reviews, David used this acknowledgement to successfully complete his course and received a HND with distinction.


Moving to the University of Gloucestershire to study a degree in video production, David wrote and directed two short films in his final year. The first, 2’s Company was a romantic comedy and part of the official selection at the Viewfinder Film Festival in 2006.


After working on a separate project as editor to hone his skills, he then went on to make his final film Hit or Miss, a dark drama which won him the Screen Writers Festival Award for Best Writer / Director 2007.



And now his latest film, Suicide Blonde, tells the story of a young woman on a self-destructive path who tries to piece together the events of the previous night.


Cast members include the talented Kerry Sirrell, Joe Clarke and David Pritchard with Pocket Pictures taking responsibility for the post production and grading of the film while the audio soundtrack is being produced by Matt Shaw.


The Bottle Smoke Film Festival celebrates filmmakers from all budgets and comprises of wo days of industry talks with day one ending in a feature film with a Q & A, whilst day two will be ending with a short film award ceremony.


The event runs from Saturday 8th to Sunday 9th September 2018 at the Stoke Film Theatre, College Road, Stoke on Trent. For more information check out their Facebook page and to grab tickets click here at Eventbrite.


Check out some of David’s previous work on his Vimeo page here





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