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By midlandsmovies, Jun 17 2014 06:29PM

Laura Cotton is a 3rd year film production student studying at the University of Derby who is in the process of fundraising for her final year degree show film. Heavily inspired by the works of H.P.Lovecraft, ‘The Copy-Writer’ is set in 1970s England and when completed, Laura and her fellow students hope to enter the film into a variety of local and international Lovecraftian and genre film festivals later this year.

The majority of the production team herald from the Midlands area and have been studying the discipline of film from a very early age in both Nottingham and Derby. The production itself will take place in the local area too and they are drawing upon support from local businesses and organisations to keep this film a local project with an international reach.

Directed and written by Liam Banks, Lovecraft's work has always been something Liam has been interested in and now having the opportunity to create his own Lovecraftian tale is a dream come true for the young filmmaker. Having directed many short films in his time at the University of Derby and in his spare time, Liam has screened them locally and entered them into various film festivals and hopes for the same success with this new project.

Horror and the world of the supernatural has always appealed to Liam so working within this genre is a real treat and he can't wait for production to get underway on this tale which tells the story of Henry, a man haunted by strange monsters but are they real or is this a slow decent into insanity?

Liam feels this project will really provide a turning point for him to "up his game" as a filmmaker and work with a host of talent to create something they can all be proud of.

Currently half way towards their goal, Laura hopes a final push by the group will help make the film a reality and you can see the latest news, cast and crew, gallery and more information about their campaign at http://thecopywriterfilm.webs.com

By midlandsmovies, Jun 17 2014 06:21PM

Midlands Movies Mike checks out upcoming children's feature film, A Dozen Summers, which began filming back in February and hears from writer-director Kenton Hall. Read on...

A Dozen Summers is a feature-length comedy about and for children while still being funny and relevant to adults and it began principal photography during February this year - shooting through Feb/March/April for festival release in Autumn 2014. It's the first of two Monkey Basket Films features this year and writer Kenton Hall explains it's a part-funded project - which means they are steaming ahead regardless - but are also raising additional funds via Indiegogo

Midlands Movies has seen a copy of the script which features a broad comedic tone for all ages and support is being harnessed for the project at their Indiegogo page here - http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/a-dozen-summers/x/2263640

Kenton Hall is the writer and director of “A Dozen Summers”, a film concerning itself with what it’s really like to be 12 in the 21st century. Kenton has been involved in acting, writing and directing a large number of projects in the Midlands and has two twelve year-old daughters, which is why he wrote the movie. Kenton empathises with anyone who has spent over a decade being dragged to every film pitched at children (and their precious parents' money) and so wanted to make a movie about and for children. The movie focuses on being stranded in between childhood and adulthood and Kenton explains that there will not be any wizards or dragons but similarly no pre-teen crack dens either.

This heady task is being made easier by what Kenton describes as amazing cast & crew that have come on board and by the generous giving of the marvellous funding the project has already received. Kenton also doesn’t underestimate the fact that they have, in addition to the production itself, had the opportunity to train a group of exceptionally talented young people in the nuts and bolts of making a feature film - allowing them to shadow the professionals on the crew from pre-production right through to post.

This low-budget independent production will be made all the easier by fan support and there will be rewards a plenty as is traditional with these things such as appearing in the film, production credits and signed goodies whatever your budget.

With principal photography now over and editing almost finished, the world will be kept up-to-date on the movie’s progress over the next two months via their twitter page here - https://twitter.com/ADozenSummers

Whether it’s £5 or the “40 gazillion that will allow me to fulfil my dream of shooting all of the wide angle shots from space”, Kenton says that all the donations will make it easier to bring this story to the screen. It’s as simple as that.

And there's no one who would disagree with this honest sentiment. Also follow Kenton at his Twitter page here - https://twitter.com/KentonHall

By midlandsmovies, May 8 2014 04:27PM

Midlands Movies Mike catches up with the talented local students of the Pauline Quirke Academy of Performing Arts, Leicester (PQA Leicester).

Offering performing arts tuition for students aged 4-18 years, the PQA is a weekend drama academy and as part of their sessions, students participate in a film & television class in which they are given the opportunity to study almost every aspect of filmmaking, from getting hands-on experience of working with the camera to performing in front of it.

Every student benefits from tuition from award-winning professional filmmaker Keith Allott, who has helped some of the students become award winners themselves with two winning entries in the 2011 Empire Film Festival. Recently, Keith has helped 12 groups of students between the ages of 5 and 17 to create short films for a competition where some lucky winners will get to see their movie screened at the Empire Cinema in Leicester Square.

With the 2 previous winners already mentioned, it’s all fingers crossed for the latest creative talents and all of the films made can be seen on YouTube here - http://www.youtube.com/user/PQALeicester/videos

Amongst all the talent on show, the director of 'Hourglass' is Ellesha Ballard who at the age of 17 shows a maturity beyond her years alongside fellow student, 15 year old writer of 'Love Bites', James Allen.

For more details about PQA Leicester and their annual ‘Film in a Week’ summer holiday workshop, please visit the website at www.pqacademy.com

Mike speaks to 15 year-old James Allen, writer, director and editor of ‘Love Bites’ and Ellesha Ballard (17) director of 'Hourglass' (click on videos above to watch)

MM:Tell me about your involvement with PQA Leicester?

James: I have been a student at PQA for 2 ½ years – I am in the older students “Red Group”, which I attend every Saturday where we have three sessions - ‘Comedy and Drama’, ‘Musical Theatre’ and my personal favourite, ‘Film and Television’.

Ellesha: I am involved in PQA Leicester on two levels both as member of the afternoon red group and I help out with the green group, in the morning academy. I make my films with film and TV teacher Keith Allott, as well as with him at the Phoenix Leicester in my spare time.

MM: What problems did you face whilst filming?

James: Some of our Zombie make-up spilt over the college floor and we were worried that we wouldn’t be able to get it out of the carpet ..ooopps! We then had to use pretty basic make up, but made do.

Ellesha: It was the unpredictability of the actor/ actresses. This created a problem due to restrictive framing of some of the shots and meant sometimes they moved out of shot, which required me to re-think some shots to accommodate this. Another problem was my height, due to some of the actors being quiet tall, requiring the camera to be positioned quiet high up to get the shots that I wanted and required. However luckily the camera we had used had a rotational screen allowing me to position the shot correctly and create the right focus points. The other problem we faced was a limited/non-existent amount of money and a short amount of time to work on the film and get it finished, meaning that we had to compromise on some aspects of the film and use alternative locations

MM: Is this the first film you have made? If not, what are your previous experiences?

James: Last year the short film (Criss/Cross) that I wrote, starred in and helped direct with PQA won an award at the PQA ‘Empire Film Festival’ – where we attended the Empire Cinema in London’s Leicester Square to collect our awards from Pauline Quirke herself and see our films shown on the big screen. The likes of Twilight, James Bond and The Dark Knight Trilogy cast had been just weeks before us for their premieres!

Ellesha: No, I have filmed two short films called Upgrade and Playing Straight- both in 2012 with my drama group. I have also participated in a level 2 film making BTEC in which I assisted in the casting and the making of the film The Rail.

MM: What techniques did you use in your film?

James: We used ‘over the shoulder shots’, ‘extreme long shots’, ‘tracking’ and ‘mid shots’. During editing we had a corrupt data type effect in the opening shots of the film for the news broadcast. It was in produced in black and white, with a static/film grain effect added to it to pay tribute to the iconic Zombie director George A. Romero

Ellesha: One of my favorite techniques was using daylight to burn out the back ground exterior of the shot and then allowing the actor to walk in or out of focus from a well lit foreground into the burnt out background to create an ethereal feeling. I’m also a big fan of a good cutaway to break up a long shot and to add extra depth to one as I think this adds something extra to the final product.

MM: What was the scariest/funniest moment on set?

James: When (fellow student and actor) India had to keep falling over (which was actually part of the film!), it was hard to make this look natural and so many takes were taken but this was due to people laughing!

Ellesha: There were two - firstly when we were filming in heavy rain and all the crew and the camera were sheltered under Keith’s coat - whilst Keith got completely soaked! The second was a scene that didn’t make the final cut as Emma (the Messiah) had to repeatedly hit her hands against the table take after take due to the other actors laughing resulting in her hands being red raw by the end of the day.

MM: How do your parents and/or friends feel about your film(s)?

James: They’re really proud of me and enjoyed the film. As for my friends at school, not many of them usually take an interest, however after seeing this film they can’t wait to see my next one! It is actually quite funny because all I have heard at school recently is “When are you going to be on East Enders?”

Ellesha: My mum was almost moved to tears the first time she watched Hourglass and so was my friend and fellow actress Jaymie. Natasha Geary said that she liked ‘the development of the story though time’. My mum is a constant source of support and said she can see positive development though my film projects.

MM: Tell me about what you learnt from this experience?

James: The biggest thing you learn is the importance of ‘Team Work’ and the ability to work with other people that you don’t always get the chance to work with. I also learnt how to make different shots look like one take, but from different angles, all on one timeline – for example – the shots that show people being shoved into the toilets from outside of the toilets to a shot from inside of the toilet – with the victim being pushed in – with all this looking like one continuous piece of film.

Ellesha: Probably the biggest thing I will take is how to direct people in such a way that they understand what I’m asking them to achieve and do, whilst at the same time they can add their own input about the character and show how they think the character will feel. As well as this I have learnt how to compose shots and create different effects and how to use the camera to portray the characters feelings to the audience in a much clearer way than before.

MM: Was there anything you would do differently next time?

James: I would have liked to have had longer to film, making the film longer and being able to keep some of the scenes we needed to omit from the final edit or have the scenes added that we had to cut from the script to keep the film a certain length. I would also like to produce a sound track for films in the future.

Ellesha: Next time I would try casting roles to the person who was most suited to the specific role. This can sometimes be hard when part of a drama school as sometimes people leave and new people join. So characters and parts can chop and change at short notice; however on Hourglass I think our casting did work well despite these problems.

MM: Do you have any other projects/films you would like to do?

James: I have around a dozen other scripts that I have written on my own, four of which are a series of films based on events throughout the year (Christmas, Birthday, Easter and Halloween) which people usually see as positive and nice time of the year and flipping these to make them into a horror/thriller type genre, all of which I would eventually like to film. I would also like to film some tribute episodes for things like Doctor Who and I also have a script for the sequel to ‘Criss/Cross’ the first ever film I made. I am currently working on re-writes that put a big twist on tales such as ‘Romeo & Juliet’ and ‘Of Mice and Men’ – putting these into modern day situations so that teens are able to relate to these tales more.

Ellesha: I am currently starting work on a new film with James Allen and Keith Allott which is just starting its pre-production phase and I am very excited to see what we will produce. We are also currently working on mockumentaries which is a new genre to me so I find this exciting and nerve racking at the same time. Around Easter we go into pre-production for another drama group film which I am greatly looking forward to.

MM: How do you see your future plans for this film? Would you like a career in film-making?

James: Hopefully ‘Love Bites’ will go on to win an award at this year’s ‘Empire Film Festival’, fingers crossed. As for a career in film making ... I would love to be in the same position as people such as Christopher Nolan. However my biggest dream more than anything else on the planet is to be on the screen more than behind the camera like the likes of Ben Stiller in ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ as he wrote, directed and starred in this ... but I wouldn’t want to steal all the jobs – perhaps just directing one film, writing another and then starring in something else! ... Is that too much to ask? P.S. Christopher Nolan if you are reading this ... If you are looking for someone to play ‘Robin’ in the next Batman film just give me a ring!

Ellesha: I would love a career in filmmaking and is definitely something I can see myself doing. There’s nothing else I do that gives me the special buzz like seeing your final product on a big screen or like making a film with people that you admire and love working with. As for Hourglass, I would like to enter it into other short film competitions to see how larger audiences view it, and to get some feedback which I can use for future films.

By midlandsmovies, May 8 2014 04:12PM

Midlands Movies Mike searches for the latest local project and discovers a new film that has just been finished. Uncover what 'Finding Richard' - a co-production short between Hive Films and Sawscale Films planned for Cannes 2014 - is all about below...

Director/producer Rhys Davies established Hive Films as a UK based film production company, creating feature films for world wide distribution and theatrical release in 2008 and his first feature release, Zombie Undead, was released in 2011. However, he and fellow writer Doug Cubin (director of The Fort, covered below) have undertaken a fundraising exercise to enable them to produce a new short film.

Finding Richard is about Gull, a young boy who is searching for something but what he finds isn't quite what he - or his Grandad - expected. With filming in Leicester, Midlands Movies suggests the title alone conjures up images of the 2013 archaeological search for the grave of Richad III in a car park in the city along with the scientific analysis of the bones during the excavation of the Church of the Grey Friars.

With the script completed and with the enthusiasm and the sheer bloody-mindedness to do such a substantial task in time for May THIS year, Rhys acknowledges the project is no easy thing! “But with your support, we will get there and present a great short film”, he adds.

"The funds were raised through Kickstarter and went towards covering the costs such as travel and catering for our cast and crew who, God bless them all, are giving their time freely as they too love film".

Rhys and Doug offered Kickstarters a part of this unique experience by letting donors join them on this journey. By helping them donors have received signed photos and DVDs and could even have been an extra in the film - not just one that you can hardly see in a large crowd either! Rhys explains, “You are 100% guaranteed to clearly see yourself on film. Which means you will be on film at Cannes - probably the most famous and prestigious of all film festivals - except those in Leicester of course!”

Promising that every penny was spent to make the best short film they possibly can, Rhys says their greatest challenge was time as submissions for Cannes needed to be completed by March 3rd but luckily they have completed the application and been accepted!

With a great crew and cast with lots of experience - so they know they can do this - but only with YOUR help.

Follow on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/findingrichardCannes2014?ref=stream&filter=1

MM Editor note: This article was updated from an article originally uploaded in Feb 2014

By midlandsmovies, Apr 19 2014 05:31PM

How to Make a Movie for 43 Pounds (2014) Dir. Rhys Davies

“One Man. One Dream. No Budget” is the tagline for this feature from Midlands based Hive films and was made by Leicester director Rhys Davies. A “meta” film with hints of Adaptation and lashings of The Office-style mockumentary, the movie showcases the talents of local actor Christopher J. Herbert as a fictionalised version of Rhys himself as he sets out to make a romantic infused movie for the princely sum of £43 sterling. Written by Rod Duncan, the movie’s handheld camera imitates the low budget end of documentary footage but the movie itself, filmed over 2 years, also contains sequences from the fictionalised film they are making which gives the audience a much needed rest from the shaky cam to more fully fledged cinematic-style shots – even if these are sometimes played for laughs.

Mainly a subversive love story, the film follows the challenge set by a fast-talking US-producer who dares Rhys to quit his job and make a movie for just £43 which would secure his place in the record books and give this first-time “Marty DiBergi” some much warranted public exposure. Sylvana Maimone plays the producer with a pantomime largeness but I thought this was much needed against the understated performances from the rest of the cast and before long the audience is quickly moved though the plot to the casting sessions themselves.

Set at local Leicester location Firebug, Rhys tests many a wannabe actress and actor before settling on Marie (Olwen Davies) and Josh (James Murton). From an exquisitely shot snow-soaked music-video to sunny country fields we get clips of the movie-within-a-movie alongside the disarray Rhys faces at every turn. In addition, some talking-heads vox pops are inserted which help personalise the problems he faces including unsuitable locations to on-set bust-ups. These shots of the movie in different seasons also show the real length of time it took to get the movie made and the changing of the weather mirrors the changing fortunes of the leading couple.

Although working from a script, the film clearly uses Best in Show-style improvisation techniques with actors’ wittering and inventive off the cuff lines key to the inherent spontaneity and authenticity of the film and making the relationships within it much more believable. From the x-rated swearing of the couple’s break up to the (not quite x-rated) “love” scenes – both in the film they’re creating and during the couple’s make-up scene, the actors are relaxed, sincere and honest in their performances and Christopher J Herbert as Rhys even dons the requisite facial hair of a frustrated film-director (the petit goatee is a facsimile of the real Rhys’ style). Therefore, the humour comes not from clowning around but from subtle set ups with witty dialogue, amusing situations and droll dramas.

The film’s couple start, end and reignite a relationship as rocky as the movie’s production itself and we wince through uncomfortable drama as well as the filmmaker’s frustrations. His creative endeavour is at odds with each new aggravated situation that provides more torment for Rhys who has smash hit desires but very little faith that his production will ever reach the premiere. However, like most feel-good films, the story comes full circle and despite the hurdles, it finally wraps and I felt genuine affection and admiration for the protagonists as their journey draws to a tender conclusion.

With the premiere of “£43” a huge success on the opening Saturday evening of Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival, the “real” Rhys Davies has now moved on to his next film “Finding Richard” with an aim to enter and screen at Cannes 2014 and the experience and feedback gained from this feature will no doubt provide the appropriate spring board into greater things.

A superb demonstration of producing art both in front and behind the camera, the film uses a fake-movie to create a great movie and with high aspirations it will see a new life amongst the UK and Worldwide festival circuit. How to Make a Movie for £43 may show the struggles of movie-making on a budget but contains invaluable lessons on the power of passion and hard work and ends up as priceless comedy that is a template for local film-making at its best.

Midlands Movies Mike

By midlandsmovies, Mar 14 2014 07:56PM

Midlands Movies Mike returns to the first project Midlands Movies ever featured on the Spotlight page and gets an update from Leicester-based movie The Fort and its director Doug Cubin. With another 14 months or so in passing I speak to Doug who gives the site a snapshot from the backstage crew who are currently undertaking on location shooting for the movie.

The Fort continues on its journey to the screen with a recent location shoot at the world famous Shuttleworth Collection which is home to over fifty unique and mostly original airworthy antique aeroplanes. Many of the aircraft are the only surviving airworthy examples of their marque in the world and the collection includes a "Sea Hurricane" which you can see in the picture as the crew set up lights for the shoot (below right).

Doug explains that they are very lucky to have the support from Shuttleworth which has enabled them to shoot what was going to be an optional scene. Doug adds, “Originally in the script I had written the words ".....and if we get a plane, this is what happens.... and if we don’t have a plane then this happens....!" It was great to do this bit of shooting and there is more of it to come. But I don’t want to give any spoilers at this point”.

The Fort’s crew for this scene was made up of G Sian (DoP), Geoff Gilson (Lighting/Special Effects) and Bipin Anand (Camera/Lighting Assist) and Doug told me how it was a very tight location as they were filming with the museum being open. This made for careful and controlled filming and required the smallest crew possible and a very concise shot list. Doug says “There were no extra shots and the filming required some detailed knowledge about the aircraft but fortunately several engineers (who work on the Spitfire and Hurricane) were available to us”. In addition, there was a volunteer who had a great deal of aviation knowledge and Doug explained that the crew came away with quite an education!

Doug and the team had visited the site once before, and in the process took 100s of photos of the plane to help plan that concise shot list and indeed work out exactly what equipment they needed to bring.

All this planning helped the team as they completed filming exactly on schedule - packing up around 3pm with the museum closing at 4pm but not before the crew went to look around some of the other exhibits.

The Fort team show how even a local project can get access to limited locations with a bit of hard work and plenty of planning and the incredible location left them feeling privileged to be there. They stand alongside such Hollywood productions as “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” and Michael Bay’s “Pearl Harbour” as previous productions who have shot there.

So what’s up next for The Fort I ask Doug? “Well, studio shoots are expected next with several major scenes to be shot early next year. A long weekend of filming will also be required in early summer at the actual fort itself near Dover”, reminding me that indeed The Fort is a real place!

Although some way to go yet Doug believes they are moving forwards on schedule and he and his editor have started looking through and contstructing their first cut in the editing suite already.

Follow more updates for The Fort at their Facebook page here https://www.facebook.com/FortMovie or contact Doug Cubin direct here cubins@tesco.net

By midlandsmovies, Feb 22 2014 08:46AM

We speak to Gareth Morgan of ZenithFilms who has taken a video game franchise and made his own fan film from the ground up.

Working as a professional filmmaker for the last three years, Gareth Morgan has had unbelievable positive response for his upcoming Silent Hill film project. Fans have reacted strongly in favour of Gareth’s unique style which heavily employs green screen.

With several short films under my belt, one of which is entitled EPiSODE and premièred at Raindance 2012 (EPiSODE itself took heavy influence from Silent Hill as well as Deadly Premonition and Resident Evil and Gareth is currently at the end of post production of turning EPiSODE into his first feature film) I ask him why Silent Hill.

“As a massive gamer, Silent Hill has always been the pinnacle for me in terms of Survival Horror - mainly the first 4 games, but that’s not to say that the others don’t hold some merits”, says Gareth.

Gareth has enjoyed their highly cinematic style and has always fallen back to them when researching Asian Horror aesthetics for whatever project he is working on. So it was not too long before Gareth thought it was high time to turn his talents to making a Silent Hill film.

But with the games themselves already so close to cinema, Gareth decided he wanted to make something fresh but still fit to the canon of the games universe and story structure. In short, “I want to make a film for fans by a fan”, he explains.

So Gareth has made Silent Hill Requiem which features the further adventures of Heather and other returning Silent Hill favourites. Without wanting to give too much away, Gareth says that Silent Hill has been host to the Otherworld for such a long time that the gateway between the two dimensions is now permanently open and the horrors are spreading far wider than just Silent Hill and its neighbouring towns.

Initially shot as a 3-5 minute short, Gareth plans to release this first as a proof of concept, starring Heather and set on the subway car first seen in SH3. If that short is well received Gareth hopes to run a Kickstarter Campaign to raise money to make it into a full film. Obviously the need for funding is crucial as a feature film is far more in depth a process than making a short and Gareth intends to obtain better props and costumes for the Otherworld Monsters through using practical effects that will be enhanced with graphics.

Not wanting to rush a release, Gareth hopes the short version will be his best work to date and has been sharing his ideas and plans with the gaming community on sites sych as Silent Hill Heaven, Silent Haven and the Silent Hill Historical Society.

Find out more about the progress of this project and other Zenithfilms productions on Facebook here - https://www.facebook.com/Zenithfilms

Also read our first interview with Gareth here - http://www.midlandsmovies.com/#/blog/4558436876/Midlands-Spotlight-Archive---The-Art-of-Zenith/6134052

By midlandsmovies, Feb 9 2014 10:31AM

• SHORT CINEMA CLUB (quarterly showcases) http://phoenix.org.uk More info from Karen at Leicester's Criterion Public House https://twitter.com/criterionkaz

• WORCESTERSHIRE FILM FESTIVAL www.worcestershirefilmfestival.co.uk 13-16th November 2014 - Contact Lawrence Donello‏ on Twitter @Razorpost

• LEICESTER DOCFILM FEST http://www.citizenseye.org 5th Docfilm Festival 1st-30th Nov 2014 Contact John Coster

• BORDERLINES FEST http://www.borderlinesfilmfestival.co.uk UK's largest rural film festival 28th Feb – 16th March 2014 in Herefordshire/Shropshire.

• BANG SHORT FILM FEST http://www.bangshortfilmfestival.com 2014 Dates TBC Contact - https://twitter.com/bangsff

• BIFF FEST (Black International Film Fest) http://www.vtelevision.co.uk/biff/ 1st November 2014 Birmingham

• FILM NORTHANTS http://www.filmnorthants.co.uk 2014 TBC Contact filmnorthants@yahoo.co.uk or info@filmnorthants.co.uk

• SHOCK AND GORE FESTIVAL http://www.shockandgore.co.uk The Electric Cinema in Birmingham, July 2014 Contact david@theelectric.co.uk or https://twitter.com/shockgore

• DEAFFEST http://www.deaffest.co.uk The UK's International Deaf Film & Arts Festival Wolverhampton. Contact info@light-house.co.uk 16th – 18th May 2014

• STOKE YOUR FIRES FILM FESTIVAL http://www.stokeyourfires.co.uk Stoke on Trent 7th – 11th March 2014 Contact http://twitter.com/stokeyourfires

• SHOUT FESTIVAL http://shoutfestival.co.uk Fri 25 - Sun 27 Apr 2014

• ID FEST http://www.idfest.co.uk May 2014 Contact info@derbyquad.co.uk or https://twitter.com/ID_Fest

• FANTASTIQ Fantasy and Horror Fest at Quad in Derby (Part of larger Derby Film Fest Derby Film Festival May 9th – May 18th 2014

• MAYHEM HORROR Film Fest - Halloween. 31 October to 3 November 2014 Contact Broadway cinema in Nottingham http://www.broadway.org.uk/groups/mayhem_film_festival

• FLATPACK FEST - 20-30 March 2014 across Birmingham, UK. http://www.flatpackfestival.org.uk

Other useful Film Festival information can be find at these links:



Older festivals that may/may not run a festival in 2014 below:



By midlandsmovies, Jan 31 2014 11:38PM

Midlands Movies talked with up and coming actor Darren Lynch who began his journey in the region and has fought for on screen success since starting out in his hometown of Derby.

With a tenacious drive to never give up, Darren graduated from the Derby Academy of Acting in 2010 after his AGF in Performing Arts the year before and although Darren says he was a shy teenager, his confidence has grown since landing parts on BBC’s Doctors in 2012 and making his own films under his Lynch Film production company.

Conquering his fear was key and Darren first appeared in a theatrical release with Screwed, a prison drama from 2010 with a role as a prisoner that helped him decide that acting was what he wanted to do full time.

A versatile and ambitious actor, Darren’s reliability and flexibility has seen him in appear in diverse films such as 10 Grams, Hummingbird and even a terrorist in the latest Bond outing in Sam Mendes’ Skyfall.

Branching out from acting Darren has recently turned to directing but adds, “Even though I have started directing my own films I’ll never leave behind the acting”. “I have so many ideas for films and enjoy film making a lot and It also gives me the opportunity to act in my own films”, Darren said of his time behind the camera but also contributed, “This is more than work to me, this is my passion".

Darren’s short film Broken was produced in 2012 and is a short film about a young brothers’ love. As one of them struggles to deal with the loss of his wife, the film is directed by Darren Lynch and stars his brother Conner Lynch who appear together in this sad short film. Watch the short in the YouTube link above.

Along with a Bryan Singer’s Jack the Giant Killer, Darren is not sitting back as his own company Lynch Films have recently announced an Amsterdam-set disease thriller called “Infectious” as their next project which is being filmed after an independent sci-fi horror film called Planet 32, set to be filmed in early 2015.

Find out more about Darren and Lynch Films at his website here - www.darrenlynch.co.nr

And follow on Facebook by clicking this here

Watch Darren's film Broken on YouTube

By midlandsmovies, Jan 18 2014 10:26AM

Midlands Movies Mike talks to Ignite Media about their Shakespeare-inspired short film shot at Leicester University’s David Wilson Library...

Ignite Media have filmed Unimaginably Tamed, a short film based on Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew at the £32 million state-of-the-art David Wilson Library designed by Associated Architects and which was opened by Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh in 2008.

The award-winning Library has taken a starring role in the upcoming short based on the Shakespearean comedy with the building’s bookshelves, hallways, staircases and cafe providing the backdrop for a tantalising new drama where we witness the two lead characters competing to get their hands on a rare edition of The Taming of the Shrew.

The film stars Leicester performing arts student Sorcha Newby, a finalist in the Miss England 2012 contest and up-and-coming actor Isaac Leafe, a performing arts graduate who has starred in various stage plays and short films around the UK. Isaac plays the part of a modern-day book collector who has tracked down a rare copy of The Taming of the Shrew.

Just as he closes in on the bookshelf containing the elusive edition, he finds that an English student played by Sorcha – who needs the book for her dissertation - has beaten him to it and the pair proceed to argue over who should keep the copy – and begin to assume the personas of the play’s protagonists, Petruchio and Kate.

Ignite Media have consistently taken a professional approach to all their projects and believe that everyone has an extraordinary tale to tell - and whatever that story is, they hope to reveal it using their award-winning photographers and filmmakers who can bring their expertise, enthusiasm and originality to their clients’ adventures.

Listening and responding to their production needs, Ignite turn them into reality by utilizing the proper blend of creativity as well as state-of-the-art technology to achieve their desired expectations. Ignite tell Midlands Movies that they provide all the benefits of a small corporation whilst at the same time giving a depth of resource and stability characteristic of larger companies.

Unimaginably Tamed innovatively blends contemporary and Shakespearean language providing a 21st century perspective on the play’s depiction of gender roles with the film’s writer and director Farid Ahmed being very keen to use the Library as a location for a film after visiting the building and being very impressed by its design.

Fari added, “I always had the Library in mind when I was putting the film together. I fell in love with the Library when I saw it. We came up with the concept with the Library as the centre point – the magical piece in the jigsaw.”

Ms Christine Fyfe, University Librarian and Pro-Vice Chancellor with special responsibilities for students, said: “We’re delighted that the David Wilson Library is the third star of this wonderful film”.

The film has been submitted to major film festivals, including Sundance, Cannes and the BFI London Film Festival and Ignite Media is also looking for talented actors to take part in next big project - a full-length feature film so anyone interested can visit the group’s website here www.ignitemedia.org

For more information on all their movie projects, please contact Farid Ahmed at ignitemediaproductions@gmail.com

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