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Movie news, reviews, features and more thoughts coming soon...

By midlandsmovies, Nov 11 2016 05:18PM



‘A Girl in Words’ is the debut short film written and directed by young filmmaker Daisy Nicholson. It stars up and coming actors Hannah Dunlop and Elliot Woodward and the exciting production is already well underway with the team re-drafting scripts, completing full casting and rehearsing hard.


With storyboarding, shot lists and now shooting finalised Daisy Nicholson is looking to premiere the film at The Phoenix Cinema in Leicester to promote the short to a Midlands audience. Daisy believes this will be a great opportunity to share the film with others, thank all the cast and crew before she undertakes the next stage of entering the film into festivals.


Daisy explains that, “all the money raised will go towards hiring Screen 2 at the Phoenix Cinema”, and adds any further funds raised after the target will be used for a Digital Cinema Package enabling the team to show the film in the best possible quality, as well as entering the film into festivals all around the world.


After an enjoyable shoot, the film's final edit is being completed along with a fun blooper reel to showcase the great attitude felt on the set.


To assist this exciting new project, please head on over to the Kickstarter campaign here:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1215425330/a-girl-in-words-0?ref=project_tweet

Please also check out Daisy and her production company One of Four over on Twitter


https://twitter.com/OneofFourProd

https://twitter.com/daisycate_

By midlandsmovies, Mar 11 2016 10:46AM

Midlands Spotlight - Leicester Filmmaker Receives National ‘INTO FILM’ Award


Young and very talented filmmaker Jess O’Brien who Midlands Movies has previously showcased here (click here) has been named as one of national film organisation Into Film’s ‘Ones to Watch 2016’ for her excellence in film production. Read more about this amazing feat below.


At just 14 years old, Jess O’Brien is already making waves in the region with her work at the Pauline Quirke Academy leading to her making her film ‘Coping’. Written, acted and directed when she was thirteen, the film features three of her friends Yasmin Allen, April Hancox and David Knight and looks at how a young girl recovers from the death of her two best friends.


Given to only three young filmmakers in the country, the awards have been created by Into Film which is an organisation established by leading film education charities. The First Light and FILMCLUB organisations help to inspire young people aged 5-19 across the UK to learn through and about film.


As part of the honour Jess will be invited to a special careers session at BAFTA led by their Director of Learning, Tim Hunter after which she will be accepting her award and delivering an acceptance speech to the full house at the Odeon Cinema in Leicester Square before the day of celebrations is concluded with an after party at Planet Hollywood.


Upon receiving the news Jess said “I was speechless when I heard. A few years ago if someone had told me I would be going to meet BAFTA executives and accept an award for filmmaking I would never have believed them!”


After completing ‘Coping’ Jess showed great initiative by organising a premiere screening at the Phoenix Cinema, attended by 100 guests. ‘Coping’ has also been selected for five film festivals including the Olympia Film Festival in Greece and the Adelaide Kids Film Festival in Australia.


Jess was nominated by her film teacher at PQA and filmmaker at Badshoes Film, Keith Allott who said, “Jess is an exceptional talent in all areas of film. She is a gifted filmmaker and actor and combines that with great determination and a desire to learn. She is currently discovering film editing and showing a real flare for that too. This is a thoroughly well-deserved award for a bright talent.”

Jess has just completed production on her latest film ‘Hinterland’ featuring young actors Jacq Ardron and Tyler Dunnan and will be organising another screening in Leicester later this year,


“This film looks at the consequences of people’s decisions and how we take responsibility for them”, says Jess.


With two exciting and successful projects already under her belt we predict even further accolades will be coming to this bright regional filmmaker very soon indeed.



You can view ‘Coping’ online below:



By midlandsmovies, Sep 5 2015 07:49AM

Leicester’s Badshoes Film have a had a brilliant last few years with a number of projects and Summer 2015 is providing to be equally successful with new projects and festival favourite “Flawless” going from strength to strength.


“Flawless” has been covered by Midlands Movies before (click here) but has recently been chosen as part of the Official Selection at the Aesthetica Short Film Festival in York which takes place on 5th – 8th November. Aesthetica is a BAFTA-qualifying film festival which means that the film will now be entered into the BAFTAs ahead of their 9th November deadline. Midlands Movies passes on our wishes to all those involved and gives our best of luck to everyone for the competition.


Director Keith Allott has sent huge thanks to the cast and crew for their creativity and hard work on the film and says it wouldn't be here without them and their involvement.


However, Keith is not resting during this busy period for BadShoes as during the school summer holidays he was issued a challenge by young film-maker Jess O'Brien who is a student at the Pauline Quirke Academy and who was featured on our site earlier this year. - click here.


Setting Keith a gargantuan task, Jess asked if he could write, film and edit a short in just 24 hours. With the challenge accepted, it was Bill Newsinger who provided the phrase to build the film around - "All that glitters...”.


Keith explained that it turned out that you can make one and we have a link to the film below which stars Thomas, Jess and Emma O'Brien and a special guest appearance by furry friends Louie & Meg. Keith passes on his further big thanks to Liz Fowler who provided the masks.


Watch “Commander Amazing here:




By midlandsmovies, Apr 1 2015 07:24PM

Midlands Movies Mike speaks to Jess O’Brien who is a young writer, director and actor from the Pauline Quirke Academy (PQA) in Leicester. She’s beginning her first film outside of the PQA and with mentoring from Bad Shoes’ Keith Allott, plans to go into production soon, as well as screen her film using KickStarter funding.


Mike asks this young talent about her background, hopes and plans for the film as she plans the long journey to festival screenings.


MM: Hi Jess. Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your current project

Jess: Hello. My name is Jess O’Brien and I am a 13 year old girl who has been acting locally for around three years before joining Leicester’s performing arts academy PQA in early 2013. My current project, Coping, is something I wrote independently mainly to challenge myself as I will be acting and directing. It is a short story focused around a girl who loses her two best friends while she watches. It shows the main character, Ruby attempting to deal with the whole situation, proving that getting over something as big as this can’t be done alone.


MM: How did you come up with the story idea?

Jess: I don’t really know how the idea came to me, I have always loved writing and as I started to get more and more into the acting career I wanted to challenge myself. I felt that I wanted to write something quite deep that wouldn’t only test me but also the actors. I started off by writing down notes which I then turned into a rough script. I sent it over to Keith Allott who directed my first two films Flawless and Atonia and is the Film and TV teacher at PQA. Over the next six months I developed the idea more and more, storyboarding it until I was completely happy. I had to research a lot of the impacts and emotions which an event like this would cause as thankfully I have never personally gone through this.


MM: Thank you. And what were your influences on this film?

Jess: I think the thing that influences me to act and write is being around people that are like me. They understand how I see things from a film point of view. Also, after acting in my first two films, Flawless and Atonia, I saw their success and it just gave me the urge to just try it myself.


MM: And what has been the most difficult hurdle you have had to overcome?

Jess: While I was writing it, I had a lot of chats with Keith and realised a vital point. In a situation like this, showing the emotion won’t so much be in what they do, more about how they do it. This meant I had to be very specific about the small details and how to play certain parts. The idea of the film could be taken in a very different way if the emotions aren’t right. Ruby could just be seen as a teenage girl acting out for attention instead of being in real trouble and other characters could come across as being menacing which is not right. Therefore, I had to work really closely with the actors so they could understand my thinking.


MM: And what kind of thing are you hoping for when you finally start shooting?

Jess: The main I’m hoping for is that it will be fun and not too rushed. Also, we have had a few rehearsals which were mainly talking about dialogue and the script. We did do run-throughs of the whole script, but not too many as I didn’t want to over rehearse and not get a full performance on the day. I’m looking forward to getting the other actors opinions and changing things around and doing it differently. A lot of the scenes I have left to the actors to improvise which will be fun to play around with.


MM: Do you have any heroes in the film industry?

Jess: Keith is the person that inspires me to act as he got me into screen acting and is the person who got me into writing my own film. I look up to other actresses like Hetti Bywater and actresses that started acting young and made it their career - like Lindsay Lohan whose films I watch a lot.


MM: And what has been your greatest achievement or success?

Jess: My biggest achievement is being given the opportunity to be involved in Flawless. The director could have chosen anyone because there are some incredible actors out there and being asked to do something like that is really amazing. Without all that, I wouldn’t be where I am today so I am so thankful to the makers and everyone that made that possible. Also, Flawless has been very successful, getting into 16 festivals and winning awards and that’s mind-blowing to think that I was involved.


MM: What are the future plans for the project?

Jess: In the future I’m planning to collect funding to pay for any expenses - like the screening I am planning for soon after filming takes place. Also to put Coping into some festivals to see peoples’ thoughts and learn things from the professionals that judge.


MM: And finally, what advice would you give to others thinking about making a film?

Jess: What I would say to someone thinking of being involved in filming is dream of being good at something, not of being famous. If you do become famous, it’s a bonus for being good at something. Don’t worry about what anyone thinks because that’s the reason I didn’t get into acting sooner and I regret that. To be in the acting/filmmaking career I think you have to be willing to look stupid and be embarrassed so just go for it - that’s what I did and it got me here. Life is full of risks anyway so you might as well just take them.


Thank you for your time Jess.


Find out more about Flawless and BadShoes films at this link: https://www.facebook.com/badshoesfilm


And the Pauline Quirke Academy Leicester here: http://pqacademy.com/academy_locator/leicester/?ccm_paging_p_b6550=7


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