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By midlandsmovies, Apr 13 2018 08:11AM



Loughborough feature film launches crowdfunding campaign to enable cinema screenings


Do Something Jake is a new zero-budget feature film shot out in the streets with the help of university students, graduates, local businesses, enthusiasts, a charity for disadvantaged youngsters, and talented film-makers.


We featured the film during its early production and interviewed one of its stars Tom Loone but now after more than two years in post production, Do Something, Jake is finally complete and ready to be released.


“We have a lot of people waiting to see this film,” explains screenwriter-producer Caroline Spence, “not only our 100+ members of cast and crew, but also supporters from all over the country as well as overseas, who have been following this journey from inception. So to be unable to screen Do Something, Jake in UK cinemas would be tragic.”


The producers are now planning to organise a DCP (Digital Cinema Package) and a BBFC (British Board of Film Classification) certificate and Caroline, with director James Smith, have launched a crowdfunding campaign via Indiegogo to help raise the £2,000 required.



Do Something, Jake is the debut feature film from James and Caroline, who work under the banner of Raya Films. An ambitious project, the film was shot on zero budget with a large, international cast and expansive locations in the region.


"With Do Something, Jake we were forced to take a radical approach in order to make our first movie,” explains director, James Smith. “We shot with no-budget, out in the street, in private residential properties, with help of friends…and others enthusiastic or daft enough to believe in us. This approach is not for the fainthearted. This film pushed me to mental and physical limits that, even now when I reflect, make my eyes water.”



Caroline concludes, “The post-production process has been a long haul with some significant setbacks and obstacles to overcome. Yet we’ve also had a few strokes of good luck, with post-production professionals from Europe and Los Angeles (some of whom work on Hollywood blockbusters!) who had heard about the film and approached us to offer their help.”


If the crowdfunding campaign is successful, Do Something, Jake will be premiered in the UK the evening of 20 September 2018 at the Odeon cinema, Loughborough.


To donate and find out more check the IndieGoGo page here - https://igg.me/at/DoSomethingJake






By midlandsmovies, Sep 13 2017 10:37AM



Caroline Spence is a producer and screenwriter based in the Midlands and as part of our 'Professional' series we ask Caroline about her roles, experience and advice for readers interested in developing their career in this interesting and varied job.


Background

I am a screenwriter and feature film producer. I came to this profession fairly late in life as compared with other people in the business. Previously, I worked in various administrative roles in so many different industries that I’ve lost count, from law to the defence industry, accounting, finance and the mental health sector. All sounds impressive, but I was predominantly sat in front of a screen typing - always restless, always dreaming of breaking out and doing something else. In a way, this has been an advantage in my current profession – I know business, I know accounts, and I’ve met many people from many different walks of life, and so I have a wealth of inspiration to draw on when scouting for locations or writing new characters.


How Caroline got into film producing

I came to film producing through a series of events. I've been a writer since childhood and went on to write published articles based around natural history, science, and ancient history. In 2004, I was invited to appear on a TV show about international property as a realtor, because the actual realtor didn't want to appear on television! Although I knew little about selling properties abroad (in this case, Spain), I thought it would be a great experience. Unfortunately, when it came to the shoot, I wasn't too impressed by the (unprofessional) behaviour of the film crew. Nevertheless, this odd experience inspired me to write and present my own documentaries.


So, James Smith (director) and I set up Raya Films and we won a number of awards for our documentaries as well as enjoying sell-out theatrical screenings and international broadcast. We moved into commercial work and then experimented with short film, but it wasn't until I started penning screenplays that I knew I'd found my forte: feature film.


Training

I didn’t go to film school or go on any courses relating to the film industry. I learned on the job. As I already had over twenty years’ experience in a variety of industries, communication skills became ingrained in me, and I have become almost OCD with regard to organisation. In my opinion, these are two of the most important attributes to have as a film producer. I studied screenwriting religiously. I read (and continue to read) dozens of Hollywood screenplays. In the early days, I gained many tips from a highly-regarded screenwriting book (sorry, I seriously can’t remember which one!), I studied the screenplay for Ronin (1998) and The Firm (1993) on screen. I’ve been working toward achieving the standard of those two masterpieces ever since.



Experience in the film industry

In terms of feature film, there have been many ups and downs – there are many rogues in this industry and I’ve experienced my fair share of them. One of my first screenplays came to the attention of a sales agent/producer in Hollywood. We had various phone conversations – he loved the screenplay and was interested in working with us on it. Unfortunately, when he learned we hadn’t produced a feature film before he pulled out. This has been a repeated theme. The movers and shakers in the industry liked my screenplays, but with a lack of track record they didn’t take the risk. But the tide slowly tips in your favour if you keep going and build up experience - at last, my work is being taken seriously by established companies.


We came very close a few years ago with a movie set in Spain. I won’t go into detail but I had attached a named actor, a sales agent was coming onboard as executive producer, I had financiers … we were so close. Unfortunately, I brought in a producer to help me on the project who disrupted everything and caused setbacks. The film had to be put on hold. Despite this, I am now back in the driving seat. As a result of this experience, however, I am now very particular who I work with. In hindsight, this ‘producer’ did me the biggest favour ever: made me aware of rogues and the value of due diligence.


The demands from a filmmaker

Through experience, I am very strict on communication and insist people working on my projects tell me what they are going to do and who they are going to talk to before they do it. I’m not super-bitchy about this, just quietly insistent. I feel it’s important for all filmmakers to know exactly what the production team are doing – you, as a filmmaker, have worked hard to build up a solid reputation and good body of work and you can’t afford to be misrepresented to financiers, sales agents, producers or even your potential audience. It could set you back months or years.



Overcoming challenges

Shooting a film is like fighting fires – especially a zero/micro-budget one. Making Do Something, Jake – my debut feature - was tough. We had no budget for this production, so I had to wear many hats. As well as producer/production manager, line producer and screenwriter, I was script supervisor, location manager, sound technician, caterer and part-time driver. Many of our crew willingly doubled up duties as well, and even some actors lent a helping hand, which means a lot in terms of moral support for everyone. So every day was beset with problems or obstacles to overcome.


One of our locations was in a derelict pre-Victorian primary school. James, the director, asked me to prepare what was once a pantry, to shoot one of those scenes, and that meant sweeping up piles and piles of dead wasps. Not often found in the job description for a film producer.


Skills and experience

You need to multi-task and be mentally and physically fit because the whole process of filmmaking can be gruelling – with or without a good budget behind you. You need to be slick on communication. This is imperative, and in this day and age there is no excuse. You need to be able to get out of bed in the morning – if you don’t ‘do’ early mornings, go work in another industry.


You need to be tenacious. You will be knocked back time and time again, but you must bounce right back and turn those knocks, rejections , and criticisms into motivators. As Frank Sinatra said, “The best revenge is massive success.” I also read plenty of advice from other successful directors and industry professionals and take that onboard.


Advice to others

If you’re new to the industry, read as much as you can. Go on YouTube and watch as many ‘how to’ videos as you can, and then get as many screenplays as you can and read those. Whether you’re an actor, producer, director, editor, or clapper loader, it’s important to know all facets of the industry. Watch movies. All genres, from all decades and all nations. Become a movie geek. Study them and learn how to ‘read’ a movie.


After all the reading, watching movies, writing and studying, the only way to get anywhere is to go out and make a film. Thanks to Sean Baker (Tangerine, 2015) it’s now considered cool to shoot a movie on an iPhone, so take whatever you have and go and film something, learn from it, then go do it all again.


I learned invaluable lessons when producing and shooting Do Something, Jake not least about scheduling. Looking back, I realise that the schedule I drew up was incredibly tight - it's amazing we didn't run over-schedule. Full credit to the cast and crew for taking my gruelling demands in their stride. But I only learned this by doing it for real – learning from experience is the only way to progress.


Read about Caroline's latest project Do Somthing, Jake on by clicking here and check out Raya Film's site at https://rayafilms.wordpress.com/


By midlandsmovies, Jul 22 2016 01:12PM




New Loughborough shot feature releases first teaser trailer for Do Something Jake.


Shot in the heart of the Midlands new film ‘Do Something, Jake’ from Raya Films is an ambitious feature created partly in the north of Leicestershire. Midlands Movies Mike looks at this new film, and its accompanying ‘making of’ as it attempts to ‘do something’ different in the crime thriller genre.


Made on a zero budget, ‘Do Something, Jake’ was directed by James Smith who went to De Montfort University in Leicester. During its production, filmmaker Mike Mafrici followed the progress of the film, from its auditions right through to the final day of filming giving an insight into its creation.


The film also stars young up-and-coming talent from the Midlands and the documentary provides a fascinating behind-the-scenes understanding into the world of indie film-making. The movie itself showcases Jamie Alderson, Tom Loone, Mia Mills and U.S. actor, Ed Bergtold who are all looking forward to seeing not only the feature movie, but this collaborative 'making-of' that runs alongside too.


The production finally wrapped in November 2015 and sourced a mix of skilled and enthusiastic university graduates, professional filmmakers and the support of local businesses and organisations to get the project to the screen.


Now very much in post-production, the film boasts an original orchestral score by composer Nikolas Labrinakos and the filmmakers hope local interest leads to international attention as they market to agents and distributors in the USA.


Mixing noir, criminal menace, comedy and simmering romantic desire, the film tells the story of an unemployed introvert who struggles to learn to read and write. When the woman he secretly loves is threatened he then has to use all his ingenuity to assist her in her time of need.


‘Do Something, Jake’ also hopes to bring an expansive concept to a zero-budget production with slick US-style scripting and dialogue being worked into this uniquely British film. Shot in sumptuous locations, the film crosses genres and uses everything from video games culture to the design of contemporary crime thrillers.


The filmmakers have been influenced by the stalker flicks of ‘Nightcrawler’ (Dan Gilroy, 2014) and the edgy character study of ‘One Hour Photo’ (Mark Romanek, 2002). With a dash of Cohen-esque humour thrown in too, Raya Films are hopeful their new feature will deliver an original movie with international appeal.


"I'm excited to see the completed documentary," explains producer and screenwriter, Caroline Spence. "Mike is such a talented young guy and he's made a great job of editing this tantalising teaser for us”.


She continues, “The cast and crew have invested so much of their time and energy into this whole project and they're buzzing to see the finished feature”.


For more information and further trailers readers can follow on social media below:


Twitter: @DoSomethingJake

Website: www.rayafilms.com

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4856996


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