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By midlandsmovies, Jun 27 2017 02:56PM



The Telephone (2017)

Directed by Stuart Connock Wheeldon

Nine Ladies Film


A simple piano refrain and shots of quirky antiquities opens new horror short The Telephone from Nine Ladies Film.


With a more experimental introduction than previous films, Wheeldon has used images to create a sense of intrigue as we cross-jump shot-to-shot between seemingly random items and a list of missing persons before settling down for the tale.


Nigel Barber (as Max) is shown as a tormented artist scrawling Pollock-esque paint ejaculations across a canvas, before a parallel narrative shows a man (Bern Deegan as Richard) in a red telephone box. What follows is a series of eerie dream sequences experienced by Richard and as we receive these uncertain errors with him, the audience begins to ask if these are real or imagined. Or are they even glimpses of the past?


Well, Richard turns out to be a journalist investigating the disappearances highlighted at the film’s start but the relationship between him and the mysterious Max is intentionally vague. The constant telephone ringing provides an interesting background noise to the (hinted-upon) mental torment that Barber and Bern are encountering as well.


The main narrative is only hinted at, with the audience having to do much of the work as the jarring edits and almost non-existent dialogue create a mysterious puzzle that I hope most viewers would throw themselves into.


The music is great if a little overpowering at times and is edited higher in the mix than the sound effects – mainly the title’s ‘buzzing’ telephone – but the cleverly constructed angles and shots maintain a good sense of intrigue. Black and white flashbacks keeps the visuals appealing and the film had the suburban weirdness of Ben Wheatley’s Kill List and even a bit of Nic Roeg thrown in there too.


A big change of style for the local filmmaker, the short film definitely prioritises atmosphere and feeling over narrative. Personally I found the lack of story a bit frustrating at the start, but the film clarifies further in the second half and answers some of the uncertainties but also cleverly leaves you hanging on a number of points.


Some may be put off by the dream/nightmare-like randomness of the plot threads but I recommend putting any doubts ‘on hold’ for a high-concept hazy nightmare. In the end, The Telephone ends up being a great calling card for Wheeldon and a huge leap forward for the director in style and visual story-telling.


Midlands Movies Mike


Watch the full short on the Vimeo video below:




By midlandsmovies, May 7 2017 09:21PM



Midlands Spotlight - The Wasteland


Midlands Movies catches up with Stuart Wheeldon and his new film The Wasteland which is a modern-day mystery thriller scheduled to be shot in the Derbyshire Dales in July 2017.


Production company Nine Ladies Film launches into their new project The Wasteland which follows the journey of Laurence, a loner with a hidden past, who arrives in a small village on the offer of work from a local farmer named Frank.


As he takes the job of rebuilding a field boundary stonewall, Laurence becomes intrigued with the mysterious figure of Holly, the wife of Frank. Her own troubles both with depression and possible mental domestic abuse, lead Laurence on a new journey which he may or may not be happy to be on.


The film is written and directed by Stuart Wheeldon who is a Wirksworth (Derbyshire) based filmmaker and he is joined by Nick John Whittle as producer.


The film itself stars Paul Dewdney, a London based actor who has won the 'Best Supporting Actor' at the Long Island Film Forum for his role in 'Crossroads'. More recently the actor has also won the 2016 'Best Actor' award for the lead role in 'The Inquiry' at the Burning Reel film festival. He is also up for nomination for Best Actor at the upcoming Nice International Film Festival.

Also in the film is Johanna Stanton who has recently played the lead in feature film ‘Injustice’ – a hard-hitting thriller. Johanna has also just played Ruth Ellis in the docu-drama ‘Inside’ recently screened on Channel 5 and next up she will be filming the comedy series 'King Of The Gym'.



Completing the main cast is Bern Deegan, an Irish actor whose experience spans from feature film, award-winning short films and touring theatre. Bern plays the lead role of 'Peter Nash' in Big Ideas Films ‘Point of No Return’ which also stars Paul Ronan, Don Wycherley and Steven Berkoff. The film was directed by Kevin Glynn and is currently in post-production and Bern has appeared in the films local Midlands films ‘In Limbo’ and ‘The Telephone’ as well.

The Wasteland will feature original music by Michael Walters who is the founder and Director at Storm Force Winds. Michael's catalogue of concert music is published globally and he has been fortunate to receive three Royal Premieres (Regius Adventum 2006, Centuries 2010, Viginti 2014).


His famous music has also been broadcast on the BBC Radio 3 Concert Series (Zygonic De/regeneration 2012, Seven Minutes of Contrarian Zygonicity 2013) and this year, Michael has joined the emerging talent roster at acclaimed Film and TV composer agency SMA Talent.

With such an acclaimed cast and crew, the film gets underway with a crowd-funding campaign launching in May and more details of which can be found at the film’s official website here: www.wastelandshortfilm.com


Follow updates and news at the film’s social media page on Facebook www.facebook.com/thewastelandshortfilm.com

By midlandsmovies, Jan 15 2017 09:30AM

Midlands Spotlight - The Collector


Coming up later in the year is The Collector, a new indie horror film from Stuart Wheeldon which combines dread and survival in brand new project from two established Midlands filmmakers.


With In Limbo and The Telephone already released, The Collector is the new film that has emerged from the mind of the award-winning production company NineLadiesFilm and AnonMotionPictures.


Billed as an abstract horror, the film follows Elliot who awakes one day in a crowded street begging for food before heading to a derelict house trying to survive his new primal existence. Casting a shadow over Elliot is a mysterious stranger who calls himself the “Collector” who, by rolls of dice, alters the path of our unlucky hero with every intention of sending him to his doom.



Written by Midlanders Nick John Whittle and Stuart Wheeldon, the film will be shot on location in Spain and has already lined up an impressive group of actors for production to start. Playing The Collector himself will be Nigel Barber (above) who has appeared in ‘Spectre’ as well as ‘Rogue Nation’ ‘M:I5’. Also on his CV is ‘Roboshark’ for BUFO/Sony Pictures and Bollywood feature ‘Welcome to Karachi’.





As Elliot, the filmmakers have cast Daniel Booroff who was the winner of the Southern Shorts Award for Excellence in Acting as the character Terry in ‘Evil’s Evil Cousin’. In the role of Lucy is actress Sophie Ablett who has studied drama at Ecole Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in Paris. Her first job was in Taboo starring Tom Hardy for Scott Free Productions on BBC1/FX. And her later work has included ‘The Railway Children’ in the West End where starred in the lead role of Bobbie before being named as ‘ONE TO WATCH’ by The Independent in March 2016.





Another coup for the filmmakers is the inclusion of indie band Frank who will be supplying a new song for the soundtrack entitled ‘Way We End’. The group have gone from strength to strength with support slots for Manchester’s Proud Mary , Inspiral Carpets and Happy Mondays and the band recently played their biggest gig to date at the local Derby Arena.





With production well underway, the filmmakers hope to collect many more fans so please support this fantastic new project by following the film’s updates and news at the official website and social media sites:


www.thecollectorfilm.co.uk

www.facebook.com/thecollectorfilm2017


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