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By midlandsmovies, Dec 3 2018 10:22AM



Midlands Spotlight - Off Grid release new trailer to coincide with crowdfunding campaign


Off Grid is the upcoming production from Dark Matter Films and Bewdley-based Director Carl Timms who shot the short film on location in Worcestershire earlier this summer with a completion date pencilled in for early 2019.


The crowdfunding campaign will raise money for the film’s special effects and final post-production for this post-apocalyptic, supernatural thriller which boasts a stellar cast including James Cosmo, MBE (Game of Thrones, Braveheart, The Outlaw King) as force of nature John Tanner; Alison Steadman (Pride and Prejudice, Gavin & Stacey) as his frail wife, Grace and Marc Baylis (Redcon-1, Coronation Street) as the enigmatic Stranger


Rising British horror actress Kate Davies-Speak (Horizon, Dead Air) as Cailtin Rourke is also involved and the trailer, which can be viewed above, offers a glimpse of the other-worldly threat, ‘The Shining Ones’, who are plaguing humanity.



Off Grid is directed by Carl Timms (click here to read our review of his earlier Midlands film STILL) and written by Mark Brendan through their production company Dark Matter Films and was shot over the summer of 2018. It tells the story of elderly couple, John and Grace Tanner, who have fled deep into the forest following an apocalyptic event. There John fights to protect his frail wife, and his own sanity, from a supernatural threat. The arrival of another survivor forces John to assess if he is an ally or a threat, leading to revelations that could shatter the sanctuary he has built for them.


Bewdley-based director Carl Timms says, "We are delighted with how the filming turned out. We feel honoured to have worked with such a talented cast who brought these characters to life exactly as we hoped. Off Grid is a hard-hitting, intense drama that tells an ambitious, character-driven story in just 20min. To make it work we needed actors with real gravitas and they delivered beyond our hopes. But credit must also go to our amazing crew who all worked so hard to make this the best it could be".




The Indiegogo campaign with a target of £5,000 for Off Grid launched 25th November and can be found by clicking here. All funds raised are being put into post-production of the film, including CGI effects work, grading, sound design and final mastering.


The ‘perks’ on offer include an Associate / Executive Producer credit including tickets to a premiere screening, sponsorship opportunities for local businesses, digital and DVD copies of the finished film, limited edition artwork and behind the scenes photography, and a thank you in the credits for making the film happen. If the campaign is a success, Dark Matter Films are planning an early 2019 completion date and high-end festival run.


Keep up to date at https://www.darkmatterfilms.co.uk


Photos courtesy of Gary Moore, strongarmphotography


By midlandsmovies, Sep 5 2018 07:40AM



Midlands Spotlight - Ocean-Eyes Pictures Announce New International Joint Project The Guiding Light


Lincolnshire based production company Ocean-Eyes Pictures have announced a new joint production with Nottingham based production company Polymath Productions and Argentinian producer Gisele Mauvecin. The new project, titled “The Guiding Light” is set to film in Autumn and will be directed by Tom Brumpton, from a script written by Ocean-Eyes owner Adam Luff.


The news comes off the back of a successful few years for the trio. Ocean-Eyes last project, “Nurture of the Beast”, which starred Brumpton, was picked as an Official Selection by various film festivals around the world.


Mr. Luff also enjoyed success for his screenplay “Lunar Art”, which picked up two awards at the inaugural New Renaissance Film Festival in 2016, while Mr Brumpton secured a place in the BAFTA Crews 2018 Programme as a director and producer. At the same time Mauvecin’s latest film, “Gender”, recently enjoyed a sold-out screening in London and has been picked up as an Official Selection by international film festivals.


The inspiration for “The Guiding Light” comes from a particularly difficult period in Brumpton’s life. He lost his Aunt Pat in April 2016 and later his Aunt Kath in late June 2017. “My aunts were wonderful people. I was very close to them and losing them felt like losing a family home".




As the pair began working on “The Guiding Light”, Brumpton aimed to create something life affirming. “I didn’t want my last memory of these women to be death and misery. I wanted to turn that grief into something positive”.


The film follows Barbara, a world champion dancer who after years of struggling with autoimmune disease is forced to retire. Shortly after, she contracts pneumonia and becomes critically ill. Minutes from death, she’s visited by her younger sister, Angela. The two embark on a journey through Barbara’s happiest memories before she’s forced to face her own mortality. The film, which brings together musical elements with surrealism, is set to be filmed in the East Midlands in late Summer/early Autumn.


Asked on their inspiration for the film, Brumpton stated “Whatever happens, blame Nicolas Winding Refn!” he jokes “I discovered him in 2009 when I saw “Bronson”, and fell in love with his work. His use of music and lighting is a massive inspiration. As for the musical side; Rob Marshall had a big impact. “Nine” is one of my favourite musicals but seeing what Damien Chazelle did with “La La Land” really stuck with me. As Adam and I worked on the film we saw it as a film of various parts. There are nods to European arthouse cinema and musicals, with moments of body horror and the surreal.”



Despite the bleak sounding subject matter, Brumpton thinks of the film as a celebration of love and life. “The film is a reflection on Pat’s life, and her relationship with Kath and my Mum. It’s about looking back on the things you achieved with a sense of pride and completion, and the role the people closest to us play in the value of those memories".


Mr. Luff had this to say on his involvement, "I enjoyed discussing the premise with Tom and I'm proud of the script. The juxtaposition of musical elements and surrealistic visuals is something terribly exciting, and I cannot wait to see where it takes us".


The trio have teased a premiere at a highly respected venue in 2019 and are running a crowdfunder via Indiegogo which can be found here https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-guiding-light-short-film#/


By midlandsmovies, Aug 19 2018 09:30AM



Midlands Interview - Christopher Bevan and Belinda Basson talk The Other


Midlands Movies speaks to the director Christopher Bevan and Producer Belinda Basson of upcoming local film The Other - an ambitious and gripping short thriller currently in production from the award-winning team.


Midlands Movies: Hi both, can you tell our readers a bit about yourself?

Chris Bevan: Hello. I’m a Derby-based director working across shorts, music videos, commercials and documentaries with a real interest in thriller, sci-fi and drama films. In addition to freelancing I also am the creative director of my production company YSP Media.

Belinda Basson: I moved into film production following a career in corporate communications, marketing and PR, fulfilling an ambition I had had originally to work in film as a first career. I am now Director of film production company Dreamfusion Productions, with a diverse portfolio of films completed.


MM: And how long have you worked in the film industry?

CB: I’ve been making films for a good 12-13 years now since picking up a handycam at 16 years old and making action movies with my friends and family. Since then I’ve turned it into my full-time career and have never looked back!

BB: I have worked in different capacities in film production for ten years, producing a diverse body of work through my company Dreamfusion Productions. My collaboration with Chris began six years ago and we have written, developed and produced a wide range of films since the first project we worked on together.


MM: It’s great to see such collaboration. So, what has been the most difficult hurdle you have had to overcome?

BB: The biggest recurring hurdle is finding all the resources to get films made, from funding to locations. That said, by working with Chris and several excellent teams of cast and crew, we have brought some great films to completion, all with high production value, even when limited funds have been available.

CB: Belinda and I have collaborated on quite a few films now and I think as time goes by, the challenge of finding the funding to realise these ideas and concepts as they become greater in scope and ambition is definitely a hurdle but one we have tackled head on. As a producer Belinda is ambitious and never backs down from a challenge, always finding a way to pull off the seemingly impossible!


MM: Your new film is The Other. Can you tell our readers a bit about it and how it came about?

BB: The idea for 'The Other' came from a film I once saw called 'The Man Who Haunted Himself'. In what was widely recognised as Roger Moore's best and most chilling performance, a successful man has his comfortable life challenged by unexplained occurrences which have an increasingly dramatic and devastating effect on his mental state. The film left a lasting impression and I have long wanted to revisit the 'doppelganger' notion but in a contemporary context relevant for society today and reflecting the pressures of our everyday lives.

CB: We were excited to bring on board writer Ben Errington to develop the story and script for The Other. Our story follows Marcus, an ambitious chef who wants to reach the heights of his profession. His life is stable and predictable until one day an unexplained event sets his life on a frightening course, increasingly throwing his life into chaos and making him question his own sanity.



MM: And how did you come to cast your actors Adam Horvath, Dani Tonks, Liz Leonard, Christopher Tajah?

CB: The lead of Marcus was definitely written with Adam Horvath in mind. We’d worked with him on a project a few years ago and having seen his performance in Derby Theatre’s production of ‘Brassed Off’ we knew he could deliver both the depth and range of emotion that the challenging role of Marcus required. Belinda was very keen to cast Adam and we were all delighted when he loved the script and accepted the role!

BB: For the roles of Ruth, Wendy and Phillip we put out casting calls and had a great response. We managed to narrow down a shorter list of actors who appeared to be a close fit our character profiles and held auditions in both London and Derby. Of the great calibre of actors we auditioned, we cast Dani, Liz and later Christopher.


MM: As we’re a local organisation we are always keen to find out how filmmakers make the decision to create their movie in the Midlands?

BB: The Midlands has a wealth of film making and acting talent and we wanted to reflect the quality of both people and locations in the region. We decided on Derby as we are based in the City and our lead actor is from Derby. We were very fortunate to find and receive permission to film in some great locations.

CB: We filmed in the city centre with amazing support from Derby Museums and had some additional locations in Sandiacre and Ripley.

BB: We also chose Birmingham due to the excellent support available from Film Birmingham, which was outlined to us by Sindy Campbell at an RTS Midlands networking event. We were very keen to achieve the maximum production value possible so chose to aim for feature-scale settings. One of the ways to achieve this was to have an impressive cityscape backdrop, which was perfectly delivered by the City of Birmingham.


MM: And are you both from the region yourselves?

CB: I was born in Shrewsbury and later moved to Derby so have always lived in the Midlands.

BB: I am not originally from the region but studied in the Midlands and have spent a considerable amount of time in both Derby and Nottingham.


MM: And with the film ready to go, how was the actual shooting?

BB: The shoot was challenging in terms of the number and types of locations, but our excellent cast and crew rose to the challenge and delivered awe-inspiring work! We are very excited at the prospect of working with them again to finish The Other.

CB: We had such a committed cast and crew and working with them across the main block of filming last year was a pleasure. Of all the films I’ve worked on as director, this felt the most ambitious and I’m really pleased with the results so far. We have shot 80% of the film now and are looking to crowdfunding to support the final 20% and post-production.



MM: And with regards to your influences, what films or filmmakers inspire you?

CB: I’ve always been a huge fan of Clint Eastwood’s work with Unforgiven being one of my all-time favourites. In terms of big names, I’ve always been inspired by Fincher, Spielberg, Nolan and Villeneuve but I also look to directors such as Damien Chazelle, Ryan Coogler, Gareth Edwards and Debra Granik to name but a few. It would be remiss of me not to mention my love for Star Wars and huge admiration for George Lucas too!

BB: I have been inspired by the work of Hitchcock, Spielberg, Coppola, Nolan and the naturalistic directing style of Clint Eastwood. I also really like the quirky, visionary creative styles of David Lynch and the Coen brothers. I have too many film favourites to mention here!


MM: So did those sway any of your creative decisions in The Other?

BB: There are several stylistic themes in the film which reference the styling of these great directors, especially Alfred Hitchcock.

CB: I worked closely with DP Karl Poyzer and we frequently referenced Fincher’s work on Gone Girl and Zodiac in particular during pre-production on The Other when developing the look. With regards to story and character, Villeneuve’s Enemy and Hitchcock’s Vertigo both came up in conversation in terms of creative influences for contemporary and classical representations of doppelgangers in film.


MM: And when and where can people expect to see The Other?

BB: We are currently aiming to raise funds to complete the filming of the remaining two striking scenes through crowdfunding support. If we are successful, we would hope to have the film completed by early next year.

CB: It’s an exciting time for us as we are gearing up to launch our IndieGoGo campaign for the film! Should we be successful in crowdfunding these two integral scenes and our post-production, we would hope to begin submitting to festivals within the next six months and a premiere will hopefully not be far away!


MM: And finally, what’s next on the horizon for you?

BB: Our next point of focus will be a challenging feature with themes that should appeal to a very wide and diverse audience. I can reveal no more at this stage!

CB: This will be another YSP Media and Dreamfusion Productions collaboration and we have spent four years developing this project. We’re hoping to get things rolling once The Other is completed and released – watch this space!


Thank you both.


The Other’s IndieGoGo pre-launch page can be found here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-other-a-short-thriller-film-drama--2/coming_soon/x/208337


And check the teaser trailer here:







By midlandsmovies, Jun 14 2018 12:58PM



New film You Are My Sunshine, which will be filmed and produced in and around the Midlands this summer, is launching a new crowd-funding campaign for their upcoming LGBTQ drama.


Written and directed by award winning filmmaker Dave Hastings, and produced by award winners Troy Dennison and Kaush Patel, You Are My Sunshine promises to be a heartfelt look at two extraordinary lives wanting nothing more than to be together against hostility and prejudice.


Set across two decades, Sunshine tells the story of Tom and Joe, who first meet in the 1970s, a time when homosexuality is still deemed immoral and wrong. As the two youngsters try and navigate their way through an uncompromising time in history, their modern day counterparts also have to deal with the repercussions of their early lives when events take a turn and families collide once more.


Looking for help to tell their stories, their filmmakers’ campaign launches with an aim to raise funding for locations, make up effects, transport as well as other considerations such as food and insurance.


Much of the cast have already been secured including Steve Salt who will be playing the younger version of Tom, while Jack Knight will be the younger version of Joe, Martin’s son. Both are from the Midlands and studying drama in London and they are joined by Charlie Clarke, Charles O’Neill and Rosemary Manjunath.


Director Dave Hastings comments, "This is an important story to tell now more than ever. Especially when we are again seeing a rise in homophobic crimes around the world, which in itself is sickening. Sunshine shows that while in the face of tough adversity, whatever your sexual preference, there is never anything wrong with falling in love with someone of the same gender”.


Producer Troy Dennison elaborates; "while the film presents hope, it never shies away from showing the ugly side of these discussions, with the script showing how in the 1970s, even when we had the first Pride in the UK, attitudes were still very difficult, and were strong enough to rip whole families apart, an event that could take decades to heal, while in other cases, not even being repaired at all, leaving some members of the LGBTQ community vulnerable and separated by their families forever".


The filmmakers first feature collaboration was Checking In” (see MM review here) which told five stories all set over the course of a 24hr day in a hotel. The film was screened in London, was featured on BBC Midlands News, and eventually went on to WIN BEST BRITISH FILM at the 2014 London Film Awards. The film was made on a budget of £2,000.


And their Hammer horror inspired second film entitled The House of Screaming Death won Best Feature at the 2018 Midlands Movie Awards.


“We are very passionate about filmmaking and doing the absolute best we can with what limited resources we have. But we believe this just makes us more creative on set and how we develop not only ourselves but the movies we make”.


To make a pledge please check out the Indiegogo Campaign by clicking here


For more info please head over to their official website: www.lightbeamproductions.co.uk



By midlandsmovies, May 31 2018 06:33AM



Midlands Spotlight - Ambitious short seeks support with new campaign


A group of Leicester based filmmakers have begun their crowdfunding campaign to finance their highly ambitious short film, being produced in partnership with Creative Media Skills (CMS) at Pinewood Studios.


The Nail That Sticks Out tells the story of Aiko, a controversial Japanese artist living in the UK, who is struggling to complete her latest collection. Her muse and girlfriend, Elisabeth, faces her own pressures dealing with her fledgling acting career. The journey to Aiko’s final masterpiece takes in passion, lust, obsession and shows no sign of a happy ending.


With a majority of the crew Masters students at De Montfort University, eight of which are studying International Film Production and one Digital Arts student, the group have received training from some of the biggest names in the British film industry.


This includes Iain Smith (Producer of Mad Max: Fury Road, Children of Men), Chris Kenny (Producer of Batman, Empire of the Sun), Gareth Unwin (Producer of The King’s Speech) and Terry Bamber (Production Manager on Casino Royale, Skyfall). The crowdfunding campaign is now live and runs for 30 days with a goal of raising £4,000 to support the production of the film. The ‘Asia extreme’-inspired short film will begin production towards the end of July and will be shot in Nottingham, Leicester and Loughborough.


Iain Smith spoke of his anticipation for the film: “The Nail That Sticks Out is an extraordinary and exciting project. It’s being made by a wonderful, energetic and creative team of student filmmakers. It has been a great pleasure to work with them at CMS; in particular Rebekah (Writer), Jordan (Director) and Jamie (Producer) who have huge talents. I predict they will go far.”


Jordan Dean’s previously spoke to Midlands Movies (click here) and two of his short films have been Official Selections at the Los Angeles Cine Fest, the $2 Dollar International Film Festival in New York and the Move Me Productions International Film Festival in Antwerp. His film Behind the Lens was nominated for a Midlands Movies Award in 2018 and his last film Not Alone recently won the Best Short Film award at the Direct Monthly Online Short Film Festival.


Jamie Ball, the film’s producer, said: “I feel that there is nowhere near enough varied representation of female and LGBT+ characters on screen, something I'm really passionate about. I'm pleased that the first film I'm producing addresses these issues, while at the same time telling a new and interesting story."


The cast and crew include award-winning Director Jordan Dean, award-winning actress Natsumi Kuroda, and Midlands Movies Award nominated composer Peter Flint. The cast and crew are all passionate about telling stories that showcase diversity.


The crowdfunding campaign can be found at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-nail-that-sticks-out-short-film-horror-drama/x/18734609#/





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, Feb 16 2018 04:52PM



Local filmmakers fundraising for Poison Ivy fan film


Since her introduction in 1966, Poison Ivy remains one of the most popular Batman villains of all time yet has been strangely underrepresented in modern cinema. With her only notable big screen appearance being in Batman and Robin (played by Uma Thurman), her portrayal was less than pleasing for many fans and critics alike.


Well, local fans and filmmakers want to set that record straight by giving Ivy her own starring role in an upcoming fan film. Sophie Black, Aislinn De'Ath and Robert Dukes want to be faithful to the source material from the comics yet still palatable for modern audiences.


The screenplay was written by De'Ath and is inspired by Ivy's graphic novel appearances and an award-winning cast and crew are already attached to the project and ready to begin filming.



First though the group are launching a crowd-funding campaign where fans can make pledges to be involved - from executive producer to donations towards the materials to make Ivy’s costume. Monies raised will also be put towards production design, location and marketing costs. With a goal of £2,800 to be raised, the film shoot will take place in February 2018.




Aislinn De’ath will be playing Poison Ivy and has appeared in numerous short films, including The Dress in 2015, which won her the Best Actress award at Festigious Film Festival whilst Robert Dukes joins the case as Bruce Wayne. Robert has played a charming yet dangerous antagonist in Surveilled and a soldier in World War 2 drama The Code.


The film is being helmed by Nottingham director Sophie Black who is also working on here next release which will be the ambitious fantasy short Songbird, starring The X Factor's Janet Devlin. Joining Sophie is Sarah-Jane Lyon (make-up), Charlotte Ball (production designer)


For more information please check out their official campaign page here - https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-poison-ivy-fan-film-fantasy


Poster design is by Adam Blakemore of Strelka design, with concept art by Sophie Black


By midlandsmovies, Jan 29 2018 09:55AM



Nottingham writer director James Postlethwaite is soon to launch his new film, As The Sun Rises, a relationship drama that covers LGBTQ issues with a sensitive and passionate approach. Midlands Movies Mike finds out more about this gripping new film.


Getting into the industry at the tender age of 16, James Postlethwaite has trained and worked on some of Britain's most prestigious and well-known programmes including Coronation Street and The Graham Norton Show. Having also directed films and documentaries in Los Angeles, he returns to the region for his new project.


As The Sun Rises follows a man called Andy who is in a loveless relationship with his partner, Emma, but who has known he was gay from a very early age. Spending most of his life masking his emotions and living a lie, the film shows Andy's struggles to be honest about his sexuality to the people he loves the most.


The film’s pre-launch campaign has gone live and the makers are offering fans the chance to win one of five £50 Amazon vouchers just for signing up with their email address and sharing the post on their own social media. Click here for the first offer full details.


Tackling their fundraising with gusto, the filmmakers will then run an IndieGoGo campaign from 9th March seeking to raise a budget of £25,000.



James is supported by a talented crew including Oli Braybrook who is a producer based in Nottingham. Oli is most known for producing the films Lucidity and The Keys to It All along with three episodes of the television pilot, Print.


Laura Gallop joins the production as director of photography whose strong belief is that cinematography “should compliment the story and should add to the project on an unconscious level rather than overpower it”.


Christian Smith will compose the film's score and the Hampshire born pianist already enjoys several credits to his name including a portfolio of clients - from his music appearing on O2 adverts to scoring several other low budget films.




Also on board is a talented cast with many coming from the Midlands who also have a whole host of successful credits on shows such as Hollyoaks, EastEnders, Law and Order UK, Silk, Happy Valley, Doctors, Emmerdale and Shameless to name just a few.


Despite its micro-budget indie origins the film is hoping to tackle changing issues within the film industry from raising the profile of marginalised groups as well as improving female cast and crew figures.


For more information about the production check out the ongoing updates at the official website: www.asthesunrisesfilm.co.uk


Midlands Movies Mike



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