Will Power

When wife and mother Shelly (Emma Kenny) is informed of her wealthy estranged husband’s death in an extreme zorbing accident, she must cope not only with the shock of losing her partner, but also struggle with the eccentric demands of his will, which leaves the choice of who should inherit his vast fortune up to her and her brother-in-law Daniel (Ian Curley).

When the reality of the situation dawns, it isn’t long before the lure of an infinite fortune begins to affect the behaviour of all those involved.

As they cannot assign the inheritance to each other, to whom will they assign it, and to what end?

Co-starring Marc Pickering (Sleepy Hollow, Boardwalk Empire) ‘Will Power’ is a colourful comedy-drama, with an ending that will knock you sideways.

The 50 minute film was shot over the course of ten days back in the summer of 2011 at six locations across the North West of England, including Manchester, Salford, Lymm and Preston.

Highly ambitious in scale, and made with a minimal budget, the production was dependent on the generosity and goodwill of over two hundred media professionals and amateurs from across the North West. A truly imaginative and collaborative process, the film perfectly showcases the resolve and commitment of the independent filmmaking and acting community in the region.

I’m credited as Producer and co-produced the film alongside Writer/Director Tim Limon. However, Production Coordinator extraordinaire Kate Murphy had already done a lot of the groundwork by the time I came onboard.

Admittedly the film’s a funny length and a little rough around the edges (which was always going to happen on a measly budget of £6000!) but it’s as achievement nonetheless and still makes me laugh out loud in places. It was a pleasure to work alongside so many talented people, many of whom I’ve gone on to make other projects with. However, please don’t watch ‘Will Power’ for the first time expecting the production values of ‘Game of Thrones’!

At the time of shooting the script could have done with a little more development but I still believe that it has the potential to be developed further and commissioned as a stand-alone, one-off TV comedy drama. If for any reason you do get bored, or simply need something to take your mind off your New Year’s hangover, skip to the twenty nine minute mark for the big reveal. I’ll say no more.

Posted below is a mishmash of media relating to Will Power that has been posted online over the past four years; a behind the scenes montage video that Ben Mottershead shot and cut, James Kelly’s excellent score and the original video blogs. Included here is also a video of the final rehearsal which I seem to remember cutting together on the morning of the shoot so that the cast and crew could use it for reference. **Be warned, this last video contains big spoilers!**

If you enjoy the film please consider helping us out by rating it on IMDb here. If you’re feeling especially energetic (or maybe if your New Year’s resolution is to help indie film producers out?) you can even pen a glowing review. In return I will gladly reward you with leftover Christmas chocolates, primarily of the Bounty and Snickers variety.


A Father’s Day Principal Photography Complete

First Assembly of 'A Father's Day' (© Leapling Films Limited 2015)
First Assembly of ‘A Father’s Day’ (© Leapling Films Limited 2015)

On the 30th August we completed principle photography on our Creative England backed short, ‘A Father’s Day’. Written and Directed by Mat Johns the film was shot over four days (27th – 30th August) in Greenfield, Oldham and various parts of Wythenshawe.

Although the script is only four pages in length it is without a doubt one of the most ambitious films that I’ve produced to date. Challenges included limited working hours with children, special effects make-up and having a small army of make-up artists each day, transporting large props and vehicles to and from location and the fact that 80% of our shoot was set outside in rainy Manchester! It was never going to be easy but we got there (eventually!) and I’m pleased to say that the rushes are looking fantastic.

Mat has already put together a first assembly and we’re aiming to get the film completed and submitted to film festivals as soon as we can. The film does however require a fair number of visual effects and although we have people onboard we may potentially need assistance. If you’re interested in helping out please get in touch. A couple of the early eye replacement VFX tests can be found on the film’s Vimeo channel here.

Thank you once again to all the cast and crew, everybody who backed the project on Crowdfunder and to Creative England who have been fantastic throughout. iShorts is back for a third round and I can’t recommend it enough. The deadline for applications is 5pm on Monday 5 October 2015 and you can apply online here.

If you’re interested in keeping tabs on the film we can be liked on Facebook, and followed on both Instagram and Twitter.

Below is a timelapse video which shows our lead actor Garth Maunders being made up by the talented Brogan Sharp and Laura Rosemary Phillipson. Runner Dave Green shot this particular video but Simon Webb and Keith Myers have also shot some great behind the scenes material which we’ll be posting online in the coming months.

A Father’s Day Thunderclap Campaign

On 11 May 2015, I’ll be launching a crowdfunding campign on Crowdfunder to raise additional monies for a short film that I’m producing called, ‘A Father’s Day’. It’s a modern zombie flick with a bit of a difference and Mat Johns is set to direct.

Although we’ve already secured some funding, we will need to raise additional monies via crowdfunding to make this film a reality and to ensure that it’s the best it can be.

Crowdfunding campaigns are time consuming, and a majority fail, at least in part, due to a lack of promotion at the outset. Thousands of crowdfunding campigns are launched everyday and it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd. In an attempt to ensure that our campign gets off to a strong start I’ve setup a campign on a new platform called Thunderclap.

It’s best to think of Thunderclap as an “online flash mob”. Our Thunderclap campign launched yesterday and you can sign up by clicking on the ‘Join this Thunderclap’ button in the widget above. If more than 100 people sign up, ThunderClap will automatically post a message about A Father’s Day on either your Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr account the day our Crowdfunder launches.

It only takes a second to sign up and it’ll really make a difference in spreading the word about our crowdfunding campign.

Thunderclap is completely safe to use and will only post a single message on your behalf. After the campaign is complete Thunderclap won’t post any additional messages or spam.

Please show your support for the film by following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and by using the hashtag #AFathersDay. The plan is to shoot in the summer and to complete the film by September before submitting to festivals. Thanks in advance for your support.

Filmonik Kabaret 2014

‘A Certain Ratio’, shot and cut one evening at the Filmonik Kabaret 2014; a ten-day guerilla filmmaking event.

The film was originally made for Filmonik’s silent movie round which is now available to watch in it’s entirety below. ‘A Certain Ratio’ appears around the 57 minutes, 10 second mark.

Recorded score added at a later date by Chris Taylor of NoiseBoy Studios.

mylittlebrother – ‘Song About Amsterdam’

Low budget music video for mylittlebrother‘s ‘Song About Amsterdam’, taken from the band’s debut album ‘If We Never Came Down‘.

Will Harris, mylittlebrother’s lead singer-songwriter, is an old friend and this song used to be part of his live set whilst I was studying in Carlisle. It’s always been a favourite of mine so when Will approached me to make the video I was more than happy to help.

Thanks to Kenneth James for helping out with both lighting and the grade, and to Andrew Cullimore, Davinia Jokhi, Serena Ryan, Pete Garvey and Mat Johns for appearing on screen. Special thanks goes to the Salisbury Ale House for turning a blind eye to our terrible attempt at covert filming; it’s not easy to keep a low profile whilst your lead actor is strutting around the pub with a GoPro stuck to his head.

‘If We Never Came Down’ is available to stream below. If you enjoy what you hear consider giving the band a ‘Like’ on Facebook, or a follow on Twitter.

Foetal Juice – ‘Albert Grindstein’

Music video for Foetal Juice’s new song ‘Albert Grindstein’, taken from their upcoming split CD with Human Landfill.

Directed by Mat Johns, I co-produced, and dabbled in a bit of lighting and sound on the day too.

Thanks to everybody involved, especially John Grey, Kenneth James and William Morris. Behind the scenes stills from the shoot (taken by the lovely Kenneth) can be viewed online here.

The split CD is to be released via Grindscene Records and the song is available to buy now from foetaljuice.bandcamp.com.

That's a wrap! (© Kenneth James 2014)
That’s a wrap! (© Kenneth James 2014)

The X England Managers – ‘Brazil or Bust’

The brainchild of Writer/Producer Jason Brierley, ‘The X England Managers’ were put together for the sole purpose of performing World Cup song ‘Brazil or Bust’, and are fronted by Leon Meya of indie band Northern Uproar.

Directed by Colin Warhurst, with myself and Leo Worne on camera, it was shot back in April at the Greenbrow Social Club in Wythenshawe.

The video is fast approaching 10,000 views on YouTube and has recieved a fair bit of local press to date with articles appearing in the Stockport Express, Mancunian Matters and the Manchester Evening News.

Released as a single last week the song is now available to buy via iTunes and Amazon. However, if you’ve inadvertently spent your last pennies on a tacky England flag for your motor, fear not as you can always stream it for free on Spotify below.

Sci-Fi London 48 Hour Film Challenge 2014

Last year Colin Warhurst and I took part in the Sci-Fi London 48 hour Film Challenge at very short notice. This year we we so organised that our team (North West Avengers) even had a Twitter account!

The premise of the competition is to produce a 3 to 5 minute film in just 48 hours and this was the brief that had to adhere to:

Line: “Deep brain stimulation was going to solve our problems.”
Prop: Pen – We see a character use a broken pen, then find another that works and writes with it.
Science: Billions have a brain interface connected directly to the cloud, which a terrorist network has now hacked.

Thanks to everybody involved, particularly Filmonik and SSR Manchester for letting us use their facilities.

Team Selfie (© Emma Stone 2014)
Team Selfie (© Emma Stone 2014)