We are THRILLED to announce that on the 28th of July – with still 9 day to go - Blessed are they that fear the Lord smashed its initial funding goal of £7,000!
BUT IT DOESN'T STOP THERE! We’re incredibly grateful for the generosity of everyone who has pledged their support, given advice, and shared our campaign page on social media. This film is going to get made – and it’s all thanks to YOU!
Our campaign is still LIVE until the 6th of August, so we're hoping to push on and achieve even greater things! All and any additional money we raise will go to:
Crew: Our crew are working for peanuts, so with a little extra in the budget we'll be able to raise their fees and pay them properly for their hard work. We'll give something back to those who have already offered their talents and advice, and worked on our campaign for free.
Cast: With a larger budget we'll be able to cast a high profile lead actress!
Equipment: Getting high quality equipment casts money! With a larger budget we will be able to hire a better camera to make this film look as stunning as possible!
Please do keep supporting the campaign and sharing the link on social media. There are still some fantastic rewards to be claimed (including Associate & Exec Producer credits!).
Let's make the absolute best version of Blessed are they that fear the Lord!
Blessed are They that Fear the Lord is a period piece meets euro-western set in 1870s England, written and directed by Leoni Tenius.
It is gripping story about a young woman’s fight for survival and the reclaiming of her freedom told in Leoni’s unique style which puts a rough and emotional twist on your classic period piece.
1875. In the cold light of an early morning the rebellious American-born Ada sneaks out of a grand mansion, saddles her horse and flees. She is making her way south, to Bristol where she wants to catch a ship from Bristol Harbor back to America.
Traveling on horseback she stays off the roads and sleeps in forests, running away, hiding from someone, erasing all her traces. Having to escape two henchmen that have been sent after her she continues her strenuous journey, meeting the young Eliza who she tries to persuade to leave her violent husband, and the hunter Jonathan who rescues her after she injured herself. As she finally arrives at her relatives’ place outside Bristol she has to realize that she is still far from safety as her husband, who she was running away from, will put up a fight before letting her leave him and the country.
For the shoot we have secured a beautiful Mansion located in Shropshire near the Welsh border and Snowdonia - which is a huge advantage as locations play a crucial role in the visual story. The wide vistas, giant mountains, overawing scenery, and the rough power of nature not only create physical challenges for Ada, but also mirror her mental struggle.
Check out this video we shot on our latest location scout:
Blessed are they that fear the Lord is a period piece set in the Victorian Great Britain, with visual hints towards classical Westerns creating the unique feel of a Euro-Western, showcasing the rough beauty of nature using natural lighting. To achieve an especially dramatic and authentic look many of the exterior scenes will be shot at either dawn, dusk, or at night using fire to light the actors. The interior scenes will be dimly lit, using practical lights appropriate to the time period such as candles and oil lamps.
Entering the film industry as a young filmmaker can be daunting. Entering the film industry as a young woman even more so. Daily I am reminded of the wage gap and the staggeringly small percentage of major motion pictures being directed by women. Ask people about a female director they know and they probably will be able to think of one or two, but their names certainly aren't lodged into our brains and film history as names like Tarantino, Spielberg, or Kubrick.
Below the surface this film is dealing with these thoughts and fears of mine - and of a lot of young women in the industry - but in a different context.
With Blessed are they that fear the Lord I want to tell the story of a young woman who has the courage to escape the boundaries that society and the time she lives in have put upon her. She leaves a secure but emotionally harmful environment and takes the risk of failing, of being defeated by men & nature, while having to come to terms with a powerful internal struggle: she is desperate for retrieving her richness of life, yet she is not always sure if she can pull through and doubting wether she is doing the right thing.
My goal is to create a visually stunning film, showing the struggle, but also the incredible strength of a young woman in a time where women’s rights where only starting to become an issue.
This is a massive opportunity. Apart from festival submission one of the main aims of this project is to use it to promote a feature based on the short and to get funding for it. With the short we want to explore the characters and the struggle and journey of Ada, a story that could be adapted into any setting or timeframe. We are currently in talks with a number of production companies who are interested in collaboration on a feature version of our film. So this could lead to bigger and better things, but only if you come on board and help us.
Are you excited about the project yet? We are! However, shooting a short film in an entirely different time period is an ambitious feat, and we can't do it without the generous support of the Kickstarter community.
Kickstarter is all or nothing - we will only receive the funding for Blessed are they that fear the Lord IF and WHEN we hit our full target. We are also trying to raise money from private investors and public funding to reach our full budget of around 20k. For Kickstarter we wanted to start with a lower and more achievable goal of £7,000 – but we hope to push on and raise the full budget!
CAST & CREW
For the casting of the lead we are looking to cast a high profile actress, which will cost a little more. For the shoot we will be taking the whole cast and crew from London up to the north of Wales, so we will be facing substantial travel and accommodation costs. And of course, no one can work on an empty stomach!
Your support will help our production designer to convincingly recreate scenes set in the 1870s, ably supported by our hair & makeup designer, who will be working with a costume designer to give our actors the Victorian Era look and feel. We'll need period costumes for the lead characters, and various props in keeping with the period…. and A HORSE!
About as important as it gets really. We’ve been lucky enough to call in some favours and already got an awesome drone to use! But we’ll still need extra gear to shoot the film, including cameras, lenses and lights. We’re aiming to shoot on the Red Epic. We’ll also need two big vans for six days to transport our crew, their kit (and to take shelter in if/when it rains!).
Submission fees are expensive, but they're the only way to get our film seen on the big screen. Your donations will help us submit it to major international film festivals, and be in with a chance of awards and distribution.
Again, we’ve been lucky enough to call in some favours, but your support will help us with those crucial few weeks in post: editing, grading, and perfecting the sound.
INSURANCE & CONTINGENCY
We want to bring the best film we can to the Kickstarter community and our generous supporters, so it's necessary paying a little extra to insure the production. Contingency will help us cover any unforeseen extras, and any extra will go towards post-production.
Kickstarter take 5% of all the money we raise - but we couldn't do it without them! We'll need a little extra in the budget to cover this.
Leoni Tenius - Writer & Director
Leoni is a London based Writer/Director and Film School Graduate, with hands-on experience in a wide range of productions such as live television/multi-camera, web-series, feature films, high-end short films, documentaries, promotional films, fashion videos, motion capture, and much more. Beginning to Actively work in the film industry in 2012 She won the the Zoom Award for the Best International Film for her first short film Kriegskind (Child of War), and her script for the short "Different World" won the Imaginarium Studio’s pitch competition "Imagining the Imaginarium". The film was then produced by The Imaginarium Studios, Neo Screen Productions, and Andy Serkis and completed in April 2016. Following this collaboration she worked with the Imaginarium Studios again in August 2016 to shoot and edit a promotional film with David Bruckner (Director), Richard Holmes (Producer), and Andy Serkis (Producer) for one their upcoming feature films.
Sébastien Blanc - Producer
Sébastien is a co-founder and co-owner of Lakeside Pictures Sagl. He attended the Academia del Cinema in Bologna, the UCLA in Los Angeles and graduated First Honors from the Met Film School in London in Practical Filmmaking. His graduation film “Lighthouse”, which he wrote, produced and directed, was selected for the Cannes Short Film Corner, the National Film Festival for Talented Youth, the London Independent Film Festival and the London Online Lift-Off Film Festival. Sébastien has worked with Swiss National TV (RSI) and collaborated in various degrees on diverse film projects including commercials, infomercials, music videos, web-series, shorts, variety shows, documentaries and features. Sébastien is also a member of Directors UK.
Jamie Touche - Director of Photography
Jamie is an English Director of Photography. He graduated Met Film School with a 1st in Film and Digital Cinematography. Jamie recently spent a month in the UAE assisting on a large documentary for Paul Williams, DoP (The Great Barrier Reef). With dozens of short films, commercials and two features as 1st assistant camera under his belt, he is currently working in the indie film industry as a freelance DoP. Many of his shorts are touring festivals worldwide and he is scheduled to shoot two features in the near future.
Check out Jamies showreel:
Blessed are they that fear the Lord is in pre-production. We’ve found the key locations, designed the film’s aesthetic, planned the shoot, and pulled together our crew. During the campaign we’ll be continuing this process by: casting the actors, locking down secondary locations, and pulling together production design. Shooting dates are set for late August 2017 with post-production in the following month. By early fall we expect to have a completed film to show you all – and to send out on the festival circuit.
We are incredibly grateful to anyone who supports Blessed are they that fear the Lord, whether it's pledging £5 or £5,000!
Pledges start from as little as £5 and range from limited edition artwork to a copy of the original soundtrack, tickets to the exclusive London premiere and more...
Take your pick from the great choices on the right =====>>
Should you feel uncomfortable entering your information online, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be able to do it via PayPal. Please note - this will not appear as part of the amount raised through Kickstarter.
Please note: You will NOT BE CHARGED for your pledges until or after (DATE) when the campaign ends!!
Please spread the word on social media, to your friends and family, to help us raise the full amount and get Blessed are they that fear the Lord made!
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Risks and challenges
Risks and Challenges
The scale and ambition of Leoni’s script will be our biggest challenge – but that’s what makes it so exciting! With a big cast, set in a different time period, and multiple locations, we are pushing the short film to its limits in order to make something extraordinary.
One of our main initial challenges was that the film features a horse. We are very lucky to have Gwydyr Stables located in Snowdonia collaborating with us. They are a riding and trekking school with professional horse wranglers and riding instructors with a wide range of experience in working with horses on film.
Logistically, after months of development and planning, we are well set up, and are lucky to have the advice and support of some seasoned pros.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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