About this project
Mr Michael Sheen will be the VOICE of the Truthful Phone! What an absolute honour!
Star of great films like The Queen, Frost/Nixon, Far from the Madding Crowd, the forthcoming Tim Burton film Alice Through the Looking Glass and of course HBO series Masters of Sex.
We are OVER THE MOON!!!!!! Thrilled to welcome Mr Sheen to this project. He and director Carl Rock hail from the same South Wales steel working town of Port Talbot. This will be the first opportunity for them to be working together.
What's it about?
The Truthful Phone is based by a Terry Jones (Monty Python) short story of the same name, supported in part by the Film Agency Wales with BAFTA nominated director Carl Rock.
The Truthful Phone is a dark comedy about nasty pensioner Mae Morris; local busybody, pet kidnapper, husband killer. Who unwittingly unleashes a magical gypsy curse that exposes her secrets to the very townsfolk she lives to torment.
With Puppets created by Andy Heath & Iestyn Evans who worked on Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Terry Jones said:
“I’m delighted that The Truthful Phone is being given the opportunity to be made into a film short; director Carl Rock comes from the same part of Wales as I do. The Welsh landscape is a perfect setting for this tale, and I hope the Kickstarter campaign reaches its target so that a wider audience can enjoy this dark fantasy comedy”.
Carl optioned this story three years ago. We have been granted the rights to make this film by Terry Jones himself.
Here's a mood film made up of various inspirational clips to give you an idea of how the film will look.
A feel good, fast paced, high-concept comedy with Jim Henson’esque creatures wreaking havoc in a craggy, remote village.
Imagine a Welsh Gremlins with shades of Guillermo Del Toro.
What the Funds Go Towards
We have received part funding from the BFI Network FFilm Agency Wales Beacons Emerging Talent Fund - but Creatures aren't cheap! Monies will be used to create practical, live action puppet creatures and build sets that allow puppeteers to work in behind the walls.
Carl Rock - Writer Director
BAFTA nominated director Carl Rock was born and raised in the steel-working town of Port Talbot, South Wales. Carl’s first short film was nominated in the short form category for the 2013 BAFTA CYMRU AWARDS.
It also won the UK Category in the AMD Visionary Young Directors Award being selected as the top five in Europe. And was won Best Comedy at the 2012 Smalls Film Festival.
Andy Heath - Puppet Creator Performer, Talk to the Hand co-founder
Andy Heath is a Gold British Arrow award winning puppeteer, designer and fabricator.
He's performed with The Muppets on Muppets Most Wanted (2014), Robbie Williams in his 2014 Holiday Special on BBC1. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2004), Tales of the Riverbank (2008) , Harry Hill – The Movie (2013) and Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)
Through 2009-2011, he co designed, built and operated the puppets for BBC3's adult sitcom Mongrels with his business partner, Iestyn Evans. Together, they run Talk to the Hand Puppets.
Sky 1 hit, Yonderland, also feature a large cast of characters built and performed by Andy and Iestyn.
Petra Korner - Award Winning Cinematographer
Petra Korner has shot not one, but TWO Sundance Audience Choice Award winning films The Wackness (2008) and Umrika (2015). She was also Director of Photography on Wes Craven's 2010 thriller My Soul to Take, where Petra painted a dark, misty palette that will influence the work of The Truthful Phone.
Petra was also the recipient of the Kodak Vision Award for Cinematography at the Women in Film’s annual Crystal + Lucy Awards in 2009.
Petra's reel can be viewed here.
Katie Pow - Co-writer Producer
Katie is a London based producer who has worked with clients such as BMW, Sony, Omega, adidas, Barclays Premiere League and Huawei with Arsenal Football Club.
Starting her career in Canadian television with the CBC, Katie produced a daily national comedy show segment for two seasons along with season specials for national broadcaster Much Music.
Moving to the Netherlands, Katie co-wrote, edited and co-shot the feature documentary Mr Rakowski which premiered at IDFA and screened at Sheffield, Munich Doc Fest, Zurich Doc Fest, New York Jewish Film Festival and Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival.
Katie has been residing in the UK for five years. In that time she has written, directed and produced short films which have had screened at festivals including Cannes, London Short Film Festival and Aesthetica.
Karol Griffiths - Associate Producer
Karol is a UK based American script editor and development consultant with over twenty years of experience. Starting out as a reader and script supervisor, Karol soon segued into development and script editing.
Having worked for a wide variety of talent, production companies and studios. Including: Warner Brothers, Universal, Disney, Paramount and Fox Studios, Amblin Entertainment and The Coen Brothers to name a few.
Karol now develops and consults independently, and is passionate about working with writers.
Ranging from Digital Downloads, Video Messages from the Creature, T-shirts, Posters, Set Visits, Cast & Crew Screenings, Actually BEING a PUPPETEER on set, to one-of-a-kind Actual CREATURE PUPPET!
Risks and challenges
The biggest risk is keeping these little creatures under control - if only one of them gets loose, we could be making a very different film for you!
But seriously, the biggest challenge will be keeping to a very tight production schedule. Post production will not involve very many visual effects as most will be done practically in camera. The hard work will be on set making sure we get our days, that our puppeteers have comfy little corners to squeeze themselves into and have enough time to stretch in between takes.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
This film will be about 20 minutes long.
And YES we have our sights set on making a feature length version.
This is a LIVE ACTION film, with real people and real actors. The puppet creatures live in that world as well - think Labyrinth or Gremlins.
The plan is to use the fFilm Cyrmu Wales' (Film Agency of Wales) existing relationships with film festivals to screen at Festivals globally. And then potentially a television release and on to VOD/digital channels.
Right - so we've surprisingly been asked this a LOT in the last couple of weeks.
They are involved because they believe in the project so much and we are thrilled that they've agreed to come on this adventure with us/grant us the opportunity to work with them and their materials.
Think of it this way - it would be like asking someone you quite fancy out to dinner, and then handing them the bill. Not the done thing.
It will be a combination of in-studio and on location in England and Wales.
Send us a message if you want to see something and we'll see what can do!
YES! Of course you can! There are two ways to do this. Either register more than one account on Kickstarter with a different email address and back us Twice (or more!)
Or send us a message with what you want to add or package together and back for that fixed amount. We'll connect with you directly about making that happen for you.
Support this project
- (28 days)