All of our generous backers will receive special supporter-only updates on the movie development, including behind-the-scenes photos. We also have a small treat in store for when we reach the next funding milestone.
To mark the poignant anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War this year, WAG Screen is making a film about a war memorial. We selected the memorial at random as we didn't want to choose the men whose story we would tell. We uncovered the story of one man in particular, Robert Crowder, whose family had held his memory dear and had a kept a remarkable unpublished archive of documents and photographs. The film, Tell Them of Us, will be based on his story and will be told from the home front and from the perspective of those left behind. Robert Crowder died at Passchendaele in 1917 aged 21. The images on this project page are either screen grabs from the film or location photographs taken by John Bennett.
Many WW1 stories are told from the battlefield perspective. We wanted to show the strain on those left behind and the gradual attrition of nerves as the conflict stretched out across almost four and a half years. Every household in Britain was touched in some way and although social change was wrought at home, it was achieved at an immense cost.
WAG Screen is a community group made up of professionals and volunteers who come together every few years to tell a story they feel strongly about. We offer work experience and training to our volunteers and try to make a difference in our community.
Risks and challenges
I am a film producer and period costumier of many years experience. In addition to producing the film I am sourcing and recreating the clothes of the period. In this I am backed by an awesome team of over 150 volunteer knitters and hookers, so one of the most expensive aspects of making a period drama is already covered and covered superbly!
The film is directed by Nick Loven an independent filmmaker with over 12 years’ experience in historical films and wildlife film and photography. Nick has worked with the BBC Natural History unit (including Springwatch). He brings high to production values to this film and is recording with broadcast standard equipment.
We are now about a third of the way into filming, with no real problems so far. We have a brilliant cast, director and crew, but it has been complicated coordinating filming as each of our wonderful cast has other acting jobs to do in order to make a living. This is the trickiest part: we have such a tiny budget and we are able to pay so little that we have to rely on those small gaps in other people's schedules to achieve this film.
I have committed myself to two years unpaid work to help make this precious film happen and I am supported in this by some amazing people who are also committing their time and resources (often covering their own costs), which is helping us achieve high production values on a shoestring. We do a lot of bartering of skills too! I have been incredibly moved by the number of people who want to help us make this film as their way of paying their respects to the past. The making of this film has proved to be an extraordinary journey for all concerned.
We have a small amount of funding with which we are trying to pay modest sums to actors with speaking parts, the director/editor, film crew, composer, musicians, hairdressers and for equipment hire, location fees and food and transport for volunteers, but we have a shortfall in funding. Although the key players are all in place, I would love to be able to secure crew with pay instead of searching for who is available and free ahead of each shoot. I would also like to be able to pay our awesome composer, Chris Gordon, who is producing utterly beautiful music for each piece of edited footage as we go along and is currently being paid nothing. So please can you help us complete this moving film, in commemoration of all that was lost in that relentless war, and help reward the awesome young people involved in its creation?
We have set a very modest goal and I hope we reach it, but every penny over that will be valued and much appreciated.
Goodbye-ee and thank you.
The title of our film ‘Tell Them of Us’ comes from an epitaph written in 1916:
“When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say,
For Their Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today”
Intended as an epitaph in a foreign land; we felt it also expressed the need to remember across time as well as space: 'Tell Them of Us'.
- (37 days)