A bittersweet comedy starring Pippa Haywood as an out of work Shakespearian actress and Toby Jones as the trouble making hobgoblin Puck
A bittersweet comedy starring Pippa Haywood as an out of work Shakespearian actress and Toby Jones as the trouble making hobgoblin Puck Read more
This film aims to be is the first of many #weshadows projects. Our aim is to add to those voices who are calling for greater visibility of women not just in the creative industries, but everywhere.
Starring Toby Jones and Pippa Haywood, WE SHADOWS is a bittersweet comedy for all those of us who have ever felt ignored, invisible or simply passed over. It speaks particularly to the invisibility of women beyond a certain age and to the gender bias which exists in theatre and film. Inspired by the character of Helena from Midsummer Night’s Dream, our spurned and embittered heroine – an ageing Shakespearean actress who is now working at a make up counter - is suddenly given the opportunity of a lifetime through a chance encounter with Puck. The cross dressing Hobgoblin magics her to centre stage, where her dreams and nightmares all come true at once.
Central to my wanting to make this film is my experience of the real world of theatre and specifically three years spent with the Royal Shakespeare Company. As well as all the obvious talent I met, I wanted to reflect upon the work done by the women in wigs, make up and costume which is staggeringly detailed and exquisite. They are dream weavers in their own right, central to creating illusion but shadowy and invisible themselves. We are delighted to have Linda Williams from RSC joining us on the film to beg, borrow and steal some beautiful Elizabethan dresses and wigs for Toby to wear. And Pippa gets an anorak.
I have always been drawn to the language of fairy tales and dreaming, and using MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM as a starting point, I was able to play with shifting perceptions of reality for my own characters, and even to question the accepted hierarchy of meaning when we consider “awake” over “asleep”, and “real life” over “fiction”. WE SHADOWS touches upon the possibility of finding happiness simply by seeing things in a different way, and through inviting in the natural world.
WE SHADOWS was originally written for the Shakespeare’s Sister scheme to celebrate 400 years of Shakespeare by depicting themes or characters inspired by his work but seen through the eyes of women filmmakers. This was a response to the lack of female film directors making work based on his texts. I would like to honor the brief of the scheme by using female crew and creatives, including two multi award winners Gabi Norland on camera and Katie Chatburn as composer. We support the dream of equality both in front of and behind the camera.
Here are photos of some Shadows crew and creatives so far (more to be added soon):
We also got to thank Thomas Voce-Siriani (artwork), Lucy Pickering (Sound), Bonnie Rae Brickman (Editor), Hayley Miller (PR and Marketing), Victoria Ward and Laura Humphrey (Development), Hannah Young and Pete Courtie (Locations), Nick Murphy (excellent advice) and Ali Carron (stunt producer for early months!)
All your donations will wholly go towards the production costs of the film along with Post and festival submissions so this is it folks! We won't be coming back for more! We believe in paying our cast and crew from stars to runners fairly for their individual talent and that costs money. The only way that a lot of short films get made on tiny budgets is because most people on them work for nothing. Perhaps its time to challenge that culture.
The final amount also includes a filming day at the heart of Shakespeare Country, Stratford-upon-Avon covering our cast and crew travel costs. On top of that our art department will be completely transforming an empty flat in east London into a magical forest, which will take a fair bit of effort! None of these things are free and we have budgeted as tightly but sensibly as we could.
As you can see we have a loads of brilliant rewards to say THANK YOU for donating anything you can! Please take a look at our WE SHADOWS social media pages on twitter and Facebook and follow us to keep updated with progress of the process! We will post photos / videos of the pre-production and production itself! Plus some pretty daft outtakes on youtube. And if you really love us, please give us a like and a share and you’ll be helping us monumentally spread the word and be well on our way to making this happen! You are ALL absolutely marvellous!
Risks and challenges
Whilst we plan to shoot WE SHADOWS in mid September, we have to be a bit flexible with our timings to get all the talent there on the same days. This may push the shoot days back a little but everyone is fully committed so it's simply a matter of having a good juggler on board. And our producer Sarah - or "The Queen of Lean" as she is known in the net balling world - happens to be a pretty great juggler...
In terms of locations, whilst we endeavour to go back to the home of the Bard to shoot a boat trip up the Avon and some interior theatre and backstage shots, time and circumstance may prevent us. In which case we will use alternative just as lovely locations elsewhere.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (39 days)