Blank Shores is a mysterious, character-driven short film, a sci-fi/drama exploring themes such as child loss and the stigma around mental health for men. It is a journey of a woman searching for her missing partner, and the subsequent reconnection in his subconscious.
The film is ambitious in scope, and we are assembling a professional team to execute it to the highest standard. A DGA nominated director has very kindly offered us their support as a mentor for the project. They will be advising on the edits and visual effects in post-production.
Arriving distressed at her local police station, Emily files a missing person’s report for her partner Connor, who has been missing for days. Faced with the realisation that she is partially responsible for his disappearance, Emily sets out on her own investigative journey.
Later discovering a hidden warehouse, Emily finds Connor connected to a system of unregulated equipment, designed and operated by Lenny. Confused – and unable to speak with Connor directly – Emily connects to his mind, where she is transported to a desolate landscape. But before she can reconnect with her partner and find the answers she’s looking for, she must traverse the physical barrier between them.
The film is high-concept and visceral, exploring the power of love and acceptance.
We’ve teamed up with the charities CALM and Sands to raise awareness of the underlying themes explored in the film. They both do inspiring work raising much needed awareness and funding research: www.thecalmzone.net | www.sands.org.uk
The screenplay has received the following recognition and feedback:
- Grand Prize in the Vortex Horror/Sci-Fi category at the Oscar/BAFTA affiliated 2019 Flickers' Rhode Island International Screenplay Competition
- Finalist in the 2018 Global Script Challenge at the Oaxaca FilmFest
- Finalist in the 2019 Southern California Screenplay Competition
- Quarter-Finalist in the 2018 PAGE International Screenwriting Awards
Slamdance Screenplay Competition: “I really like the tone and the visual elements ... the ending was very emotionally effective and genuinely got me. I thought the general conceit and story of the child worked very well."
BlueCat Screenplay Competition: "The dialogue in this script was well done, meaning that it felt realistic and natural … The dialogue here felt like it was being spoken by real people, which helps to keep the reader focused on the plot."
The screenplay was also a Semi-Finalist in the ScreenCraft Spring 2018 Film Fund.
“There tends to be greater social acceptance of women being able to express their emotions, and cinema commonly reflects this. There is also a poor understanding of mental health, especially relating to male masculinity. This project aims to challenge gender stereotypes by showing the father’s sensitivity and the mother's stronger resolve as they deal with their shared pain. I hope this perspective will be refreshing for our audience as they follow our female lead’s journey in the mysterious, sci-fi narrative.
This heartfelt story is one that has been incubating for a long time; it has developed from a need to tell an emotionally honest and highly visual story in the short film format.
The team of highly skilled, creative people I have collaborated with gives me utmost confidence in executing the script for screen. I am excited to create a striking film with emotional power.”
CINEMATOGRAPHY AND MOOD
Through considered lighting design and composition, our story will be immersive and arresting. We will feel Emily’s journey, discovering the events and world of the narrative as she does, understanding the emotional high-stakes at play. Shots will be framed to mirror Emily’s internal distress, utilising subtle movement as much as possible. This will underscore the pervasive sense of tension and discovery running throughout.
Music and sound design will also be key in furthering the immersion and emotion of scenes, and will effectively be a character in itself.
Styling will be timeless so as not to situate the narrative in a specific era. The old will coexist with the new, such as analogue monitors connected to high-tech equipment, and clothing from past decades complemented by more current hair and make-up.
Throughout the narrative, the night of the real world is juxtaposed with the daylight of Connor’s mysterious subconscious.
Drab and barren landscapes reflect Connor’s inner turmoil; these UK locations have been written into the screenplay. It is a vacant and forgotten land, one filled with unease and trepidation.
Using carefully thought out, restrained visual effects, we will create the organic, liquid membrane, the barrier that Emily encounters in Connor’s subconscious.
Georgina Campbell – Leading Role
Georgina won the Best Actress Television BAFTA in 2015 for her performance in Murdered By My Boyfriend. She is also known for the acclaimed Black Mirror: “Hang the DJ”, Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Jack and Harry Williams’ One of Us, Broadchurch and Flowers. She has been most recently shooting as co-lead, ‘Lyta’, in DC series Krypton and Tom Hooper’s His Dark Materials.
– – –
Writer/Director – Alex Kyrou
Alex started his career working on the visual effects of feature films in Vancouver and London. Progressing to narrative filmmaking, he directed conceptual music promos and commercial projects. In 2015, he wrote and directed the emotionally raw short film White Awake which showcased at NewFilmmakers Los Angeles and the TriForce Film Festival in London. It later won Best BAME Short Film and Best Cinematography in the FILMSshort competition. Attracted to sensitive filmmaking, Alex is passionate about exploring stories with depth and feeling.
– – –
Producer – Clare Shields
Clare's varied work spans live action drama to broadcast and animation. She began producing conceptual music promos for independent artists and later moved into producing commercial content. More recently, she has produced short films White Awake, Crumble, Branded and Pianist in a Brothel. She is drawn to producing projects with strong characters and powerful subtextual performances.
– – –
Casting Director – Heather Basten, CDG, CSA
Heather has cast for notable directors such as Rob Savage, Joan Fuentelsaz and Charlotte Regan. Her past clients include Fox TV, Delaval Films, Sky Arts and DMC Films, as well as having films screened at Sundance and the BFI London Film Festival. Her past associate works include Netflix’s The End of the F**king World and BFI’s Pin Cushion. She is currently casting a feature from The Handmaid's Tale writer, Lynn Renee Maxcy, as well as other undisclosed projects.
– – –
Director of Photography – John Lynch, ISC
John has extensive experience working in commercials, with feature film and television credits including the pilot of Powers for David Slade, Simon Aboud's Comes A Bright Day, Julien Temple's Pandaemonium and Mike Figgis' Red, White and Blues. He recently shot a music promo for Alt-J directed by Isaiah Seret which was nominated for Best Music Video at Camerimage 2018. John's prolific commercial work includes shoots for directors Andre Stringer, Adam Hashemi, Aoife McArdle and Frederik Bond, as well as music artists Bjork, The Prodigy, Blur, and The Chemical Brothers.
– – –
Costume Designer – Rebecca Tredget
Rebecca has film, television and theatre experience as a costume supervisor, co-ordinator and principal standby. Her credits include: Game of Thrones S7 and S8, The Crown S1, Downton Abbey and The End of The F**king World. She is a BAFTA Crew member and has received recognition for her contribution to the Costume Emmy awarded to The Crown S1 in 2016 as Costume co-ordinator. Rebecca is currently studying MA Fashion Curation to branch into costume film exhibitions and archives.
– – –
Composer – Paul O’Brien
Paul is a multi-instrumentalist and composer/producer working in film whose work often mixes organic and electronic material. Blade Runner was the film that sparked his interest in film music, but it was Clint Mansell's score for Requiem for a Dream that made him realise that his humble beginnings as a guitar player could take him on a similar journey in working with like-minded, exciting directors and creating scores for films that move people. Recent credits include award winning Neon, White Awake and Butterfly.
– – –
Production Manager – Cherrelle Redley Murrain
Cherrelle has worked in branded, commercial and broadcast content for a range of global clients. Her broadcast credits include the London 2012 Olympics and Sam Delaney's News Thing. Her passion for narrative led her to produce the C4 Random Acts short film Sore Thumb Stick Out.
White Awake short film, written/directed by Alex Kyrou, produced by Clare Shields, starring Hainsley Lloyd Bennett and Meryl Griffiths:
Alex Kyrou reel:
Tiggi Hawke “Burn Notice” music promo:
The Ghosts “Underrated” music promo:
Blank Shores is a passion project with a dedicated team who are working tirelessly to make this film a reality. Sci-fi films are notoriously expensive to execute and our story contains sequences that require seamless visual effects. With this in mind, we are conscious of adhering to a high standard audio-visual experience whilst also being mindful of the budget.
Specifically, we need support for:
- Securing cast and crew talent
- Hiring suitable locations
- Dressing locations and creating props
- Sourcing and developing suitable costumes
- Hiring equipment
- Transportation, accommodation and on-set catering
- Post-production including: visual effects, editing, colour grade, sound mix and music
- Insuring the production
Here is an approximate breakdown of how the budget will be allocated:
Kickstarter is all-or-nothing; unless we reach our minimum target goal of £10,000 the project won’t receive a single penny. We are extremely grateful for any support, and please help us spread the word on the project via our online channels below.
Risks and challenges
Blank Shores is challenging; we know we have a responsibility to execute our screenplay to the highest standard possible. We hope to create a cinematic film, one with high production values across the entire production.
The biggest challenge we face is in executing seamless visual effects. We will work with a VFX team as early as possible in pre-production to ensure the visuals don’t suffer as a result of poor planning. The film also contains elements that are anachronistic in nature, and this will need to be reflected in the locations, styling, and props.
We have carefully budgeted the project, allowing for risk and contingencies. We will be working with a committed team of professionals who will bring their expertise to the production, ensuring that challenges are dealt with smoothly.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)