STORY & ORIGINS
After The Sea is a romantic drama about a separated couple who meet again on a beach in the UK to talk about the suicide of their mutual best friend. Through this meeting they confront their grief, relationship and futures, before unexpected revelations force them to re-examine the past.
The script was inspired by true events. In April 2015, Jamie & Tom, two brothers working on this film, lost one of their closest friends to suicide. Sam was overcome by depression at the age of 25, an event which had a devastating impact on their lives, as it did for everyone who knew him, and has forever shaped their perceptions both personally and artistically.
We are due to be shooting in May 2017.
To read more about how the screenplay came about and the story behind it, head to Datura's After The Sea blog.
WHY WE'RE DOING IT
We want this film to be an engaging, beautiful and emotive piece of cinema, that actually says something about the world, and to contribute to the ever-expanding dialogue on mental health, masculinity and male suicide.
Suicide is the biggest killer of males in the UK under the age of 45, and in 2015, 75% of all suicide victims were men. Charities such as CALM, MIND and Papyrus doing a huge amount to combat male suicide, and we believe that art could have a big part to play in supplementing these campaigns.
If we can help in some way to normalise exploration of male mental health and suicide through an accessible and engaging platform, it's worth making this film. We want to contribute to breaking down the stigma around male depression, and we believe we help through the power of good cinema.
We will be producing this film within Datura's Mental Health Season, which is a year devoted to making art and raising money for mental health charities. Producing this short will not be the end of the road, it will be the beginning of a campaign to raise awareness for male mental health and suicide, through screenings, music events, panel discussions, fundraisers, and much more.
Although rooted in truth, the story we want to tell is not about Sam, nor is about any single person or event, it is about the aftermath and effect of suicide on those left behind, and the cycle of grief and depression it perpetuates. We're aiming to make a film which is accessible, uplifting, positive and hopeful, to present a new vision and outlook on grief.
We are very proud to have cast two excellent actors as our lead roles Joe & Alice
ELLIOT JAMES LANGRIDGE || JOE
Elliot is known for starring in Elaine Constantine’s cult-hit feature Northern Soul (2014), alongside Josh Whitehouse, Antonia Thomas and Steve Coogan. Other works include We The Kings (2017), Beautiful Devils (2017), and ITV’s Vera. He is currently finishing shooting US TV movie True Mettle.
LAUREN CATO || ALICE
Lauren trained in BA Acting for Stage and Media at the London College of Music. Last year, she performed the UK premiere of Kay Adshead’s gripping one-woman play The Last Little Girl (2016), touring at venues such as Theatre503, Clapham Omnibus and The Broadway Barking. Cato starred in and co-wrote the short film Hidden (2015), which won Favourite Short Film at Screen Nation’s Digital Media Awards and is currently promoting her latest short Art of Love (2017).
We think this is a worthwhile cause, but we need your help raising the money to make it. Shooting a film is an extremely expensive venture, and there are very few funds or investment opportunities for not-for-profit shorts produced by independent film makers on the fringes of the industry.
The money will go towards obvious things such as props, costume, actors, locations, as well as not so obvious costs such as council charges, festival entry & post production.
We don't have any altruistic millionaire uncles hiding away (we've checked), so we're reliant on small scale donations from backers who believe in our cause and what we're trying to achieve.
We're a group of young film makers who want to tell human stories which engage and affect audiences, whilst combatting difficult issues in our society.
Below is a rough breakdown of how the money will be allocated-- this it not a final budget, more a guide to where the money will be going.
We have an extremely experienced and creative core crew. Everyone on this project so far is working for the love of the project and what we're trying to achieve, but you can't make a movie alone so we will be expanding the crew nearer to the shoot dates.
Tom Leatherbarrow is a film and theatre director currently based in Manchester. He trained in Film & Television Production (BSc) at the University of York, and since graduating has worked as a freelance director, camera operator, theatre producer and briefly as a grumpy cocktail waiter. He is the co-founder of Datura and one of three Artistic Directors. Tom is the Visual Designer for the Mind Over Matter Collective, directing all visuals for their 5* flagship show 'On Ego'.
Kate Burke is a Manchester-based theatre writer, actor, director and producer. Kate graduated with a BA in Writing, Directing & Performance from the University of York in 2014. Her plays 'Obsidian' and 'Moonshine' have both been taken to stage, with 'Moonshine' having been produced as part of the Greater Manchester Fringe 2016. This is the largest film she's produced so far, and is negotiating it with a carefully balanced IV drip of coffee and wine.
Thomas Rosser is our Director of Photography and resident beanie wearer. He also graduated with Bsc in Film & TV Production from York. Thomas was cinematographer on short film 'Cargo', which won Best Film in the Yorkshire Shorts category at the Leeds International Film Festival. Thomas is now a London-based camera department freelancer, working on shorts, features, promos and commercials with credits for companies including WWE, Vice UK, Polydor Records, Fiction Records, Agile Films & NFTS.
Jamie Leatherbarrow works in Mental Health Support at the Camden Hub in London, and as a writer & filmmaker. Jamie graduated from UEA with a BA in English Literature and enjoyed a highly unfulfilling few years working in communications, marketing & media, before accepting his current position. He is an Associate Artist of Datura, working as a script consultant, in the directorial department & co-ordinating the charity aspects of our Mental Health Season.
Sean Richards graduated from the University of York in 2014 with both a BA and MA in Writing, Directing and Performance. He co-founded Datura, having either performed in or directed all of Datura's theatre work since. Although raised firmly in the theatre tradition, he has since been acquainting himself in the workings of film. Sean is working in our directorial department and as our researcher.
SHOOT LOCATION: Sheringham, North Norfolk
FOLLOW THE PROJECT
The music used in our promo video is used with permission from Owl. a brilliant York based musician, check out his amazing work at: https://owlll7.bandcamp.com/
Risks and challenges
Making a film is filled with challenges, risks, problems to solve and hurdles to overcome. The ever-evolving, collaborative, changeable nature of a project such as this means that we have to always try to be ahead of the curve-- highlighting problems before we reach them and doing our best to prevent them, as well as being versatile and open to change along the way.
The main issues we're going to have whilst shooting involve the weather, location, performances, sound and some intricate set pieces.
The script is written over the course of one conversation (think Before Sunrise/Sunset), outside, at a popular tourist destination. Continuity is key here-- we're going to be fighting against a moving sun (providing there is one in the first place!). Our experienced DP, Thomas, and his team will have to a carefully balance and diffuse the sun to make this scene visually coherent and beautiful throughout.
Set pieces involve flying kites and some underwater shooting. Again, we're putting our trust in our great camera department and grips to pull these off. We're also planning to shoot at magic hour, so our production department will have to run a tight ship in making sure we're running to schedule and working efficiently. We're offsetting these risks through meticulous organisation, scheduling and risk assessments. This involves allowing time for re-shoots and pick-ups; contingency plans; alternative ideas.
Sound will be tricky because of the location. The free-flowing, real time nature of the script allows no room for error in the sound department, with our soundies having to negotiate the ambient sound of the sea & crowd walla from an unknown amount of tourists, whilst recording excellent quality dialogue. With careful preparation and understanding of the difficulties of this job, we believe we can add a huge amount of production value through a perfect sound mix.
Finally, performance. The success and quality of this piece lies in a well directed and acted screenplay. Tom, Sean & Jamie's combined experience in directing actors for film and theatre will stand us in good stead for bringing out nuanced, intelligent and powerful performances from the two leads. Getting the best out of our actors is an absolute priority for us, and we believe will set us apart from a lot of shorts on our level.
After shooting we will move onto post production, screening, festival entry and distribution-- a whole new set of challenges we're already preparing for.
The biggest asset we have in overcoming these problems is our core crew committed to this project, determined to not only make it happen, but to making After The Sea a great piece of art.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (31 days)