What is Mimi: a short film about?
Childhood, The best years of our lives, where there isn’t a care in the world and where dreams are the future and experiences turn is unto the adults we become. But what if even a child from a perfect home and with perfect parents isn't perfect? What if who we are to become is already in our DNA? Meet Mimi, who does come from that perfect world, but who is far from a perfect child..
There are a few (very few) who I have spoken to and told them the story of Mimi: a short film and the way I tell the tale has made them go 'wow' The way I relate the story to them will be the way that the film unfolds so hopefully the 'wow's will come from you the audience as we give you a slice of life of a normal girl, with a normal life.
That's the design of the film, the script, and the performances..
Mimi: a short film is the first of several 'chapters' in the life of Mimi, and even though this is a self-contained film, there is scope for further adventures and glimpses into her life. But that’s for another time. Or is it?
Part way through the campaign (10 days in to be more accurate) Someone tweeted at me saying that if Mimi, was a feature, then it would gather more attention. For a few moments I figured that was rather a silly thing to say, as firstly to film a feature with £1500 was rather ambitious and also the fact that I hadnt yet hit that target didnt mean that I would if I simply expanded the storyline. However. Then this tweet brought me back to the 'several chapters' that I previously mentioned. So here with a few tweeks, is the same project with the more mentions of the further adventures of 'Mimi' (played by Lamissah La Shontae )
Story Written by Annette Emery ( IMDB Link )
With a background in reading novels, and writing stories, Annette has Mimi as her first film collaboration but already has story plots developed for further stories taking us through Mimi's life. (Mimi Visitation, and Mimi; Intellect are already going to be Chapter 2 and 3 in this trilogy of tales.
Annette's favourite authors include Agatha Christie, Stephen King and Jo Nesbo.
Directed by / Screenplay by Stuart Bannerman ( IMDB Link )
Having watched 1000s of films over the years, and spend the past decade helping filmmakers publicize their own work, Its time for me (Stuart) to begin telling stories in the narrative form, and having completed several documentary style projects, Mimi: a short film will be my first narrative tale,but as well as Mimi:a short film, two follow up films will also be filmed pretty much back to back. as long as this campaign remains as successful as it has been to date.
Assistant Camera Andrew 'Bob' Whitworth ( IMDB Link )
Bob has been part of several FromPage2Screen projects, both audio and film (he assisted on much of the footage shot for Experiencing Comic Con at Scifi Wales (2015, 2016, and 2017)
Soundtrack Songs performed by Karl Francis (Fruitless Forest)
A very talented musician and musical producer, Karl Francis has wonderfully provided some songs for the soundtrack of Mimi: a short film and is also a musician local to myself and the location of Mimi's filming.
Here are the 3 songs that will feature on the soundtrack for the first Mimi film.
'Play A Game' (Click To Listen)
'Dream Cloud' (Click To Listen)
'Fairytales' (Click To Listen)
I also hope to use more of the music by Karl in the 2nd and 3rd films.
The Tone Of The Mimi:a short film.
This will not be an over the top horror story, The solid plan is to keep the story grounded in reality and easily something that could happen in the world we live in. Part of the appeal of casting Lamissah in the role of Mimi was her understanding that this isnt a 'theatrical' performance, there will be no scream queens in Mimi:a short film. and whilst it does have a horror edge to it, this also works just as well as a character drama. Whilst there isnt any film that has made me think 'right thats it, I want Mimi:a short film to be just like that film' I am inspired by the films of BAFTA winner Paul Andrew Williams, including London to Brighton, and Cherry Tree Lane with its serious 'look and tone'
What is the budget for?
Its For The Location of Mimi's Family Home
The location for the 'family home' will be local to me (Lancashire) (and the cast) and the location will be 'rented' for 3 days for the 2 day shoot. The cost for the location will be approx £250- £400 in total. Interiors and the exterior will be used and all filming will be done here and within this time frame. The location for Mimi(2) : Visitation is a non cost location at this point and negotiations are ongoing at the moment for the location to be used for Mimi(3): Intellect
Its For The Cast
There are 3 cast members who will be paid for their time
The characters they are playing are Mimi, and her two parents. (parents as yet are uncast) Casting for the parents will be done locally to me, so that no major transportation costs are attached to the budget and also no major extended filming days for the cast. Time is money after all.
Lead Actress Lamissah La-Shontae ( Peace In Our Time, Atonement) is here on the left next to me (Director Stuart Bannerman)
You can check out some of Lamissah's work in these video clips that have been placed here for you.
I've been a fan of Lamissah's work for a while and we sat down together (along with her mother Zohra) to discuss the role and scope of Mimi: a short film and Lamissah whilst only 10 years old, is wise for her years, with a pretty decent knowledge of not only filmmaking but the film genres that come with it (some trivia for you, her favourite film is Halloween) We spoke about what she wants from her creative future, what her favourite roles have been and what type of characters she loves to play.
You can view Lamissah's IMDB Page HERE and you can view another fun video clip here. Isn't she great. I am super excited to see her in the role of Mimi.
Its For The Crew.
Whilst the main crew are unpaid (Myself, and writer Annette), there is a cost for the transportation of the equipment, the cast, and the crew (fuel money basically as I will be asking one of the crew 'Bob' to do a fair bit of driving around for me, collecting the cast and transport of myself and the equipment) There also might be some post production costs but those are yet unplanned for and any overruns will come out of my own pocket (from my day job)
Its For Some Catering
No huge meals for this production, but at least we all need a buffet table for the cast and crew to snack on through the day. We can of course live off some potato chips but id at least like to make sure they had more than that to keep their energy going through the filming schedules.
Its NOT For Props or EquipmentMost of the props will be 'gathered' for free, however there are some make up effects that will need to be purchased. The already gathered props include set decoration for Mimi's Bedroom including soft toys, books, and movies, as well as posters.
The Schedule of 'The Shoot' For Mimi:a short film.
Day 1 will be for setting up the location with the props being put into place and also camera rehearsals and set walkthroughs for myself and the crew
Day 2 This will be the main bulk of the shoot as the cast arrive mid morning and a quick walkthrough of the location for them, explaining what will happen, where and when. Whilst most of the filming will be daytime, there are two scenes that will be filmed once the sun goes down (which is why filming is scheduled for early Autumn to allow for early sun down)
Day 3 This will be the day for any pick up shots that are needed. Day 3 will also see some 'after' Behind the Scenes films completed as well as a celebratory high five on completion of principal photography.
Then begins the task of editing, scoring, and putting together the finished film with backers being kept up to date every step of the way. You’ll learn the highlights and the lowlights of putting together a film from start to finish from someone who learned from others and by doing it themselves. The ultimate indie film school which I will learn a lot from but will also really enjoy being able to share the experience with all of you, through updates through this Kickstarter page, but also some updates through my social media channels.
The schedule for the follow up Mimi films are as follows. A single day for the filming of Mimi;Visitation, and another single day for Mimi:Intellect with the option of an extra day on Mimi:Visitation if nature is against us for the second (its an exterior location).
If More Than The Budget Is Raised.
Any 'excess' funding will go into Mimi:Visitation, and the third part of the Mimi trilogy, Mimi:Intellect which will round out her younger years and have now been listed on IMDB
There will be no further campaigns for these two extra films, They will be taken care of with any overruns from this campaign and will use existing crew and equipment and will be filmed locally to me, so there is no location fees and no transportation fees. Youll just get more film for your buck (or pound or euro)
At present I am still unsure whether these three films (if they happen which at the moment its highly likely they will unless something goes horribly wrong) will be released as separate films as there is scope to incorporate them into a 3 chapter film, which keeps everything together and gives you more running time for your donation.
I will also look into submitting these films into festivals in the future including Grimmfest 2019 and Newcastle International Film Festival 2019 to name a couple. So as you can see. I have ambition but not over ambition. My focus was and is to raise as much as I can which then will allow me to create as much quality content as I can. (and Ill know how much has been raised on May 27th) then Ill move to the next stage of production. The next stage will be an intensive two week period where Annette and I sit down and create the master scripts for the trilogy and then I will turn those into shooting scripts once the locations have been finalised. If for any reason the campaign isnt a success (and I know that at the moment, the target has been crossed, but somethings things can still go wrong) then the scripts will remain in a drawer, for the future.
For those who have donated so far. I thank you so much, for having faith in me and for finding the story of Mimi, an interesting one. I will be keeping you all up to date when I can and how I can. - Stuart
Risks and challenges
With several past projects completed (the Spending Time With...episodes & Experiencing Comic Con) All my focus is at the moment on Mimi: a short film.
There are lots of challenges as there are with any creative project, and I do love a challenge, how to fix something that breaks, how to get that perfect shot that you just happen to think of when you are surrounded by the crew and at the location.
I love a challenge, they test us,they make us think and they can make a great project even better.
What are the risks? I don’t see there are any risks beyond something not working out the way I planned, but that is life. What you can do though is limit those risks by planning as much as possible in advance, which is what I am doing with this film. From the script, to storyboarding, to designing the camera shots that will make up the film.
The main risk of course is not hitting the Kickstarter target, but that's the risk everyone faces who runs a campaign. The risk for YOU the potential backer is nothing. If I don't hit the target, then no money will be taken. I will then have to rethink and work out how to make Mimi: a short film into a reality. But that’s a risk I don’t have to think about for 30 days after I click that 'Project Launch’ button.
For me, with my background being as more of publicist and supporter of so many filmmakers across the globe, this will be a wonderfully exciting time and whilst it will be an exhausting time of my life, I truly believe in my ability to pull this one off which will springboard me into making more films (that hopefully don’t involve crowdfunding) and more projects and to inspire others to pick up a camera (or a pen and paper)
Mimi: a short film will also give me even more of an education into the world of filmmaking.
So Risks and Challenges? Life is full of them and with Mimi: a short film I welcome them and welcome the solutions to those challenges along the way.
Thanks for your time and wish me luck.
- (30 days)