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ABOUT THE FILM
"Common" is a short film which tells the tale of a mysterious and morally ambiguous woman who lives in Wimbledon. It's the simple story of a date that takes a dark turn whilst out on the Common, and warns of the dangers of taking the wild places of the world for granted.
An adult fairytale, "Common" taps into the collective memory we all still share of the monsters who stalk the darkest places in the woods; a walk on Wimbledon Common will never be the same again...
We are in pre-production right now and plan to shoot in January/February 2013 (depending on the weather), aiming for an online release in April. We will also be submitting to selected film-fesitvals throughout the spring and summer of 2013.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKER
The writer, director and cameraman is Kieron Jansch. Kieron's background is as a filmmaker who is most well known for his unique power kites, and the fascinating kite-making films that follow his working process.
It was those early videos that ignited Kieron's passionate enthusiasm for filmmaking, and an unquenchable desire to follow that passion off into the sunset. His recent work includes productions for Flexifoil International and a short love letter to the art of bread-making.
Having recently "quit the day job", Kieron is turning his passion into a profession. "Common" is his first work of fiction and reflects his love for Wimbledon Common, a short walk from his home.
The Kickstarter community represents a unique, modern and exciting opportunity for filmmakers to connect with their audience in a way that hasn't been possible up to now. It means that we can make films which are free to take risks that no studio would ever consider, and which can give something back to the people who were instrumental in funding them; the very same people the films are being made for.
There has never been a more exciting time to be a filmmaker and never before has there been such a connection between the filmmaker and the audience. For the first time, you, our film's audience, can become an instrumental part of the filmmaking process. Hollywood beware!
THE STORY SO FAR
The script is now in its 4th draft, having been refined from something that was initially just a hurried sketch, quick and simple, to capture the idea. It has now become by turns a compelling, scary and surprising tale, one that holds the reader's attention from beginning to end. Everyone has a reaction to it: usually a mixture of surprise, delight, and shock.
Now that the script is finalised the storyboard is coming along nicely! It's been through its first incarnation, and is being revised on a shot by shot basis to become an invaluable guide and aid in the shooting process.
We made our initial casting call on November 30th and have had a tremendous response, despite the fact that at that stage we said that we couldn't afford to pay our actors!
We've had many applications for each role and are in the process of watching actors' showreels and making an initial shortlist. Once we've got our shortlist together we'll be holding auditions and in the next week or two hope to find our lead and supporting actors.
Watch this space for updates on the casting process and to be introduced to our cast as we find them!
CAST & CREW
- Female lead "Woman" - Maja Szymczyk (her character's name is being kept a secret for the time being)
- Male lead "Oliver" - Greg Barnett
- Supporting male "James" - David Stock
- Extra - "dustman/woman" - check out our rewards!
Greg Barnett will perform the role of "Oliver"
Auditioning people is hard. It's particularly hard when the general standard is so high that you sometimes feel that you could cast everyone you see. Even so Greg stood out from the crowd. His performance at audition was riveting, and he seemed to respond to direction in an instinctive manner that made us believe he would be a pleasure to work with.
We offered Greg the role and are delighted that he has accepted the part. We cannot wait to get everyone together, and see our characters come alive in front of the cameras.
"The first thing that attracted me to 'Common' were the characters. 'Oliver' jumped out with swathes of depth for me to play with. On the surface a shallow and arrogant city boy, but the questions of why he seemed to have no care for others or his environment intrigued me. The second was the writing: an intelligent and relevant script formed a charming story with dark twists which took me on an exciting journey and kept me turning the page. Finally it was the strength of concept, led by the director's vision. Kieron is clearly a hugely talented artist. The stunning cinematography of his previous films immediately assured me that this was a director who had something original and exciting to say. Needless to say I can't wait to get started and feel that we have the potential to make a fantastic film."
Maja Szymczyk will perform the lead female role.
Maja had auditioned for us very early on the in the casting process, and her thoughtful yet somehow distant performance suited the character perfectly. Having made our decision we offered Maja the role yesterday and are delighted that she has accepted.
From the moment I read the script of COMMON, I was enchanted! This quirky fairy tale with a horror twist is not only thought-provoking, and very funny, but also pure pleasure to work on. We are held in suspense all the way till the end having no clues at how it will end, and who will survive and who won’t. My character is torn between choices that will result in someone’s life or death, depending on their actions. She is the link between the citizens of London, and some ancient magical laws that seem to be controlling the fate of those who, rather unconsciously yet carelessly, break them. The story has a very strong, yet not overemphasised, environmental aspect, which makes it even more exciting. What happens when we disregard the order of things and ignore the nature around us? Watch COMMON to find out!
David Stock will perform the role of "James"
David was one of the very first people to audition for us, and he immediately impressed. We knew he was a strong candidate for the role of James after that first audition, but we had a lot of people to audition and felt we should wait and see. As time passed however, and each knew person auditioned for the role, it just confirmed in our minds that we had already met James.
"I was drawn to the casting call for 'Common' first and foremost because of the clear, concise and intelligent use of language in the character and project descriptions. It was clear to me that a strong writer had written it which made it very appealing… When I later received the script I felt extremely fortunate to have been asked to attend the auditions; it was a joy to read and the message seemed very clear to me, with a clever 'reveal' in the final scene tying the whole film together. I found the concept original and it really will make an excellent a film. I can’t wait to get shooting!”
- Writer/Director/DOP/Editor: Kieron Jansch
- Producer: Penny Gruber
- On set stills photographer: Mark Esper
- Sound recordist: To be confirmed
- Composer: Thom Robson
We are delighted to be working with the amazingly talented young composer Thom Robson!
Thom got in touch after seeing the project on Kickstarter, asking if we had found a composer and whether we might be open to collaboration. Two minutes into hearing Thom's showreel and the decision had been made.
Thom's previous work demonstrates that he has the talent to compose music that works in sympathy with the visuals, in a way that enhances the mood and tone of what's happening on screen, but without becoming overbearing.
WHAT WE NEED
We are shooting in January/February (weather permitting) and, aiming for an April 2013 release date, we are now building our cast and crew.
There is a great deal of good will behind us: friends, family and even passing acquaintances are being mercilessly badgered, begged, and borrowed from; but we also need to bring together those things we can't beg, borrow or steal.
- We need to pay our cast and specialist crew, approximately £1,500
- We need to keep them warm and feed them (so they don't end up hating us), approximately £270
- We need to hire grip, lighting, and audio equipment (that which we can't build ourselves), approximately £1,000
- We need data storage, approximately £360
- We need to buy or hire props, approximately £200
- We need to pay location costs - filming on Wimbledon Common costs £95 + vat per hour! (we're trying to negotiate this downwards, but we expect to need at least two days filming on the Common), approximately £2,060
- We need to cover festival and competition entry fees, approximately £500
- We need public liability insurance, approximately £200
- We need to cover the Kickstarter fees and rewards to our backers, approximately £1,160
- We have built a 10% contingency into our budget, approximately £700
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Showing your support by pledging is the most tangible and practical way, and for which we'd be eternally grateful, but it's perhaps equally important that people know about our project.
We're getting in touch with everyone we know to spread the word, but if you could do that too it would help immeasurably. Tweet, Comment, Share and Like us on Facebook, anything you can do to let your friends know and get the word out!
To date Kieron's films have been entirely solo projects, using homemade equipment and budgets as near zero as makes no difference. This one is a short ode to the art of bread-making.
What is the deadline for donating to the Common Kickstarter? Sunday the 20th of January at Midnight (G.M.T.)
What happens if the money is NOT raised by the deadline? It's all or nothing, if we don't reach our goal by the deadline, Common doesn't get any money. Your card will not be charged.
Are there any fees to pay? No, other than your donation, there is no cost to you: for those rewards that require shipping we have included the cost of worldwide delivery in the pledge price. We will have to pay a 5% fee to Kickstarter, and between 3% and 5% transaction fees for each pledge, but we think it's worth it for such an amazing opportunity. We only have to pay the fees if our Kickstarter succeeds.
Do I need a Kickstarter account to be able to pledge? Yes, it costs nothing, and it only takes a moment, so please create an account if you don't already have one.
Is my pledge amount displayed publicly? No. Only you and we will be able to see the amount.
Can you exceed the goal? Yes! It would be fantastic if we did. Kickstarter allows donations to continue right through the campaign time, even if that means exceeding the target. Every penny will still go to funding the project, and anything above our goal will allow us to make an even better film.
I've already made a pledge, but I've just come into a huge inheritance, and want to support you even more, can I do that? Yes you can! You just need to login to Kickstarter and find the Common Kickstarter page. As you have already made a pledge, you should see a blue "Manage Your Pledge" button. Click it and you can change the amount.
If you have any other questions please don't hesitate to contact us.
There have already been people who have been crucial in our progress so far, without whom it we wouldn't now be at this stage. Chief amongst them are Penny Gruber, who was key in the development of the initial idea, and has committed to being our producer, and Mark Esper, who was there to give invaluable advice during the development of the script, and who has agreed to be our on-set stills photographer.
We would just like to say a final thank you for taking the time to read our Kickstarter. We know that your time is valuable, so we really appreciate it.
Risks and challenges
With film, Murphy's Law definitely applies: "Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong".
With most of the technical issues we might encounter, we have the collective experience and ingenuity to be able to take it in our stride, so it's not something we're overly worried about.
The only technical issue which could ruin our carefully laid plans is data loss, either with sound or video. With that in mind part of our budget is set aside to ensure we are able to take immediate on-location backups, and one of the key roles on set is to check data integrity after each shot.
Other than technical issues, there are some specific challenges that are worthy of some preventative planning at outset:
- One of the cast or crew drops out: during casting we will be selecting reserve actors for each role, and will ensure we have backups for any specialist crew members we need.
- We could run out of money: we have carefully constructed our budget so that we have a very clear idea of what we need, and have included a buffer to cover the unforeseen.
- Problems with making and shipping rewards. Like every other part of our budget we have thoroughly researched the cost of production and have included worldwide shipping costs with Royal Mail.
Really, assuming the planning is sound, our cast and crew are committed, and the locations secured, it is only self-doubt that can get in the way. Doubts can creep up on you at any moment, can catch you unawares, and be very challenging to overcome. Knowing this is in itself the first move in overcoming the problem. The key is for us to stick to our belief in the concept, the script, and our ability.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (40 days)