THE STORY IN SHORT
Mercury is a raw fast-paced comedy. Quick-witted and irresponsible Al (22) and ever-thoughtful Bambi (21) - best friends since forever - are in a car. Al's pregnant and Bambi is trying to drive her to the hospital for a scheduled C-section. Al doesn't seem too keen. The film opens a window into these young women's lives, embroiled in a symbiotic relationship, and focuses on this pivotal moment in which their friendship will be tested and their lives will be transformed.
Illustration courtesy of Esme Davies
Kyla's winning pitch:
WHY WE ARE MAKING THIS FILM
Message from our producers at Life to Live Films:
We’re making this short film because it’s a really original and compelling piece of work from a writer and director we love, who we think are extremely talented.
MERCURY is just the beginning of a longer journey, a bigger adventure. Kyla and Gorana have a great feature idea. It's called THE COCKATOO INN, a Road Trip movie with estranged best friends AL and BAMBI, which was submitted and long-listed for the Sundance Script Lab and is currently in advanced development. It's about female friendship and thwarted motherhood, facing up to choices made earlier in life and growing up. We’re making MERCURY, set six years earlier, to help cement the concept and further fuel Kyla and Gorana's exciting careers.
MERCURY will show the pivotal event in AL and BAMBI's lives that leads to the bust-up of the friendship and pave the way for the feature film. It will enable Kyla to establish the tone and visual language of the film, and show the electric dynamic and reverberant humour between the two actresses. By going into this earlier part of Bambi and Al's journey, it helps us to understand the whole damn thing!
WHY WE NEED YOU
We need you to help us make and finish the film and then get it out there to its audiences, or in Kyla's words "Give us your money"!
With your money we can shoot this film in a car we can be choosy about. If we buy it, we can then keep the car for the feature next year - which will be cool and mean saving on expensive action vehicle hire. You can help us fulfil our director's vision, expressing her singular voice by enabling us to hire the experts, and acquire the necessary kit and materials to better navigate what is actually a very tricky and dangerous shoot. To produce a film of excellent quality, which is crucial to our film being the show-piece we need it to be. We want to achieve really beautiful images while still focusing on the depth of the story - creating an iconic look, and soundtrack. All this costs money.
If you don't have money to share there are other ways you can help us. Help in kind or invaluable advice is always amazing. You may have contacts who can help. Just forwarding the Kickstarter link would help enormously - especially if it's to people who are likely to think we've got something great here!
WHO WE ARE
Kyla Simone Bruce - Director
Kyla is our brilliant, award winning Director. She graduated with an MA with Distinction from The London Film School in 2013, with her film THE INTERPRETER, which was awarded ‘Best Student Short’ presented by SHOOTING PEOPLE, as well as receiving a special mention for 'Best Woman Director' at the London Short Film Festival and has been long-listed for the BAFTA Short Film Award in 2015.
Her Documentary SILVER RAILS (following her father, the late Jack Bruce, and collaborators recording his final album in Abbey Road Studios) has been licensed by the BBC.
Her feature length international collaboration UNDOCUMENT (a series of character driven dramas exploring the complex theme of illegal immigration; set in Iran, Greece and England) premiered at the East End Film Festival, 2016 and was long-listed for two BIFAs, for Best Debut Director and Most Promising Newcomer, as well as being nominated and winning many other international awards.
UNDOCUMENT trailer below:
Gorana Jovanović - Writer
Gorana is our amazing writer, who is hard at work on the script from her home in Serbia. She is a graduate of the University of Westminster. Her graduation film KING FOR A DAY has been nominated for a student award by the Royal Television Society. Her short experimental film SMOKE premiered at 2015 DokuFest. In 2015, she won the Best Pitch award at the European Short Pitch forum in Luxembourg with her short fiction project REQUIEM FOR LAIKA, which is currently in pre- production too!
Ohna Falby - Producer
Ohna is our super producer, whose help on the project brings the world of Mercury back down to Earth. She has an outstanding track record in short films - check out the Life to Live Films website to discover more about the talent she collaborates with, the films and awards. She is known for discovering distinctive emerging talent, through insightful dedicated development work. In 2011 she founded Life to Live Films, to produce her widely diverse slate of independent films.
Lily Ashton - Development Exec and Junior Producer
Lily is our rising star, whose energy and ingenuity keeps Mercury spinning. Still new to the industry, she has an inexhaustible drive and curiosity which keeps our passions fuelled. She is a great fan of stand up and fringe theatre, keeps up to date with all the new shows, and always discovering new surprising performers - and a great source of reference for Mercury's characters, as she would probably have barely been a year behind Bambi at Uni!
Simon Shen - Director Of Photography
Simon is a very talented cinematographer. He graduated from the London Film School, alongside Kyla, where they first started making films together. Since then he has built a portfolio of works with a wide breadth of experience and knowledge within the art form of cinematography. His approach is organic and naturalistic, always striving to achieve striking cinematic images to tell the story.
WHO ELSE IS ON BOARD
We have two lovely actresses; Isabella Laughland and Harriet Cains, who play Al and Bambi. They have been hard at work with Kyla over the past few weeks, using improvisation workshops to feed the development of the script and build the intricate relationship between the two best friends. You might recognise them from films such as Harry Potter, Urban Hymn, Human Beings and the TV Series In the Flesh.
THE LOOK OF THE FILM
Kyla and Simon have a very particular look in mind. They want to use precise and careful framing to capture the chaotic lives of these girls. In both their work they try to show small yet delightful moments in a world that’s moving very fast around them.
Risks and challenges
We are going to start shooting in two weeks, which means that we need to raise as much money as we possibly can in a real short timeframe. On the 29th of October the clocks go back. In order to give this beautiful story the production value it deserves, we are facing the clock in terms of timings - as winter approaches, the days are getting shorter and filming becomes more difficult.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)