The Origins of the Film and the Character
Tell Tale Signs was first conceived by London based Italian filmmaker Ginevra Gentili in late 2014. She's always been interested in drama and films based on real-life stories, so that’s what she wanted to explore.
Ginevra was fascinated by various encounters she had in London throughout the years. What also fascinated her are the different stories behind why sometimes people get tattoos (as a young woman with a few tattoos herself). She wanted to tell the story of a character, a character based on personal experience and personal encounters, telling his story through the tattoos he gets during his life, his tell tale signs. This was her first idea for the feature and how the character, Rhys Taylor, was born. As she continued to develop the feature script, Ginevra decided to derive Tell Tale Signs, the short film, to tell the origins of Rhys’ story.
Tell Tale Signs, the short, what is it about?
The story begins at the end and follows Rhys, age 23, while late at night he goes to a tattoo parlour to get inked. Just as the tattooist penetrates his skin with the needle, the story goes back to earlier that morning and follows the events that lead him to get that tattoo, his first tattoo. Rhys is on his way to work, on his first day on the job, and he has a panic attack, not even he’s so sure why. Disoriented and lost, he encounters a stranger, Claire, who offers to helps him. This encounter changes both of them and both of their lives, for better or for worse. But how? This is a story about friendship, self-realisation, psychological and physical abuse and the flaws of human nature.
Why is it important to make this film? Why should you support us?
We are extremely passionate about the project, because we really want to portray how the encounter between two complete strangers can actually change someone’s life upside down. In addition to that, both characters are at a stage in their lives where they realise they are trapped. They have lost their sense of identity and any sense of what they truly want. We feel most people at some point in their life may have struggled with this feeling. We don’t want to reveal the major twist of the story, but it deals with relevant issues, such as psychological and emotional repression, exploring Rhys’ relationship with his mother and at the same time it also touches on physical abuse. Lastly, we feel that tattoos are also a very interesting and controversial topic, still nowadays, and this film explores a very meaningful reason behind why the protagonist decides to mark his skin for life.
We want to convey our interpretation of this encounter between the two lead characters and how it unravels all their secrets and innermost doubts and fears, in addition to introducing Rhys Taylor and the beginning of his journey.
Our Plan and Funding
The plan is to enter the film into various film festivals, both in the UK and Internationally, with the hope that this story is an inspiring and interesting one for those who may have gone through similar experiences as well. Another reason is to raise more interest in the story and the character, to hopefully in the near future be able to make the feature film. More importantly, we also want to raise awareness on the topics the film explores and emphasise the impact that they actually have on people. We want to tell this story cinematically, but we want to make sure it feels authentic and real.
We are planning to shoot the film in London in December and January. We are shooting in various locations in London and in order to bring it to screen and make it the best we possibly can we are looking for a budget of £15,000. This will enable us to pay for our crew (Camera Department, Production Design, Sound, Make-Up, Post Production etc.) the majority of which we have already assembled and our cast (consisting of four actors). A couple of the director’s friends/colleagues are working on this without compensation because they are passionate about the film, which make us lucky and is so very great, but the majority of the crew and the whole cast is made of professionals. The rest of the budget will go towards the following costs: equipment costs (we are shooting in 4K with an Arri Amira), locations, props, permits, transport, food, post-production, festivals etc.
London. We are planning to shoot in Soho, Camden, Regent's Park and also Leake Street, near the old vic tunnels, as well as a couple of interiors (a flat and a house). These are the locations we are in the process of confirming. We already have shot part of the opening scene as a teaser for the campaign video above in one of the locations in the script, Diamond Jacks, one of London’s most iconic tattoo parlours in Soho.
We want to give the film a very urban, cold and slightly gritty feeling, which we feel these locations would allow us to do and some are the original locations included by the writer in the script. Most of these are in central London.
We'll be posting more location photos soon!
The production is made up of two independent London based Italian female producers, going under the name of Disparity By Design, which is a collective of freelance filmmakers started by Ginevra Gentili and Benedict Elsworthy in 2013.
Raised between London and Tuscany (Italy), Ginevra Gentili is a female writer-director who's been living in London for the past 5 years. She comes from a photography and cinematography background, but working closely with actors on her shoots made her want to pursue work directing films. She fell in love with screenwriting after she took a course at Central Saint Martins - since then, writing and directing is what she has been dedicating herself to, furthering her experience making independent short films, directing short documentaries and music videos. As writer and director of Tell Tale Signs, she is really close to the story and very passionate about bringing it to life.
Helga Greggio - Producer/Production Coordinator
Born and raised in the countryside near Venice, Italy. As a child, ballet and music were her passions. She played the piano and took the first year of conservatory. From 1998 to 2004 she attended D Ballet dance school in Mira, training in RAD and AIDA methods. In 2003, she performed in an adaptation of THE SLEEPING BEAUTY at Teatro Toniolo and Teatro Candiani in Mestre. Following this, she started teaching ballet to young adults with disabilities. In 2010, Helga enrolled at the University of Padua to study German and Russian literatures and cinema; after graduating she took a gap year to travel and gain work experience. She worked for the Venice Marathon, for Koerner in Berlin, and as a team assistant at the Venice Film Festival and as a publicity assistant in London, completing her MA in events management at the University of Greenwich, lastly working as a programme coordinator at the Venice Film Festival. She is also very passionate about the story and is collaborating closely with Ginevra Gentili as production coordinator and co-producer, in order to bring Tell Tale Signs to life.
The Cast (for now)
Frankie Wilson, 22, is an up and coming English actor, whom for his young age already has quite a few achievements under his belt, most recent being in the BBC2 TV show Cradle To Grave, also known for Still Life (2013), Acceptance (2012) and Drift (2015).
FULL CAST AND CREW LIST COMING SOON
Risks and challenges
Risks and challenges come with making films. The challenge is going to be being able to bring our vision to life in a busy, huge and expensive city such as London. We are already in the process of confirming all our locations and getting all our permits, as we are aware that locking those down is one of the bigger challenges, although we feel not many people shoot in London in winter. In addition, getting all the locations we want won’t be easy, as they are central, but we are optimistic we can make it; if any of them fell through, we already have back-up ones and will be able to find suitable alternatives in a city as diverse as London.
Other challenges are challenges that come with making films, such as finding the remaining key members of our crew and finding the right actors to bring the remaining two characters to life, making sure that every aspect falls into place by ensuring a smooth collaboration between every member of our team. But the team we have so far is made up of very passionate, professional and dedicated individuals and we are all confident that with the invaluable support of our backers, we will be able to deliver the film at the highest possible standard.
The film is meant to go to festival submission in the new year and we have decided and planned to shoot in December/January in order to have plenty of time shall there be any delays, re-shoots/pick-ups needed or any problems in post-production - we have made sure to leave enough time to overcome any of those problems and be able to deliver the finished film the way it deserves to be made.
Ultimately, a lot more work will be necessary and key to help give the film the exposure we believe it deserves, in order to also gain interest and drive to bring Tell Tale Signs to the next step: the feature film.
The road is long and uphill, but we are confident and positive that with passion, dedication and care, along with the funding from Kickstarter, we will be capable to secure more talent and possibly more partners, to ensure that our vision for the film is finished and that you can all enjoy it in full.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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