A bunch of talented students at Bournemouth University’s Media School are making a film, but they need a bit of extra cash to help finish it.
The film is entitled ‘Soap’ and is a dark comedy about a guy in his late 20s who is addicted to cannabis and living on the dole. Realising he hasn’t done much with his life he decides to turn things around before it’s too late and attempts to get a job and a social life. Co-writer and producer Peter Fellows – who is currently in his final year of Scriptwriting for Film & TV – says “He enters into this world of young professionals where he’s a bit older than everyone else but is obviously at a lower stage. He’s got this really immature outlook on how things are and how you create relationships with people because he hasn’t done any of that because he’s been sitting in his flat smoking. So it’s about his journey and meeting women and stuff and that all going to shit”.
The idea for the film came from Peter’s friend and third year Forensic Science student, Adam Hicks. Adam – who is also playing the lead character, John Carlisle in the film – originally wrote the story as a novel. “It’s kind of semi-autobiographical,” says Peter, “he came to Uni aged 28 to do Forensics, which I think in retrospect was a bit of a random choice for him. I think he just wanted to get out of being in his little zone. He was an electrician before. So he came to Uni and wanted to be an actor and do all this creative stuff but didn’t have an outlet for it. I think that’s what the book was kind of about”. Adam then sent the novel over to Peter, who decided they should make it into a film. “A lot of it is quite personal to him and then as a writer you put on your own personal spin to on things anyway, so it’s got bits from both of us”. Incidentally Adam still hasn’t finished writing the novel and Peter admits “the film will be finished before the novel is!”
The film’s director is third year TV Production student and Milk DJ at Bournemouth nightclub The Old Fire Station, Tom Thurgood and the majority of the actors and crew are current or ex-Bournemouth University students. Shooting for the film has mainly taken place in Bournemouth too. “We’ve done a lot of filming in Boscombe, because there are a lot of characters out there” says Peter, “Quite a lot of the interior shots have been places around Bournemouth too. We’ve just been looking for anywhere that looks a bit grotty to be honest. So maybe Poole, we haven’t shot there yet but maybe Poole”.
The team are also planning to do some filming in Berkshire over the summer and will also be hosting some film workshops in the area. Peter says, “There’s nothing really there for people who are interested in film, whereas here I think wherever you go you see a film crew out shooting something. I think there’s a big emphasis on it this far down South and obviously in London and further up North in Manchester & Nottingham. Whereas, I grew up in Berkshire and there’s nothing. If you’re interested in media studies, basically everyone looks at you like you’re going to be homeless by the time your 17, which is maybe true for some people and will probably be true for me in a couple of years but I just think it would be good to go back there and show that there is a bigger picture than just the little town that you grow up in where everyone frowns at you for wanting to make a film”.
The crew have so far shot 40 minutes of ‘Soap’ but are currently taking a break from filming to focus on Uni work. “All the guys on TV Production who make up most of the crew have all got their final projects and I think it’s just too much work” says Peter. “Plus, the next part of the story is supposed to be based four months later anyway so it kind of makes sense to have a four month break. I don’t know if the cast will look any different but probably not. But Adam’s character is supposed to lose a little bit of weight because he’s had a bit more of a healthy lifestyle so hopefully Adam will lose a bit of weight, but we’ll see”.
But whilst the crew are focusing on dissertations and Adam is attempting to lose a few pounds, they won’t be completely neglecting the film. Peter is hoping that they can use the time to raise some funds for the project. “We can probably struggle through on what we’ve got but the more money we get the better it will look. We can hire better lenses and better equipment than we’ve already used. It looks really good at the moment what we’ve done but it would be brilliant to be able to give it that extra push” says Peter. They plan to approach private firms for investment and also do some crowd funding using website IndieGoGo which will allow people to donate money online. “We’re not talking about a huge amount of money. Obviously every little helps, as Tesco tell us. If someone gave us £50 that would be amazing, if someone gave us a fiver that would be amazing. But overall we’re only looking for about £1000 which, between the hundreds of people that will hopefully hear about the film, isn’t that much money” says Peter.
There is no definite release date for the film as yet, but Peter hopes it will be finished by October 2012 so that it can be premiered at local film festival Film Access Bournemouth. “It’s run by a guy called Howard Shep, who has helped us out quite a lot with getting meetings with various people. The festival is a big project which has grown from nowhere but involves all these different creative people from around Dorset, bringing them all together to create this massive highly respected event. It would be great to premiere it there because the roots of this film are in Bournemouth”.
So if you would like to get involved with Bournemouth’s very own blockbuster, then head here and donate.