Black Island

To make a short film exploring the effects of extreme isolation on the human mind seen through the eyes of a marooned 18th-century pirate.

We did it!

On 15th Feb 2017 we successfully raised £2,620 of £2,500 target with 64 supporters in 21 days

New stretch target

Wow! You've helped us get our minimum target and we're so incredibly grateful for all of your support and all of your shares, mentions, donations... Everything has been amazing, so thank you. We've set ourselves a stretch target because Black Island is in need of all the funding it can get to make it the best film it can be. 

The money will be going towards making our props the best they can be and hiring the services we require in order to execute a film sequence. For example, we'll be filming by the sea and in row boats and all of these things cost a lot of money! We have to make sure our actors are safe, so we need insurances and lifeguards - you name it. Our 18th-century world will be more convincing if we have the best funding to create it. All of your help has been greatly appreciated, so let's take this one last step together. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you from the team of Black Island. 

What's the film about?

Test Shoot Stills at Porthcurno Beach, Cornwall.

Black Island is a short film that examines the effects of extreme isolation on the human mind through the eyes of a marooned 18th-century pirate. Left alone on an island with nothing but a loaded flintlock pistol and a bottle of rum, the protagonist must prevent the dissent of his addled mind and survive his solidarity in nature, wondering if someone will ever come back for him.

Filmic Influences

Influences for Black Island include:
The Woman in the Dunes (Teshigaraha, 1964), Papillon (Schaffner, 1973), 
Tales of the Black Freighter (DelPurgatorio & Smith, 2009), Castaway (Zemeckis, 2000), 
Under the Skin (Glazer, 2013), A Field in England (Wheatley, 2013), Black Sails (TV series, 2014-).

Who are we?

We're a group of ambitious filmmakers with a passion for storytelling... Meet the team:

DIRECTOR | Damon Hocking

Making films brings joy to my heart. I am a bona fide dream follower and I put my heart and soul into everything I do. Devon is my home, but I have become very partial to a Cornish pasty or two. We will be fully utilising the beautiful Cornish coastline for this film and I cannot wait to get shooting!

PRODUCER | Sophie Christophersen

Hi, I’m Sophie and I’m the producer of Black Island. I’ve studied production at Falmouth University (UK) as well as FAMU (CZ) and am incredibly excited to produce a short film unlike anything I’ve ever worked on before. It’s going to be a challenge but it’s going to be fun - help us make a film we’re going to be proud of!

Here's a list of films that have stuck with me for a while:
Like Crazy (Doremus, 2012), Her (Jonze, 2014), 
Into the Wild (Penn, 2007)Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Gondry, 2004), 
The Lobster (Lanthimos, 2015), I Origins (Cahill, 2005).

SCREENWRITER | Christopher Jacobs

I've been an avid student of film ever since I was a small kid. How young am I? Scratch that question, I'm too old to care. My writing has been called ambitious, surreal and mostly improbable, and so I thank these good filmmakers and donators in attempting to actualise this dramatic story of loneliness, isolation and dissent.

CINEMATOGRAPHER | Peter Doyle-Davidson

I'm Peter Doyle-Davidson and I am the cinematographer for Black Island. I have been interested in all aspects of cinema from a very early age. However, since coming to university, I have honed and developed my skills within the camera department. I’ve previously shot and assisted on numerous short films  and documentaries, as well as two features as a camera trainee.

 I’m fascinated by the power of dynamic visual storytelling. The way a single shot can express the subtlest themes and emotions while captivating an audience is what I love about cinematography the most. One of the aspects that interests me about this project is the backdrop the story takes place in, which will be interesting to capture on Cornwall’s dramatic coastline.

 Some films that have inspired me for this project include:
Tales of the Black Freighter (DelPurgatorio & Smith, 2009), Cast Away (Zemeckis, 2000)
and Lord of the Flies (Hook, 1990).

EDITOR/COLOURIST | Stine Tøndelstrand

 My name is Stine and I am the editor for this film. I live in the corner of the Production Hub or in the Colour Grading Suite and only come out after dark. Black Island is a film I have been looking forward to work on for a long time, as I believe it will give me the opportunity to challenge myself both in editing and colour grading.

SOUND DESIGNER | Cheila De Fonseca

Hey there, I’m Cheila and I am the sound designer for Black Island… Like literally anything sound related I either do or oversee, I am the queen of audio on this thing! Well until the director tells me to change something…(I’m still the audio boss secretly). So film… I think film is a great way to express something or to talk about issues. Or in my case, I want to make films that make people feel something, may that be sad, happy, or in this film uncomfortable, so watch out for that.

LIGHTING DIRECTOR | Benji Middleditch


“Lights! Who turned out all the lights?” …Yeah sorry, that’s me. I'm the lighting director/gaffer of Black Island. I choose to work on this film due to my love of the script and setting but also how I would be able to show moods with colour and lighting effects which have always been a big interest in my film making. This film lets me spread my wings and try a couple of new things.

MUSIC | Kees Phillips

VFX | George Quelch & Elliott Birch-Mackay

GRAPHIC DESIGNER | William Lancaster

ARTWORK | Ralph Nel and Lucy Rivers

Concept Art for Black Island by Ralph Nel.

Concept Art for Black Island by Lucy Rivers

Why do we need the money?

We are soon approaching the shooting days of Black Island and we need all the help we can get to get this film on its feet.

The majority of the funds will be going towards cast and props but the film is facing a challenge: set in the 18th century, it is key that we create a setting that lacks any signs of modernity. Because of this, we need to purchase specialist props, all of which need to fit the theme. Our minimum goal is £2,500 - without your pledges, Black Island can't be made. Any help would be greatly appreciated, be it a donation or a share on social media - every little helps.

Check out our budget breakdown:

Why Crowdfunding?

We believe we can make an exciting and thought-provoking short film. Crowdfunding gives everyone the chance to play a part in bringing this story to life and we believe that it is very important to support the arts. Albeit in a small way, this is potentially an investment in the future of British cinema. We all want to see good films being made and someone has to make them.

What's in it for you?

More than anything, you'll have the pleasure of knowing that you helped a group of filmmakers bring their visions to life. Black Island is being made by a team of highly enthusiastic filmmakers whose primary fuel comes from ambition and determination. We're inviting you to make a film with us and share our passion for storytelling. We'll be offering our thanks with shout outs on social media, copies of the film and posters. If you're feeling especially generous or want an even bigger, prominent role in the development of the film, your name will be added to the closing credits and you'll be invited to an intimate, exclusive screening of the film.

How can you help?

By making a pledge
Whether you decide to pledge £5 or £1,000 to the project, your donation allows Black Island to be one step closer to being made! We truly appreciate your support.

By spreading the word
Social media allows our film to become visible to people all over the world. Use the hashtag #blackislandfilm and add a link to this page – or share and retweet our posts.

You can follow, share and like us on Twitter and Facebook.

By making connections
Do you know anyone who works in the media? Anyone who has their own radio show or a blog? You'd be helping us a lot if you could put us in touch with them or send them our crowdfunder!

Thank you for your time and thank you for supporting our film. Keep an eye on our Facebook page to stay up-to-date with the production process and extra content!

The team of Black Island.

Director's note:
A big thank you to the crew for all your hard work so far, I cannot wait to get cracking with production. I'd also like to say a big thank you to Chris Barnicoat and Tim Cartwright for their help with the test footage, along with a thank you to all the friends of the film, especially Louis Lingjaerde, Ryan Wheeler and Arnaud Jln. Last but not least, a thank you to the crowdfunding video support team of Sabine Groven and Paul Farrell.  


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