Shout Action is a group of around 15 young people from the rural town of New Mills, Derbyshire. We are all in year 8 at the local high school and have recently worked with High Peak Community Arts in our spare time to complete our first film project, which we wrote, shot and acted in together. We’ve loved the experience and jumped at the chance to write a new film idea to go forward to the First Light Online funding programme. Sadly we've just found out that the bid was unsuccessful, but they gave us such positive feedback that we can't help feeling the project idea should live on.
We have successfully raised £1,270 to fund Phase 1 of the project – where we will develop the storyline, write the script and plan the shooting schedule – i.e. the pre-production phase. Most of this budget will go towards working with a professional film maker, so that we reach the highest standards and keep learning the tricks of the trade.
Now we are fund raising for Phase 2 – the production phase. We really need just over £1,000 to pay for professional film maker, Matt Kowalczuk. But we setting a target of £500 to get us started with some training and if we will raise more he will be able to work with us during the shoot as well.
So what’s the film idea?
'File Not Found' will be a character-based narrative following the peculiarities and friendships found in a small café of the same name. Soon these very personalities threaten the survival of their small community, and they search for a solution.
The chosen genre will be a dark comedy; a bit like a children's version of 'The League of Gentlemen' meets Amélie. The film will have over the top quirky characters that seem flawed as individuals and are an annoyance to the local society. But the sum of their parts will make them save their sanctuary, the café.
We will learn about the make up of the café owners and their customers through snatched conversations and overheard gossip. A sense of confusion is created by one character's belief in wild conspiracies, and another's conviction that he is starring in a film. There are details that only the audience sees (like the crew person who pops up to do his make up) and a sense of secrecy as different people talk direct to the camera.
A series of small mistakes put the café under threat; there is a visit by The Inspector and the owners are given an ultimatum.
Just when despair is taking hold, the most unlikely saviour steps forward - their most awkward customer. They propose a daring attempt on the World Record held in something culinary - and in the final scene they show the audience that a bunch of misfits can pull together to achieve - almost - anything!
High Peak Community Arts are going to manage the project – they have 30 years experience of providing creativity activity for young people across the High Peak. They specialise in developing the skills of participants, so they can gradually take up leadership roles and own the projects they work on.
High Peak Community Arts aims to increase the size of the group, recruiting young people from the social housing estates, and use this project to develop an ongoing 'young film makers' group for the town. We think that small rural towns like New Mills are not seen to be as ‘needy’ as inner-city neighbourhoods and so we are often missing out for over-subscribed national funding schemes. We want to call out to local people who could give a little to help projects like this stay alive.