11/10/18: UPDATE: Our crowdfunding campaign has ended and we'd like to thank everyone for the incredible response and donations! We could not be doing this without you. There's so many aspects to production so if you still wish to contribute in any way, we'd love to hear from you. We will be going into production late February. Please also feel free to contact us if you have any questions or would like to share your experiences.
Title: Keep Breathing
Length: Approx. 12-15 minutes
Format: Short film
Set up: Emily faces her worst nightmare when she finds herself trapped in a lift with Adrian, the man who, without her consent, pressured her into having sex with him five years before. But he remembers that night very differently, and is shocked to discover what Emily thinks happened.
It's the first time they've seen each other since and an emotional argument ensues. Will Adrian take responsibility for his actions? Will Emily be able to use this encounter to finally move on?
In our on-going survey:
- 76% of women and 25% of men say that someone has had sex with them without their consent
- 84% of these did not report it to the police
- 59% of these said it was because they did not identify it as a crime
Clearly, we need to have a conversation.
Let’s take a minute to think about rape and assault in movies.
It is very often depicted as an attack. Pre-meditated violence.
The victims are left hurt. Cut. Bruised. Sometimes even close to death.
The perpetrators are often abusive partners. Psychopaths. Stalkers. Criminals.
But reality isn’t always like that. Often, the lines are blurred. There are grey areas. Mixed signals. Misinterpretations. Intoxication. Pressure. Pushiness. Lack of communication. Selfishness. Disrespect. People can walk away physically unscathed but still be left hurt, confused, or worse.
We believe all non-consensual sex is a form rape but we don't hear much about it when it’s less black and white. Perhaps it’s because people feel like it’s not a big deal, or perhaps it’s because they assume there’s not enough evidence to take it further. Or, perhaps, it’s because people don’t identify it as rape, or as something wrong. The circumstances we will be exploring in the film are some that are barely represented on our screens, and barely talked about in the media, and when it is, victims are often blamed. Why didn't you push them off? Why didn't you leave? Why did you go there if you didn't want to have sex? This is what we need to change.
Keep Breathing is a powerful and incisive look at attitudes towards consent and victim blaming. It has a tightly plotted script that challenges two characters who do not conform to the normal portrayals of victim and perpetrator. This is real and actually happens a lot, and when it does, both parties often have very different perceptions about what they’ve encountered. Not every victim of rape says no, and not every perpetrator fully understands the extent of what they’ve done. This film will engage the audience, provoke thought, provide a voice and encourage discussion, which is the essential next step towards changing attitudes.
This film is based on our co-writer’s experiences who, due to lack of education on the issue, wasn’t able to identify it as anyone's fault but her own, which sent her down a disruptive path.
So let’s educate.
We will update this section as and when we confirm cast & crew.
Mark has over twenty years’ experience in the entertainment industry. After graduating from a theatre degree he set up a video production company, directing music programmes, dance-work, and theatrical shows. Returning to TV, he quickly began directing on The Gadget Show but soon transferred into drama. TV credits as an Assistant Director include Casualty, Holby City, BAFTA award winning Katie Morag, and hit BBC comedy Man like Mobeen. Recently, he was 2nd AD on features Zoo and Swimming with Men, both of which were released theatrically this summer. Mark intends to become a director in his own right, utilising his years of experience working alongside industry professionals to create incredible films of his own.
Producer / Co-writer
Emmeline is a producer based in Derby. She has produced a number of short films including ‘Cadence’, which was funded and released by the AA Charitable Trust as part of a national road safety campaign. It was broadcast on Sky News, mentioned in several newspapers and gained approximately 1million views online across various different news and social media platforms. Her other projects include the award winning ‘Clockworks’, ‘After Party’, ‘The Right Swipe’ and ‘Hunted’. Emmeline has also worked in production on a couple of feature films, including ‘Madness In The Method’ due for release this year, and she runs the East Midlands’ largest industry networking event called the Film & TV Tweetup.
Derbyshire born Tommy is a writer of both short and feature films. Tommy has won many awards for his short films and was BAFTA long-listed for Stop/Eject. His zombie feature film debut, Wasteland, has been released on DVD in America, Germany and Japan. He currently has 3 short films at international festivals, the fantasy film Songbird, and 2 German productions Du Sollst Nicht Lugen and Der Letzte Tropfen. In 2018, Tommy has collaborated with an animation company in South Korea, writing a draft of their feature. Along with this, he has been writing several more screenplays for companies in the UK.
Women’s Work are a charity who have a 15 year history of working with and supporting the most vulnerable and disadvantaged women living in our community, achieving positive outcomes for many of the 850+ women they currently support every year. With external evaluations of a number of their projects, they continue to learn and develop best practice in working with women with multiple needs.
They delivered a project in local schools, called ‘We Matter’, which addressed issues of relationships and consent among young people. Forming a partnership with local filmmakers to produce ‘Keep Breathing’ is a natural next step to develop the preventative side of the charity’s work and an appropriate follow on from the ‘We Matter’ project.
Why not join the charity staff on 1st September at their Charity Ball? It’s a special Black Tie event to celebrate the charity’s 15 year anniversary with a delicious buffet, quality entertainment and fundraising activities. The film’s production team and friends will be there, and it’ll be held at the Rolls Royce Pavilion in Derby.
Buy your ticket here!
Although we are still yet to confirm our crew for this production, we can already say that it’s shaping up to be a wonderfully diverse team with approximately 75% of the roles being filled by women including 7 out of 10 Heads of Department. This is a film where women’s voices and experiences are going to be integral to the story and its message. We will ensure that everyone is heard.
We will update this section as and when we confirm our locations.
We will be filming in and around Derby City, and this is where the majority of crew will be based. We’ll be shooting in a studio, a nightclub, a car park, a taxi and an apartment, and we’ll be working closely with the University of Derby.
Once the film is completed, we’ll be delivering the first part of our prevention programme in Derby, and arranging a screening at Derby QUAD.
We are going to submit this short film to as many suitable film festivals around the world as we can. This will help to create a buzz about the film and we hope that it will be a strong talking point for festival audiences.
We will be delivering workshops and assemblies to as many schools and colleges as possible, starting in Derby and then rolling it out nationally. We'll put together an assembly pack with a copy of the film, a presentation, suggested discussion points, and the research and data we are currently collecting.
We'll also be working with universities to reach as many students as we can with free screenings and events on campuses.
Once the film has completed its festival circuit, we will design and launch an online campaign in hope to widen the discussion and get lots of people involved across all communities.
As always with our short films, we will hold a Derby premiere for Keep Breathing and send it to local film screenings such as Five Lamps Films in Derby, Short Stack in Nottingham, Showroom Shorts in Sheffield as well as many others.
Our total budget for the film is £20,000. We are aiming to raise 50% with our crowdfunding campaign, and 50% with other organisations and funding bodies. The reason we have divided it up this way is because we feel that these lower targets are far more reachable than trying to raise the full amount with one or the other.
This is a professional production. We are raising money to cover the costs of all the essential elements we need in place to make this film possible. Cast & crew, set build, production design, equipment hire, post-production etc. Every single penny will be considered and spent carefully to ensure we can get the best quality production. Please see a breakdown below:
NB: This is a professional film production and we will have approximately 20-25 crew & cast members. Due to financial strains, our team (so far) have agreed to work for National Minimum Wage due to the subject matter and charitable cause. This production is not-for-profit.
There are other ways you can support this project, and we’d be extremely grateful for any additional help.
Sharing this campaign to your friends and network could be extremely beneficial for us. The more people who know about it, the better. We'll be sure to look out for your social media posts and give you a follow!
You could like us on Facebook and give us a follow on Twitter and Instagram. All the links are below. This helps us to create a support network for the project, and we will post regular updates on our progress.
When we were in the research & development stages of the film, we were trying to compile some data so we could really hit home how this issue was affecting so many people. Unfortunately, due to the amount of grey areas in the situations we are exploring, it has been difficult to find this information. We decided to conduct our own research so that when it comes to delivering the project to schools, colleges, universities and online, we can support our message with our findings and statistics.
The link for the survey is here!
Thank you so much for reading this page, watching our video and supporting this project. It means more to us than we could ever tell you, and we can't wait to share with you the finished production.
We’d just like to take this opportunity to also thank the team that helped us put our campaign video together:
- Alex Stroud (sound & post-production)
- Louis Vella (cinematographer)
- Melissa O’Brien (actor)
- Peter Boulton-Lear (actor)
- University of Derby & Student Living staff
You're all incredible! Thank you!
The Keep Breathing team x