This crowdfunding project aims to raise seed funding to produce a one minute (approx) teaser trailer in order to demonstrate the viability of a full length feature film with the title 'Last Legs.'
Last Legs by Steven Dark is a bitter-sweet comedy drama about a disparate group of people facing very individual challenges - physical disability, terminal illness, mental health issues and trauma - that meet once a week at a local community centre ostensibly for social interaction and moral support but which serves in the main to merely increase the antagonisms and tensions between them.
Q. How did you come up with the idea of the story?
A. There was no single moment of inspiration that I recall. I had a vague idea of writing about a grouip of people who were very different and in some cases quite antithetical to each other yet brought together by a common goal. I initially started writing about Odessa - the main character - who has Turner's Syndrome ( a condition relatively unknown by the general public, I think) and her relationship with her very ambitious and materialistic boyfriend Nathan. As I wrote the story simply flowed, almost (though I dislike the term) as if it were 'channelled' but this is a common experience when I write. I'm never quite sure where the ideas come from.
Q. Will all the cast have a disability or condition related to their characters?
A. Hopefully yes. Where possible I would prefer to cast disabled actors but of course this depends on the availability of suitable professional actors with specific challenges and as the writer - we don't always have the opportunity to be involved directly in casting but this is something I would seek to be actively involved in.
Q. How will the comedy be presented among the tragedies in the film?
A. The comedy lies within two main areas - the very individual and strong charcaters and their sense of humour (or lack thereof), and secondly situational eg. the scene where the group stage a public protest to raise awareness of the Centre's closure which descends into comedic chaos resulting in their mass arrest and subsequent court appearance.
Q. Have you written films before and have any been picked up by production companies?
A. I have written a full length comedy horror titled After Dark and despite some interest from well known actors and the director Nicolas Roeg, it wasn't picked up by any production companies at the time (this was 2010) but I still have hopes that it will be made in the future though my focus is really Last Legs
Q. Which scenes do you aim to show in the trailer?
A. A standar trailer wouldn't include complete scenes but excerpts of characters and the situation(s) they face individually and collectively and, of course, shots of the group struggling up a steep mountain path.
Q. Do you feel there is a gap in the market for a film like this?
A. Absolutely. There are not enough films depicting disability and certainly not in the tragi-comedy genre.
Q. What do you hope audiences will gain from this film?
A. Inspiration. The triumph of hope over despair and how each of us has the capacity to overcome limitations and exceed all expectations in the face of persoanl and collective tragedy.
Q. Why the title ‘Last Legs’?
A. Late for work, Odessa (late 20s, Turner’s Syndrome) dashes to the Green Light Centre and immediately bumps into the Centre Manager Mr Jackson. Ignoring her lateness, he tells her that he has an important announcement to make after lunch. Odessa then meets with Anette, a volunteer helper, and while chatting they hear a commotion. Rushing in to the main room, they see Dennis (wheelchair user & body-builder) almost out of his chair wrestling with Peter (leg callipers and crutches) to the mixed mild amusement and scorn of the others – Mary (Solicitor, victim of domestic violence), Annie(trauma,mute), elderly twinsisters (unspecified), Eldred (retired lecturer,nervousbreakdown),Mr.Andrews (terminalillness) and Simon (Aspbergers, obsessedwithcardboard).
After lunch, Mr Jackson announces the closure of the Centre due to cutbacks. The group decide to take action and organise a demonstration against the closure an event that rapidly descends into a comedically chaotic breach of the peace and they are all arrested. In court they are given suspended sentences and bound over to keep the peace.
Mr Jackson dies and Mrs Jackson announces that he left a tidy sum of money to be spent by the group on the condition that their decision is unanimous, an almost impossible task given their personal antagonisms and disagreements and Annie’s muteness. A heated debate of high emotion and argument follows but amid the din Annie is finally heard to whisper ‘I want to be on top of the world' as she points to a painting of Ben Nevis.
Unanimously they agree to climb the mountain to drum up publicity in support of keeping the centre open. The arduous journey presents personal and collective challenges, physical, mental and emotional, that bring to the fore their innermost fears and hopes, regrets and ambitions, yet, ultimately, unites them. As they clear the summit, Peter lags a little behind the rest and, to raucous cheers, abandons his crutches, stumbles the final few metres on his last legs then collapses with the entire group laughing and crying with joy.