BLUE MONDAY

by Naomi Smith in Dorset, United Kingdom

We did it
On 16th December 2021 we successfully raised £8,397 with 146 supporters in 28 days

Set in 1980s Southampton, a social worker is called to carry out a mental health assessment on someone deeply ingrained in her past.

by Naomi Smith in Dorset, United Kingdom

New stretch target

THANK YOU! Your incredible support, donations and shares have given us the opportunity to pursue a stretch target! You might be wondering what that means. Well...

The pledges we've received mean we have raised our initial target, meaning we are able to make the film! But if we can make it even better, why stop there? By donating further, our stretch target will enable us to be able to shoot Blue Monday on celluloid film – a creative choice made to enhance the period setting of the film and its overall look, feel and design. 

Furthermore, this additional funding will ensure we nail down a cast of professional actors, that we're able to source period-appropriate locations and that we can expand our festival tour, reaching out to festivals on a wider, international scale!


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Set in 1980s Southampton, Blue Monday follows Carol, a young, empathetic mental health worker, part of whose job it is to assess people who may need to be sectioned under the newly introduced Mental Health Act. Her life is forever changed when she gets the call to perform an assessment on someone ingrained in her past, Thomas, a long forgotten ex-boyfriend who now suffers from grief-induced psychosis following the death of his emotionally manipulative mother. Through her intimate knowledge of Thomas, she fears his condition to be far worse than it initially seems to the doctors and begins to realise that his life may depend on the decision of whether or not to bring him in for treatment.

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Blue Monday’s story naturally lends itself to a social realist aesthetic, highlighting the true-to-life narrative and evoking a palpable sense of the human condition. Furthering this, the film's visual style will seek to utilise natural lighting and camerawork in order to reflect the central characters' state of mind and realism behind the narrative. However, taking influence from the work of Lynne Ramsay and Steve McQueen, in particular their films Ratcatcher and Shame respectively, Blue Monday will also strive for a more poetic edge to ensure it leans somewhat away from the typical harshness and suffering associated with the social realist genre.  

While our promo video and page give you a good idea of the film we want to make, we need to piece all the different parts together to give you a physical (or digital) copy of this wonderful film! Building the world of the characters provides a challenge for Camera, Lighting, Design and Costume departments - as well as many others - but to give you an idea of what the team have been working on so far, take a look at some concept visuals and mood boards: 

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Blue Monday takes place in 1980s South East England, so sourcing both interior and exterior locations appropriate to the period is key part of allowing the team to fulfil every aspect of their roles. Particularly for production design, dressing the modern day world with minute details and precision is essential to achieving a believable result. 

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Blue Monday is a short - 15 minute - film that is an incredibly personal story to our writer, Matt. It draws heavily from the experiences of his relative, who worked as a mental health specialist social worker in the late 1980s and 90s. What directly inspired the story was the toll the job took on his relative’s own mental condition, having to regularly make a decision on whether to section someone under the Mental Health Act - a choice which could either improve a person's condition or make it far worse. 

Whilst Sectioning remains necessary, the dehumanising and often humiliating experience that people undergo remains the same. The script attempts to express the reality of both undergoing an assessment and subsequently losing control over your day-to-day life, whilst on the other hand, conveying what it’s like to make such a drastic decision on someone’s life.  

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If you are able to donate, you will make a fundamental difference to the making of the film. Every penny helps us to achieve our vision and make the film as strong as it can be. Funds will be used to ensure we can access professional cast members to bring the powerful script to life, as well selling the period of the film through authentic production design.  

We appreciate that not everyone can donate to this project. But every share, follow, and comment helps – you can find us on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date with what's happening behind the scenes. We also have a mailing list, so if you are not on social media and/or would like to receive exclusive production updates from us then please email us at [email protected] to be added.  

We are hugely grateful for your support – however much it may be.  

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So, you may ask... where exactly is my money going? Well, we’ve made a handy pie chart for you to see a rough breakdown of our costs and how portions of money will be divided among each department. These percentages will ensure that each and every penny gets spent wisely throughout production. 

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Time to meet the people behind the project!

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DIRECTOR 

FINTAN O'CONNOR

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Having grown up around the theatre world, Fintan has been able to observe and learn from a number of creative practitioners throughout his education and was exposed to the craft of performance and storytelling from a young age which quickly developed into a passion for filmmaking. Since arriving at AUB he has directed numerous university productions and aims to carry forward his experience onto a larger canvas with Blue Monday.

"I was immediately drawn to the project through the honesty of Matt’s writing and the delicate way in which his script navigates the incredibly sensitive theme of mental illness. As a director it presents an exciting opportunity in that it's not a film that needs the distraction of flashy camera tricks or intensely stylised aesthetics but rather relies on a set of nuanced and assured performances that can carry the weight of the subject matter at hand."

   

WRITER 

MATTHEW EDGE

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Matt has worked on countless productions in his time at Bournemouth Film School, usually within the camera and lighting department. After practicing stills photography for years, he came to Bournemouth looking to expand his skillset in every aspect of film production. Taking the leap over into writing has been a worthwhile challenge, and he is incredibly excited to collaborate on this script with the whole team.  

"The idea of juxtaposing the mental toll on both sides of a section was something I found incredibly interesting. I’ve been developing the script for several months now, after initial conversations with my relative around her experiences as a social worker and the Mental Health Act, I found sectioning to be an underwritten subject, particularly within film.” 

  

PRODUCER

NAOMI RACHEL SMITH

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Specialising in Producing and Documentary filmmaking, understanding the intricacies of all areas of production is Naomi’s forte - from managing crew, cast, locations, and budget. Having spent her summer on various high-end industry productions, she hopes to hone the broad range of skills she has picked up to make this film a positive and successful journey for everyone involved. 

'I’m thrilled to have such an incredible crew involved. With such a delicate topic as mental health at the forefront of the film, a key part of my role is to be a level-headed and empathetic producer. Ensuring the difficult themes are dealt with in a kind and respectful manner allowing the whole production to remain calm and composed in weight of the films message.'

   

PRODUCER

FLYNN ALBERRY

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Flynn has written and directed multiple projects in his time at AUB, but this is his first time as a Producer. Having collaborated with excellent producers on his previous projects, he's gained a knowledge in the area and sensitivity towards a film's vision that allows him to confidently cultivate a proactive, focused atmosphere amongst the crew in order to ensure a film can be as good as it possibly can.  

'I was involved with Blue Monday from its development phase, so feel I have an intimate connection with the characters and understanding of its world. I couldn't pass up on the opportunity to follow the film through into production, and I can't wait to help the story come to life.'

  

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY

DANIEL SZOLNOKI

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Dani’s fascination with cinematography stems from its power to tell stories in an immersive way, how changing small details can lead to very different results.  

'I want to capture the characters’ powerful emotions in a delicate manner to conserve the sensitivity of how the story deals with its intricate and complex subjects. It’s my aim to create images that portray the characters’ intimate relationship and all the further layers of the story in a very subtle way, making use of naturalistic lighting and camerawork so as not to distract from the story.'

    

GAFFER

SCOTT TOLLADAY

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What attracted Scott to Cinematography was the infinite possibilities that camera and lighting has to offer in order to serve and enhance a film’s story.  He is fascinated by the way light can convey different emotions and moods in the characters and intensify an audience’s experience of film. 

'Blue Monday is a challenging project because of the minimal use of artificial lighting and the manipulation of daylight in order to fit the film’s tone. I was drawn to the project by its social realist aesthetic and the delicately portrayed relationship between the two lead characters. I can’t wait to work with such a dedicated, talented crew, and hope everyone enjoys the story as much as I do.'

   

PRODUCTION DESIGNER

ROSE COLLIS

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Although Rose did not even know what Production Design was three years ago, it has turned out to be exactly what she was looking for. As someone that has always loved crafting worlds and characters, her eclectic range of interests have found their place in the art department.  

'I was enticed by Blue Monday’s underlying theme of mental health - a topic I feel needs to be honestly talked about more. As a period film set in the 1980s, Blue Monday also gives me a great opportunity to research decades of interior design. I can’t wait to begin creating the world of Carol and Thomas!'

    

SOUND

LUCA ROBINSON

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Blue Monday’s sound recordist and designer Luca believes sound is an underappreciated yet essential part of filmmaking and storytelling.  He believes that the importance of sound goes beyond delivering dialogue to our ears – it serves the story, creates a mood, and can be key to bringing the visuals to life.   

'I was drawn to Blue Monday through my love of British social realist films and the intelligent script, which depicts a harrowing story with relatable characters. I'm hoping to develop an emotional and engaging soundscape which enhances the narrative and main themes of the film.'

  

EDITOR

MATTHEW STEVEN

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As editor, the majority of Matthew’s work comes once filming is finished, where it’s his job to piece together all the parts collected during filming. He was drawn to editing by the power of post-production, believing it’s where the film truly develops its own distinctive identity.  

'Blue Monday’s gritty, realistic portrayal of 80s Britain, and the complicated nature of the Mental Health Act really appealed to me. Big inspirations for the post-production of Blue Monday are films such as Shame for its use of non-linear, inter spliced scenes and This Is England for its character dependent narrative.’

  

FIRST ASSISTANT DIRECTOR 

VICTORIA PETHRUS

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In her time at Arts University Bournemouth, Victoria has produced and 1st Assistant Directed numerous short films, gaining a great deal of knowledge in the production area. She has especially developed a passion for 1st Assistant Directing and plans on moving that passion forward into a career.  

"I was captivated by Blue Monday's realism. Much of the film depends on the strength of the performances from Carol and Thomas, and it's my job to ensure that the set is respectful, quiet and focused to allow the performances to flourish. It's my job to run the set and ensure that we attain all the footage we need to make the film – no pressure then!"  

   

COSTUME DESIGNER

UNĖ MARIJA AUSIEJŪTĖ  

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‘When I was about eight, mum told me that there was such a thing as a costume designer. I thought she was speaking of Halloween. But it only happens once a year? She explained that it is a profession where a person designs costumes for film or theatre, and this to me was like a lightning strike.’ Une spent a lot of time in the TV studio where her mum worked as an editor, surrounded by the creative environment, which interested and inspired her. 

She chose to work on Blue Monday because it’s a multi-layered and very deep story. As a costume designer, she finds it interesting to work with the 1980s. It is a period best known for bright neon colours, wild hair, and poor taste. It will be interesting to discover and portray a different side of the period than is known to most people.

  

MAKEUP DESIGNER

OLIVIA GARTSIDE  

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Olivia is thrilled to be make-up designer for Blue Monday. Currently in her third year at AUB, she aspires to pursue a career in prosthetic makeup for film and TV. She wanted to work on the film Blue Monday due to it’s hard hitting, emotional storyline. 

'With the film being set in the 1980’s, it creates a great challenge for me with the hair and makeup design and with the team's strong vision I want this story to be represented brilliantly. I believe working with this crew will allow me to gain fantastic experience and knowledge prior to graduating as well as prepare me for the industry and the challenges I may face. I can’t wait to work in this fun and positive environment with everyone!'

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You’ve made it to the bottom of the page - on behalf of all of us here at Blue Monday, thanks for taking the time to read everything. We are so grateful for your support in making this film happen. Stay tuned for what we get up to in production!

Crew Photos by: Olivia Wang 

Instagram: @thephotolivia

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£150 or more

9 of 10 claimed

EXCLUSIVE PRODUCTION PHOTOBOOK

We are making 10 Limited Edition Production Photo books which will give you a full behind the scenes look at the production of the film, stills from the set, storyboards, exclusive stories and much more. Get your hands on one fast - they're gonna be good! But once they're gone, they are gone!

£5 or more

A BIG THANK YOU

Thank you for donating to our film, every £5 makes a world of difference. Your support means so much to everyone involved, we couldn’t do it without you!

£15 or more

PREVIEW COPY OF THE FILM

With this donation you will receive a digital copy of the film on completion before anyone else along with a digital copy of the films poster and the everlasting gratitude of the crew!

£30 or more

SIGNED COPY OF SCRIPT + MORE

Donating £30 will get you a copy of the script signed by cast and crew plus a digital copy of the film, poster AND we will even send you a hand written card in the post!

£70 or more

A BLUE MONDAY BAG / SHIRT

If you want something you can wear around to show off your incredible donation to our project, grab a bag or a shirt that we will be designing! This reward also includes all prior rewards (see above), so it really is something you don't want to miss!

£200 or more

YOUR NAME IN THE CREDITS

Have your name up in big lights in the credits of the film, plus receive a signed copy of the script, a physical - yes physical - copy of the poster and a digital copy of the film.

£350 or more

ASSOCIATE PRODUCER CREDIT

With our Associate Producer Credit, we have a collection of items for you to get your hands on. We will send you a prop of your choice from the set AND you can get all prior rewards mentioned above INCLUDING the photobook!

£500 or more

0 of 3 claimed

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER CREDIT

Behold, our highest rated reward: the coveted Executive Producer Credit! With this reward you will not only get your name in the credits, you will also receive an invitation to join the crew at the BFI Southbank, London! This reward comes with all the bonus goodies mentioned above.

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