Who we are?
We are Emma Richardson, Mark J Blackman & Reshma Makan. Between us we have over four decades of experience in film making. We are story tellers doing what we do best in difficult times, channelling our creativity into making films that invite awareness, conversation and connection through personal and character driven narratives.
What the film does?
I live with the devil is both a snap-shot of a young woman's life-long battle with anxiety and a self-contained dramatic narrative. It builds on our lead's basic intolerance of uncertainty and personal responsibility, which when exposed to certain stimuli, initiate a cycle of self-doubt and reassurance. We follow our protagonist for 24 hours, where the intelligent, engaging, and kind individual, spirals into despair, struggling to distinguish anxiety from reality. Driven by the central performance of the female lead, her self-created struggle pays homage to Milton’s observation that ‘The mind is its own place and in itself, can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven’.
We have raised £5,500 so far and are hoping to raise £7,500 from supporters and film lovers such as yourselves. We've included a breakdown at the bottom of the page of where your contribution will go.
Quick note - We're offering rewards for this project, if you would like the reward, which we'd love to share with you, please click the 'select reward' button under the reward description box which is different to the donate button at the top of the page, unfortunately the donate button at the top of the page doesn't log your details for us to send them to you. Thank you again so much!
Why now? Why this story?
Emma has written her most honest and personal script to date, referencing her own experiences with anxiety.
The global pandemic has exposed and stimulated the chronic pandemic of mental illness. This is why we strongly feel now is the time to make this film and give an honest insight into this dark world of anxiety, possible routes to resolution and where intrusive thoughts can take you.
Mark our talented director has come up with innovative and beautiful layered ways to tell this narrative story. We've included footage from his past work on our fundraiser video for you to check out and you can read his directors statement on I Live with the Devil further below.
Elevator Pitch of I LIVE WITH THE DEVIL...
Hayley has finally been able to keep down a job as a care home assistant after years battling with chronic anxiety. One evening, she nervously covers for a colleague late for her shift in handing out medication to the residents, including to her favourite care home resident Mr Banks. When Mr Banks is taken ill during the night and the chart is no where to be found to prove who did what, we see the unruly battle unravel within her.
(Yes we've snuck in a shot of Mark, which is a screenshot of a screen test for the film).
Mark's Director’s Statement:
I LIVE WITH THE DEVIL is a slow-burn life-slice that twists into a tense and thrilling drama as Hayley's day pulls her - and the audience - into the depths of crushing anxiety.
The kind of film I love, I LIVE WITH THE DEVIL presents a character-fuelled journey that will fuse a fearless central performance with a confident story structure and an aesthetic that is stylised yet always comes from a place of subjective honesty, delivering a film in which Hayley's battle to control her inner demons slowly rise until the audience - much like Hayley herself - cannot escape.
A thorough process of rehearsal and workshopping will join a carefully considered use of increasingly fragile handheld cinematography, carefully chosen moments of slow-motion, supple lighting and an unerring attention to sound design that will ensure Hayley's plight is presented in a way that the audience can’t tear their eyes or ears from -- no matter how much they may want to. Hayley has no choice. Nor will the audience.
I LIVE WITH THE DEVIL also plays with audience expectations, pulling the rug out from under them on several occasions as the truth behind Hayley's circumstances unfolds. The emotional journey I LIVE WITH THE DEVIL takes the audience on is one that slowly comes into focus, playing with expectations that this may be a film about alcoholism or domestic abuse, only for the fear and trepidation that Hayley approaches life with to clarify into something not often portrayed in film: the personal struggle with crippling anxiety that so many face in today's world. My intention as Director is to reflect Hayley's torturous 24 hours as an initial mystery that sinks into the bones of the audience as the truth becomes clear.
This is an ambitious film, filming 48 scenes, 8 locations in 5 days. We are humbled to have an amazing, experienced and talented team, that are as eager as us to realise this project. Your generous contribution will go towards...
And finally Thank You!
Thank you so much for reading this far. Clicking on the 'Donate' or 'Select Reward' button, is making this film happen and we hope to meet you online or preferably in person to share the final film. And please keep visiting this page as we'll be sharing our progress with you along the way.
Another way to support the project is by spreading the word of the fundraiser. Please share the link far and wide on whichever is your favourite social media platform. Your support is invaluable!
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.
Emma, Mark & Reshma