If We Be Friends

by Lazy Bear Studios in United Kingdom

We did it
On 1st July 2021 we successfully raised £5,279 with 145 supporters in 32 days

A group of friends deal with old wounds and new situations in this coming-of-age dramedy with an air of mystery and a Shakespearean twist.

by Lazy Bear Studios in United Kingdom

 New stretch target

We intend to use any additional funds raised to help further the reach of If We Be Friends by submitting the film to international film festivals. We will also make a contribution from these additional funds to our chosen charity. 

  • Our Film 


Our film is a coming-of-age story about a group of friends who formed a close bond in school while staging a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  But times have changed, and the group have drifted significantly from each other in the years since.  When they are brought together again by the unexpected death of their former teacher, Miss J, the group must come to terms with their differences and their shared history as they try to decipher a mysterious set of clues left to them by Miss J in her will, leading them on a curious journey through the area around Greenwich Park.


If We Be Friends explores the relationships we have with our friends, grief, holding on and letting go, our relationship with the past and the future, finding perspective, and finding your way in life.  All this against the backdrop of a fairytale-esque journey through London’s green spaces, reflecting the characters’ shared experience by incorporating visual and thematic elements from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.


The Vision


We wanted to create a modern folk or fairytale, a coming-of-age story presented as an almost mystical journey through the spaces that reflect the characters and their inner thoughts, as they struggle with old wounds, relationships, the uncertainty of their own futures.  The influence of A Midsummer Night’s Dream can be found in our visual and narrative style.  We wanted to tread the line between fantasy and reality – life imitates art in our story, and the characters’ shared theatrical past exerts an influence on their present journey, which can be seen visually and narratively.

We also took inspiration from modern retellings of Shakespeare's work such as 10 Things I Hate About You (1999) as we wanted to bring those modern themes into the wonderful world and story of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.   We mean to make something a modern young audience can relate to, and many of the characters’ experiences are taken from our own experiences growing into adulthood.   We are also influenced by the tone of these modern adaptations and the original plays, dealing with profound topics but with some comedic elements.

We live in a world where many young people are struggling to find their way in life, especially after the effects of COVID-19, and we wanted to make a film that would be not only topical but optimistic, while at the same time offering a poignant portrayal of the struggles faced by many young people.

Production Design

Our film will incorporate elements of Shakespearean theatre within a modern aesthetic akin to young adult dramas such as Skins (2007-13) and the Shakespearean adaptation 10 Things I Hate About You (1999).   In addition to illustrations from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, we are taking inspiration from the works of Arthur Rackham, EH Sheppard and John Tenniel, whose styles evoke the fairytale feel we will present in our film.





Through cinematography, we hope to create intimate portraits of our characters and use the setting to reflect their internal states.




As well as visuals, we will make careful use of sound to create an ambient world for our film and our characters – watch this space!

The Cast and Crew 


Brought together by the powers of National Youth Film Academy and Zoom, the last several months have been an exciting high-speed rollercoaster. We have all connected and embraced one another's ideas to create this wonderful vision for our film based on our own personal and professional experiences, taking inspiration from Shakespeare's work along the way. 

How can you help?

By donating through our Crowdfunder page, you will be helping to bring our vision to life. As well as putting a huge smile on our faces. Below is a chart of our target budget showing how the funds will be spent: 1621626605_imagelikeembed.png

As a thank you from us to you, we have exclusive rewards on offer to you for your generosity. The amount that you donate corresponds directly with a reward that you will receive, which can be seen on our page and updated regularly. Every donation, no matter how small or large, will help to make this film as great as it can be. 

If you can't donate there are plenty of other ways to contribute and help our project. You can share our page and spread the word about our amazing journey and our film. 

Cast and Crew Bios 

Director - Bryn Jackson - Farrer: 

1621780128_47423009_497358640753245_1672908578043723776_n1.jpg "I’m a Scotland-based filmmaker with an interest in history and folklore.  My short films have won awards in local competitions, and I’ve also directed projects in live theatre and audio drama.  I’m excited to take things to the next level working with NYFA and our amazing cast and crew to bring If We Be Friends to life.

My aim as an artist is to tell the stories that connect people with each other and the places they live.  I enjoy creating sensory experiences, and I’m very interested in how perception works in cinema.  And with a particular interest in sound, I’m currently working on a number of experimental music projects.  I’ve also studied evolutionary biology and zoology and may or may not become a cryptid investigator in the future!" 

Producer - Harry Downing: 

1621780276_harry.jpeg"I have wanted to be a filmmaker since I was 13. I have a degree in Film from Bradford College. My final year film Thinking Back and short script Stay Indoors have won awards at international film festivals. I joined NYFA to gain industry experience and to meet creative people like me."

Assistant Director - Josephine Poole: 

1621780475_image.jpeg"I’m Josephine Poole (better known as Jo since my rebellious stage) and I’m an assistant director and artist from Chesterfield. I joined NYFA to discover other individuals who have a passion to create and tell stories!"

Writer - Tahlia Ribbons: 

1621882062_tahlia_ribbons_smaller_headshot.jpg"Hello! I’m Tal, and I’m from Leicestershire. While I have a passion for all areas of creativity, the power of words is something that has long fascinated me. As a writer, I cannot wait to be part of the process that brings the collective creativity of this talented team to life."

Cinematographer - Gabrielle Scobie: 

1621780808_7fac82de-5fbc-4f06-9686-054af1e95cdc_1_201_a.jpeg"I am currently studying at the Brighton Film School, with the goal of becoming a freelance Director of Photography. I am very excited to be part of NYFA as it brings together people from all over the country who are passionate about making films. In this short film, I am the DOP and Gaffer, ensuring that our actors are beautifully lit and filmed."

Sound Designer - Melissa Lamerton: 

1621780958_image0_(1).jpeg"I am a Hampshire based freelancer doing location sound recording, editing, mixing, foley, and sound design. Having developed a passion for the way audio and music can manipulate film and the viewer's perspectives, I am enjoying having the opportunity to create my own worlds, stories, and emotions through my own sound design."

Design Assistant - Amy Zimber: 

1621781190_headshottt.jpg"Coming from a fine art background this is my first experience working on a film. I’m super excited to see what I can bring to this production as I will be working on costume, make up and production design."

Camera Operator/Crew - Thomas Garvin: 

1621781465_screenshot_20210511_174156.jpg"Thomas J Garvin is a very eccentric person with hobbies ranging from climbing to filming, activism to gaming
His role is a camera man due to his ability to capture amazing angles and shots
He joined the Nyfa in hopes that he can create a film that can impact the minds and hearts of his viewers"

Camera Operator/Crew - Stephen Cefai: 

1621781592_stephen_.jpg"I'm an Adventurous, creative soul who's adaptable to any environment. I have worked in Animation as well as Live action. Crew member chosen to do Cinematography, Camera operations, and editing. I believe this entire experience will give me confidence and teamworking skills."

Camera Operator/Crew - Morgan Cutter: 

1621781790_morgan_2.jpg"Since I was young, I have always been interested in film. I love behind the scenes work and wish to be behind the camera. My role in this film is as a camera operator. I have spent years working with cameras in Photography classes, giving me an understanding of how a camera needs to operate. I am with NYFA because I believe it is the best way to connect and to build my ability to work as a team as I am very independent, however, I will have to adapt as communication is key."

Actor - Bethany Thompson: 

1621782010_bethany_thompson.jpg"My name is Bethany Thompson, I am a 21 year old actress from Berkshire. For me, art is something that has the ability to make an audience feel something; whether it be joy or even reflection, if I can be a part of something that has the power to make people feel, then I think as an actress, I have succeeded."

Actor - Brett Matthews: 

1621977603_brett.jpg"I always had an interest in acting but decided to focus more on my MMA training as "acting was a wild card"; however, I decided to take up acting classes and give it a go. I trained in local theatres and an online acting academy. I have joined NYFA to kickstart things off, meet more like minded people and make my film debut in an upcoming production."

Actor - Caroline Taylor: 

1621965209_image0.jpeg"As an actor, academic and full time Yorkshireman, I am excited to be working on a fiIm which indulges my love of modernising Shakespeare. Joining NYFA has enabled me to be part of creating a little slice of cinematic joy even in the most miserable of times. It has been thrilling!"

Actor - Alexander Riley: 

1621782479_img_3281_facetune_13-05-2021-22-02-03.jpg"I’m an actor on this course, I trained on a foundation acting course at Rose Bruford in Belfast. I’ve appeared in previous student films, and plays. I’m part of this project because I’m keen to meet new people, network and make films to inspire, educate and entertain people."

Actor - Genie-Jo Matheson: 

1621782696_headshot_.png"I enjoy a lot of creative outlets, but my love and passion for performing - I could only describe as instinctive. I am a performer through and through, having studied the artform of acting for as long as I can remember and falling madly in love with it along the way. To be able to perform in this project, let alone be involved at all is a fantastic opportunity and I am beyond excited to work with such talented individuals. Something that I particularly like about our film, is that each character has been created with a lot of thought put into their own individual stories and relationships within the group - which in my opinion complements the overall plot."

Actor - Charlie Morton: 

1621792201_compressed_hs.jpg"I'm Charlie Morton, a 23yr old Actor from Gloucester, living in London. I work in sales but acting is the passion and where my aspirations lie. Networking hasn't been the easiest thing, due to circumstances, which is why I moved to London and also joined the Set Ready course, to meet like-minded people and chase some dreams!"

Actor - Melina Grey: 

1621977713_1_smaller_melina_x.jpg"Hi, my name is Melina! I'm an actor and a musician from America, but now living and studying in London. Having already worked on a number of film projects, I'm looking forward to this journey with the National Youth Film Academy."

Actor - Leanne Hampshire: 

1621792241_img_1193.jpeg"Leanne Hampshire. 20. Yorkshire lass. Actor, bartender, and psychology student. As an actor, you very rarely get to be a part of the creating process so I’m a part of this project because it gives you the opportunity to be involved in the creative process and not just the filming process."

Actor - Joeseph Sear-Myles: 

1621783120_20210208_164941.jpg"Born, raised and living in London, previously studying at Chickenshed Theatre Company, and graduating from Middlesex University in 2019, I’ve found creating grounded characters the most rewarding when it comes to acting. I hope I can bring the experiences I have, into the NYFA to develop my process of creating authentic and relatable characters, while learning from others along the way too."

Actor - Matt Appleton: 

1621784763_dsc03344-edit.jpg"Matt Appleton - Actor. I’ve 11 years of theatre experience, training from 3 Drama Schools and have worked on many films. “If We Be Friends” gives me the chance to tell an authentic story that may even save a relationship or inspire an audience member to rekindle an old friendship"

Actor - William Skeet: 

1621783319_billy.jpg"I am a young Yorkshire actor/scripts written who has recently finished my third year of university studying Drama BA (hons). Within the project, I am taking the role of an actor and look forward to getting into the character development. I am with the NYFA to develop my skills as a screen actor and work towards creating a showreel for future employment. I am keen to learn more about the industry and look forward to getting the opportunity to work in a safe and new environment."

Actor - David Place: 

1621975835_smaller_david.jpg"My name is David Place I am 19 years of age. My hobbies are creating films and martial arts. My dream to create films that involve martial arts. I joined the NYFA to become an actor. I want to experience the film industry and the NYFA Set ready course is perfect for that."


If you have any questions or want to talk about our film and our journey, shoot us a message on our socials or email us at [email protected]!

From all of us at Lazy Bear Studios, we thank you for taking the time to read our story and we hope that you can be a part of it too. We'll keep in touch and hope to see you soon. 






This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£5 or more

Fuel our Cast and Crew for the Day

£5 or more donation will help fuel our cast and crew while on set through food and drink for a day on set. If you would like we'll also give you a shout-out on our social media sites as well.

£1 or more

Every Little Helps

A donation of £1 or more helps that little bit more that we may need to get a little closer to our target.

£10 or more

See the film early before its premiere

A donation of £10 will allow access to seeing the completed film before its premiere in October.

£15 or more

Digital Film Poster

For a donation of £15 or more, we will send you a digital copy of our film poster. The money will help to feed our cast and crew.

£25 or more

Digital Concept Artwork

For a Donation of £25 or more, you will receive digital copies of our artwork created by our team for the film's vision.

£50 or more

Q&A Session and Printed A4 Posters

For a donation of £50 or more, you will be invited to a Q&A session with our cast and crew, where you can meet us through a video call and meet us and ask us anything about ourselves or our production. As well as you will get an A4 printed poster sent to you.

£100 or more

Signed Poster and Virtual Set Tour

For a donation of £100 or more, you will get a signed printed poster of our film as well as a virtual tour of the set of the film and chat with our cast and crew.

£250 or more

1 of 5 claimed

Associate Producer Package

For those that donate £250 or more, they will get an associate producer credit for our film; attend our script read-through with the cast and crew through a video call, and finally a hardback novelization of our film's story.

£500 or more

1 of 2 claimed

Executive Producer Package

With a donation of £500 or more, you will have an executive producer credit for our film and get 2 tickets to the premiere of our film at the Odeon Cinema in Greenwich. You will get the VIP red carpet experience, meet all of us and see our film on the big screen.

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