Audre is 19 years old. And pregnant. In the 1950s, being a housewife isn't easy, but everything changes when the announcement of the new drug is brought to the TV screen of all mothers and mothers-to-be, the drug guarantees beauty for all unborn daughters - Tesoteramide!
Audre visits her local clinic with her mother to pick up the new untested drug. Audre’s trip to the clinic turns sour when she realises that Tesoteramide will completely change her daughter's appearance and that the side effects could seriously affect her.
The male Doctor at the clinic ignores Audre’s worry and sees her as a threat. A threat to his product, to his authority and as far as the Doctors were concerned his manhood! Audre is tormented by a surreal journey in the clinic, where she is pushed and crammed into a conforming corner.
POPPER is written, directed, and produced by a group of 4th-year film students and aspiring filmmakers, all hoping to use this film to show what we have learnt so far and put it to the test, proving what we can do. It’ll be the film we take away with us as we venture into the big bad film industry after university. With help from you, our supporter, we can use any money raised to help us make the best film possible to display what we have worked for over the past four years at university.
Why should you be interested in this project? Let our wonderful team tell you why!
Meet Bonnie, our writer/director on Popper!
She's passionate about creating short films in a diverse range of genres, from period dramas to zombie-slashers and documentaries.
Her writing focuses on strong female protagonists who command the screen and captivate an audience. Bonnie is inspired by Czech New Wave surrealism and is excited to incorporate that visual style into her work. Bonnie also specialises as an editor, most recently putting together the trailer for The Singer (2023), a Short Circuit Sharp Short.
"I am very excited to tell Audre’s story and to create a feminist film. For the story I am drawing on my own experience with medicine and doctors, as someone who has grown up with and continues to suffer from eczema, I feel failed by the medical industry. The feeling of not being heard by anyone despite screaming so very loudly is something I want to draw attention to. Audre does not want to take this drug and no matter how many times she raises concerns about the side effects of Tesoteramide, she is not listened to. So, I want to explore this crushing feeling of isolation and determination that I too feel."
Niamh West is an Irish writer and producer based in Scotland.
Niamh has founded FlowerPunk Films, a production company that celebrates and highlights female, femme, and queer stories. Niamh's work covers a range of genres and tones, from a coming-of-age story about Scottish teenagers to a workplace drama set in a mannequin delicatessen!
Niamh produced and wrote the award-winning short film HANGNAIL. The film premiered in May 2023 at Cannes AVIFF, winning Best Drama and later received an honourable mention at Women X Film Festival. Recently, the film has been shown at the Cinemagic Film Festival, where it won Best Drama, and also featured in the Irish Shorts program at the Belfast Film Festival. Since finishing the work on HANGNAIL, Niamh has gone on to produce Sons (2022) and Fed Happy (2023), and is now looking forward to her next project, Popper!
Meet our lovely cinematographer!
Jacob Gandy is a cinematographer hailing from Sheffield, based in Glasgow.
They largely work as a freelance filmmaker, shooting music videos and documentaries. They were shortlisted for Canon & CVP’s Stories in Motion cinematography competition.
They are passionate about creating images, the films of Edward Yang and long walks on the beach.
Meet our production designer, Juno!
Juno is a production designer and writer who has also worked with film festivals for the past seven years.
Last year, Juno served as the head production designer for graduation films. One of their notable projects is the short film "Care," directed by Jagoda Tlok, which screened at festivals such as the Edinburgh International Film Festival and Bolton Film Festival.
Currently, Juno is working on a diorama-animated documentary with director Alice Nelson, a process which has involved extensive research into the aesthetics of the 1950s and 1960s and a lot of set building.
They have worked with our director Bonnie before in production design roles, and they are thrilled to work together again to create a surreal world for Popper. This project is significant to them because of their personal experiences with psychosis and taking the wrong medications. They plan to use my experiences to inform and enhance the surreal elements of the production design in Popper."
Holly is a costume designer studying Performance costume at Edinburgh College of Art. She has previously designed for GMAC Little Pictures productions. One of her most recent projects was costuming the MA Western film ‘One Goes Astray’.
Holly is excited to work alongside Bonnie, with her expressive vision, in bringing the characters to life and creating a surreal, unnerving world through a controlled colour palette and stylised look.
Rowen is a Sound Recordist and Sound Designer with experience in working on funded short films and commercials.
He has collaborated with well-known production companies including Media Co-op, MTP, Freak Films, Mentorn Media for BBC, Sylph Productions for Disney and LS Productions for Short Circuit Sharp Shorts. Recently, he sound-designed a period drama which is now in the feature development stage.
Rowen is excited to create an unconventional and tactile soundscape for this surreal and emotionally charged project.
Alyssa, our editor on Popper!
Alyssa is a film editor based in Edinburgh who specializes in working on short films. Her work encompasses both fiction and documentary and includes a range of different genres such as drama, science fiction, and folk horror.
Alyssa often works on projects that feature feminist or queer stories, with an emphasis on depicting human experience. Her most recent project, "Care" (2023), is a short film about two carers who form a bond while navigating the deeply flawed private care system. This film has been shown in a number of festivals across the UK and Ireland.
Without you, this film would not be possible. And any form of support we are extremely grateful for. You - Our friends, family and supporters! THANK YOU!
To create the best film that we can, we are looking to raise money to help fund our project. With your help, we are hoping to raise £2800.
This is a student production, all crew are mucking in together and donating their free time to help create the film - a large portion of our budget will make sure they can get to and from set, and to provide them with a lovely warm lunch!
In addition to this, you might have noticed our film is set in the 50s! Our film relies on a lot of world-building - so a big portion will be spent on set dressing to help our audience time travel with us!
Any size of donation will help us out, and we are grateful for every single penny donated towards the film. A donation as small as £5 goes a long way, feeding one of the actors on set for the day!
However, we understand it is a difficult time at the moment, and it might be difficult to donate to the film. But you can help in many other ways!! We would even really appreciate a share on social media so that our film can reach larger audiences. Or if you don't use social media, just tell a friend, or people at work, or shout about it at the pub! Any kind of support is appreciated!
A big THANK YOU from the crew of Popper x
Or Email us at: [email protected]