We hope you enjoyed the trailer for our new film along with a few words from both myself (the Producer) and Leigh (the Director). Thank you for now delving a little deeper into what we are doing and why we need a little help to get over the finishing line and beyond!
Here you will find a little bit more about us. A few interviews with some of our wonderful cast, who have all been so generous with their time and commitment as well as, of course, their acting skills! Shortly we will also be adding some wise words from our amazing crew, who again have brought their skills to the forefront in the Presence of Snowgood.
You can find out about our nominated charity, Family Matters and Poppy Eyre, who is one of their Ambassadors.
There is a section at the end outlining what we need extra funds for and how it will help us to promote the film.
For those of you wishing to pledge to help us with this project the rewards page shows how we in turn can thank you for your pledge and hopefully see you at the film's private viewing in December.
Thank you so much for reading this far!
First up is a clip of the Cast Members talking about their involvement in the film
We are proud supporters of the charity Family Matters. Donations will be accepted at the Private Viewing for our nominated charity - Family Matters:
A little more background on the Screenwriter/Producer and Director
Neill McKenzie: Writer and Producer
A Wine Merchant for the best part of 35 years until last year, I gave up slurping wine for a living to spend more time writing and acting. Having acted in film and on stage as a youngster, with parents both in the industry, I reignited my interest about 10 years ago by helping to set up and acting in a small theatre group, The Very Merry Roosters. Along with a bit of acting work with small indie film companies, some voice over and the yearly Panto, a screenplay was something I had always wanted to do. When Leigh Tarrant, the Director, asked me to write a sequel to his last film, ‘A Curious Tale’, released in 2021, a classic ghost story set in the heart of the Sussex countryside, little did I realize what was entailed when he then asked if I would like to produce it…’Oh and by the way…let’s make it a full length feature film!’...a few (more) grey hairs later, I think we are about there, with filming well over half way completed.
We find our main protagonist - John Knightly - a year on from the previous film, in the same deadly village, Snowgood, whose residents, alive or dead, will stop at nothing to protect what they feel should belong to them. More of a psychological supernatural thriller than a full-blown horror, the story twists and turns with many plot lines that keep you guessing to the end. There is none of the graphic violence one so often sees, using the power of suggestion and suspense with one or two grizzly scenes thrown in for good measure, giving, I hope, an overall spine-tingling experience.
I very much wanted to keep this story as fast moving as possible, but at the same time allowing Leigh to use the magic of cinematography to bring the whole film to life and build on the suspense and chill factor. We wanted some bad weather for some of the atmospheric outdoor scenes and were not disappointed with what we got…..perhaps we should be shooting ‘Noahs Ark 2’…..good old British weather! The film aims to appeal to those who want a good storyline, believable characters (the sort who might live next door…there’s a thought!) with a visual and audio feast of camerawork and music.
Apart from the celebrity appearance of the wonderful Caroline Munro, along with the talented Sarah Maur Ward (2019 'Best Actress in an Independent Film', New York Film Award winner), all the cast are local acting enthusiasts and young actors who we hope one day will make their way in stage and film. Using local talent and filming in fabulous local locations, such as Arlington and Peacehaven in Sussex and Bewl Water in Kent, really helps to wave the flag for the small independent film making industry, which is what both Leigh and I hope to achieve. I'm also one the cast as well, as the retired doctor and have thoroughly enjoyed acting along side my son, Ewan….anyway enough of me…over to Leigh….
Neill & Caroline Munro Leigh & Neill Ian & Leigh
Leigh Tarrant: Director
From the early days of studying at Mountview Theatre School in London, coupled with playing bass guitar for a few local North London bands of the day, I decided to change direction and join an advertising agency to learn the art of editing. I was later fortunate to get an outlet to work for one of London’s leading advertising agencies (running an in-house video facility) essentially editing TV commercials. From there I moved into film making and took the opportunity to further enhance my media skills to make corporate films for such clients as Honda, Pepsi, GSK, Sainsburys and Volvo. As well as learning the craft of editing, I developed my understanding of camerawork and all aspects of putting documentaries together for our in-house clients. Eventually the time felt right to set up my own facility where it is possible to encompass a broader spectrum of media projects away from what agency life could offer. Here we are now some several years later with more recent work being for music artists, it was nice to once again move into a different genre of film making, the movies. Post Covid has allowed more time to develop my own ideas and in conjunction with other actors and industry professionals alike we've come full circle to put together an original story and actually get to make an original film. My directorial skills along with my camera and editing techniques now lend themselves into yet another genre. It's really exciting to be a part of this creative process which we hope will gather popular attention on all platforms internationally. One hopes that this film will be of great achievement and will forever set a legacy in the plethora of the film industry.
The technical stuff:
As Director, the filming process is proving enjoyable but with the usual challenges. The sweeping shores of the Sussex coast, along with various woodland areas, a local churchyard and carefully chosen interiors provide wonderful settings for our story.
The scenes are being shot using a complete film crew of cameramen and women, sound technician, makeup artist, continuity, along with other various crew members all helping as required. We wanted to use local aspiring film makers from the very young through to the more experienced.
Local composer Jeff Crampton has been given the task of completing the film’s music score, including a newly written piece for the film’s main theme, something orchestral and melodic in keeping with a typical ghostly film style. Some added eerie string arrangements, disturbing chants and numerous other short passages of music were also written that could be textured into the final cut. Jeff's work has once again proved outstanding and compliments all the visuals in the style which is so vitally important for any fine feature.
A cinematic style in keeping with influences from some of the cinema greats can’t be ignored, film makers such as Hitchcock, Allan Poe and Coen Brothers spring to mind. The aim is to leave the viewer feeling in distress for our protagonist and in need of constant comfort and safety, to which he never seems to get. I wanted to create a bleak, disturbing atmosphere, a ‘film noir’ look, a ghost story with tension, pace and style. Something I hope the viewer will feel they’ve been on a journey with into the creepy world of a local East Sussex community in the fictitious town of Snowgood, never knowing who is who, and whom exactly to trust. Lots of twists and turns.
The Future - A Private Viewing, a Charity and Distribution:
After an initial cinema release on the festival circuit in the UK, we are hoping to get the film seen in as many countries as possible with a view to launching the film across streaming services. As with 'A Curious Tale', we hope the movie is well received and appreciated for the art of film making and to show just what can be achieved on a limited budget.
We both hope that as a sponsor you will be able to join us at the Private Viewing on 9th December at the Hailsham Pavilion. You will receive details about the viewing in early November.
All donations made at the Private Viewing will go to Family Matters who ‘The Presence of Snowgood’ is proudly supporting.
Why we need your help:
In order to complete the film to the standard we feel it deserves, we need your help. We have already spent a fair chunk of money in getting the film to its current stage of production, but with our budget tank now running on empty, we need a cash injection to not only help us finish the film, but also handle post production costs and to help market and distribute our work.
£15,000 allows us to not only take care of the final mounting production costs, but to package the film for release. If we are able to raise more than this, it will allow us to really promote the film with a wider distribution and will facilitate entering film festivals and other such promotional platforms. More than anything else, it will mean that we can complete a project that will be a showcase for local talent in front of and behind the camera and show that independent small budget film making is alive and kicking!
Any sum you can pledge, large or small, means so much for us and will mean you will be part of what we are doing. Even if you do not want to pledge, you could still help us by spreading the word on our Instagram and Facebook sites and by good old 'word of mouth'!.....Thank you.
The Financials - for those interested:
£15,000 cash injection with breakdown of use for ‘The Presence of Snowgood’:
£1,250 - remaining filming to complete, including location facilities, catering and prop hire.
£750 - remaining location hire to cover.
£500 - general costs for remaining filming including Makeup artists, film equipment hire and cast and crew expenses.
£2,500 - post production editing.
£7,000 - initial budget for film festival promotion, marketing and promotion with film agents, TV and digital platforms as well as general distribution.
£3,000 - Private viewing costs including merchandising, marketing and running of two showings with sponsors, press, cast, crew, families and select audience.
Any additional money raised will go towards the budget for wider global distribution of the film.
Finally, if you have got this far and kindly pledged to our project, or even just acknowledged what we have done and have help spread the word...THANK YOU.
For further info about the film and how you might be able to help us further, please contact Neill McKenzie at: [email protected]