In a theatre, a play is carried out…
It’s the height of the 17th century British witch trials. As Phillipa, Marion and Sybil anxiously await their husbands’ return from a witch hunt, tensions begin to rise. Accusations fly and blood is spilled as it becomes apparent one of them isn’t as she appears.
Trust Thy Sister was born while writer/director Molly Wise studied the British Witch Trials of the 1600s; a bloody time in history that tore apart vulnerable rural communities.
Those who lacked influence were the most at risk from being labeled witch. Among the poor and the old, women were the obvious scape goats.
Our film explores the complex and toxic relationships that can form between women when they lack positions of power - comparing the journey of our three 17th century women with the modern day actors who play them.
We will show this through the lens of psychological folk horror.
Our film goes through three visual and narrative stages: before, during, and after the play. We start off with a surreal, poetic feeling and become gradually more grounded in reality as the film continues.
We will convey this through different methods: inclusion of signature colours; levels of warmth and cold; practical vs ambient lighting. The style which will remain consistent throughout the film will be the heavy shadows we use and the framing.
Below are the moodboards created by our Director of Photography to show the cinematography's progression throughout the film:
Our production design takes chief inspiration from 17th century paintings of rural homes. The stage design itself will be layered enough that we get a strong feeling for where the story takes place, but have the elegance and theatricality that we recognise in the theatre. Wicker baskets, beautifully carved wooden chairs and hanging bundles of herbs will build a picture of a rural England.
This will contrast with the more occult elements of design: a large demonic sigil painted on the floor, Marion's witch-finder journal, and an eerie poppet doll.
The theatre itself will have a character. Aspects of the play will spill all over the space. Backstage will be packed with costumes, set pieces and lamps while stray props from past plays will be placed on the seats. This will show the two worlds of our films bleeding into each other.
The costumes will change throughout the film, ranging from a classic 17th century outfit, to a surreal, dream-like creation. Below are the moodboards from our Costume Designer.
Our story includes three demons presented as animal-human hybrids: The Goat, The Rabbit and The Bear. Below is our concept art for the mask design.
The sound design of the Trust Thy Sister will aim to embody the distinct character of each of the film’s 3 chapters. Through sound effects, creative dialogue editing, and foley we will convey the tonal and spatial shifts that the story takes us through - from a surreal, ominous opening, through to pulling at the veil between the reality of the theatre and the 17th century world of witch trials that takes centre stage.
This exciting and dynamic film has been fueled by the wonderful creatives that have put work into it. Say hello to the people behind Trust Thy Sister…
Molly Wise - Writer/Director
"Obsessed with any story that is uncomfortable, impactful, and terrifying. I think everything you learn in life is useful, and this applies to the random college courses I took when my life didn't have a direction. Studying the European Witch Trials sparked a narrative in my mind that's been growing into this film ever since. I'm lucky to be surrounded by such creative individuals who will make this story their own."
Thomas Allen - Producer
Welcome to our crew Crowdfunder section. I’m Tom, the Producer of the project. I've a deep passion for cinema, and understanding for the various industry disciplines and steps of the filmmaking process. I have spent the last few years honing my craft; from my experience on my last short film, a 1950s Irish period piece named Baile, currently on the festival circuit, I believe I am experienced enough to assist in bringing the mature themes, complex concepts and stylised horror of Trust Thy Sister to life.
Walt Disney once purported that “We don’t make movies to make more money. We make money to make more movies” – so please, help us make money to make this movie.
Ruben Cleghorn - Director of Photography
Having come from a family of painters and sculptors I have always been surrounded with a deep appreciation for aesthetics and emotional content. The art of creating striking and impactful imagery through the power of camera and lens was my personal way of being visually creative and has lead me down the road of filmmaking. Since my first day on a film set witnessing DOP’s paint with light and shadow has always left me in awe. I have since worked in film in a huge variety of roles but still find my drive in making images that stun and communicate.
Joey Cleghorn - Production Designer
I am currently studying for a BA in Production Arts for Screen at UAL, at the Wimbledon campus and I am in my second year. I have always been passionate about drawing and art in general, particularly oil portraits. My interest in film and design was peaked after watching ‘2001 a Space Odessey’ in sixth form. I found it an extremely harrowing film and it allowed me to see the potential of movie making. After my A-Levels I found my place on my current course as well as an art foundation which I attended despite having a place on a BA arts course already. This year was extremely important for me making some close friends and discovering my visual interests and style. I also have a passion for life drawing, cycling and electronic music.
Marcia Gomes - Costume Designer
"As a Costume Designer I have always been passionate about film and drawn by the art of costume design and exploring characters through details of what they wear. I have moved from Portugal to the UK and graduated with a BA (Hons) Costume and Performance Design - Costume Design for Screen from AUB. Throughout my studies in University I have been designing and helping on different short films and live productions. I now work as a Costume Trainee in the Film industry.
‘Trust Thy Sister’ has drawn me by its interesting characters and psychological horror surrounding 17th century English witch trials. My aim is to creatively create silhouettes and textures and bring the Folk Horror aspect that will guide the audience from the Dream, the Inbetween and slowly take us to Reality. I am truly excited to help create this world with Molly the Director, where we get the audience's attention in a theatre play where the three women play a part on an anxiously witch hunt to the frightening appearance of the three demons: the Goat, The Rabbit and the Bear. I hope we are all able to frighten you a bit."
Poppy Stokes - Editor
"I am a filmmaker, photographer and editor who draws inspiration from horror and dark comedies. My interests curl around the monstrous-feminine character types and twisted stories that incorporate elements of folktales. Molly Wise is my partner in crime and I wholeheartedly believe in her vision and strengths as an artist. Our collective passion for intersectional female-lead stories is something I want to encourage all creators to explore."
Izzy Lambert-Stiles and Amy Marshall-Clerc from Syren Studios - Sound Design
Trust Thy Sister's sound design will be carried out by the creative minds that form Syren Studios: a female run, dynamic, post-production sound duo - aka Amy and Izzy. They have worked closely with Molly on her previous productions and are excited to see the theatrical world of Trust Thy Sister take shape under her direction. Izzy also has a close connection to the film, carrying out script editing and research during pre-production that has given her insights into its layered structure, which will influence Syren's sonic approach to what is grounded and surreal, period and present, theatre and film.
Jay Taylor - Composer
Donating to our project will ensure we can bring the story of Trust Thy Sister to life. There are so many moving parts involved in making a film - here is a list of some of the things your donation will go towards funding:
- Costumes for the cast
- Materials for set design
- Wages for the cast and crew
- Location fees
- Lunch for our hungry hungry team
- Materials for the complex demon masks
- Equipment hire - cameras/lights/lenses
- Sustainably sourced/made props
Indie productions bring something new to the film industry, which is what we are hoping to do with our work.
Your donation will ensure that we can create our film and enter it into the festival circuit, having it seen by thousands of people across the UK and internationally.