Skint is a stark social realist drama following a debt collector as he falls victim to the system he works for as he attempts to protect his family from the consequences of his debt. The film is rooted in the national debt crisis gripping the UK and highlights the claustrophobia that debt inflicts upon people as every day is spent worrying about the next bill coming through the letterbox.
Nick Towley, a debt collector and protagonist of Skint, earns his paycheck by going from house to house taking people’s personal possessions to cover their debt. With work being slow recently and with the build up of a number of ‘Buy Now Pay Later’ payments Nick has found his back against the wall. As the looming deadline of his next payment approaches and as he grows more and more desperate, he must decide whether or not to steal on the job to protect his family.
- 277 people a day are declared insolvent or bankrupt. This is equivalent to one person every 5 minutes 12 seconds.
- Around 9.45m (35%) households have no savings, while a further 2.97m (11%) have under £1,500.
- Citizens Advice Bureaux in England and Wales dealt with 4,563 new debt problems every day during October 2017.
Nick’s story is rooted in the current national debt epidemic straggling thousands of families across the UK every day. Debt has become interlaced with the monumental events in our lives; buying your first car, graduating from university, getting married and buying your first home are all almost impossible without loans. Skint is a story that tackles this epidemic from the perspective of someone who works as part of the system that they fall victim to. We are only a handful of the 1.8 million students in the UK accumulating tens of thousands of pounds of debt attending university. This is why we feel a strong connection with Nick’s struggle under the shadow of debt and feel compelled to bring it to life as it resonates with hundreds of thousands of people across the UK.
Our Cinematographer will focus on the suffocation that debt inflicts upon its victims, a core similarity that all our characters have in common. Generating a sense of claustrophobia and social disconnect by mixing shot types to build a textural quality as the film shifts from moments of calm to frantic action. The camera will cling to Nick during his work to isolate him in frame as he's left to cope with the lingering anxiety of his next payment.
James Potts - Writer & Director
James A. Potts is a Random Acts North and BFI Academy alumni from Newcastle Upon Tyne currently studying film production at the Bournemouth Film School. His work has tackled a range of contemporary issues spanning from under age drinking to ocean pollution and has featured in a number of festivals around the country including Newcastle Film Festival, North East Young Filmmaker Awards and Purbeck Film Festival. With a connection to the debt crisis through friends who have been affected badly through their encounters with Bailiffs and an ever increasing personal student debt accumulating while studying at university, James A. Potts is well suited to direct this film to highlight the human cost of the debt culture we now live in.
Jake Hunter - Producer
Jake been attached to Skint from its development, seeing it evolve and transform into an amazing piece of fictional storytelling. His drive for filmmaking started at the age of 15 when he undertook work experience on a number of commercials and a Film Four TV pilot, seeing how the different cogs of production turned and how stories are told on films. Since then, he's worked on a vast amount of short films and documentaries projects during his years at film school and is eager to work with a high talented crew that will all work towards a common vision and produce a dynamic film that challenges its audience's perception of debt and the social culture that surrounds it.
Getter Gilden - Co-Producer
Getter Gilden discovered the magic of film at an early age, making her first short film at 14. She began sticking her nose into the world of Estonian filmmaking, when interning at different production companies and undertaking courses at the local film university. Her previous work consists of projects that tackle social issues and she often chooses to take on ambitious projects, and has so far produced two graduation films for the Masters degree course as well as many smaller projects. Her go-Getter attitude and endless positivity are the driving force behind pushing every boundary of the realm of film producing.
Liam Todd - DOP
Liam is a passionate filmmaker with a great eye for detail, especially when it comes to composition and lighting. He has an extensive background in creating short films, through his freelance work, as well as throughout the four years he has spent at Bournemouth Film School. Liam understands that financial pressures affect a huge number of people and because of this, realises that emotions will run high in these situations. He will blend these feelings of our main character, Nick, to create fresh yet highly captivating images, through poetic cinematography.
Alex Antohe - Sound Designer
Alex is a 3rd year Bournemouth Film School student specialising in sound with an active interest in recreating atmospherically realistic soundscapes for film. His eclectic taste in cinema has helped him to embrace ideas and approaches to sound design that have always complemented the projects he’s been involved with. He joined the team of Skint inspired by the nature of the story and the aural possibilities it offers for portraying the culture of debt collecting in today's society.
Don McGregor - Editor
Don’s passion for filmmaking started 5 years ago, making films with his friends for college and in his own time. Intrigued by story and narrative he focused on writing and editing, experimenting with form and style, always striving to tell the best story he can. He has since worked on numerous projects, acquiring a range of knowledge, both technical and stylistic, and is excited to accumulate these skills to the emotion-based narrative that Skint offers.
Jay Westgate - Costume Designer
Jay specialises in Costume for Screen, something she’s incredibly passionate about and so, has worked on a variety of films over the past three years of her university career. Because of this, she enjoys all genres of costume and the challenges that come with researching them, especially to ensure accuracy within the little details. This, along with her eye for styling and colour, will give the costumes that edge when conveying the overbearing feeling of being in debt that is prominent in Skint.
Luke Rogers - Production Designer
Luke, has a keen interest in how applying both a sense of space and ambiance can be used to unknowingly guide you through a world. He’s excited to take onboard the challenge of Skint. Being a social realist drama it has all the potential to have a really meaningful message on how today's working class can struggle financially, promoting change. Artistically he will be looking to create a real world, that depicts the dark realities of one's own sensitivities and pride when pushed into a corner. Uncovering the truth of today’s hardships on both a personal and political level.
Joseph Cassidy - 1st Assistant Director
Joseph is a Royal Television Society Bursary Alumni, a title given to only 20 people each academic year across UK Universities. He has built up 5 years of experience both on set, from high end production dramas, and off set working for in house production companies both domestically and internationally. He was drawn to the script for its raw emotional intensity and gritty topic, and is excited to be part of the production team and help make Skint come alive.