A Satirical dive into the puppet world of fame and fandom. Does a cult in broad daylight become any less dangerous with its devotees on show?
Welcome to The Seven Signs Crowdfunder page! The Seven Signs is a fast-paced, darkly comedic short film that interrogates the ever morphing world of celebrity obsession. A twisted environment we have all seen (and many entered), our film encounters the bizarre sacrifices one makes to their chosen dictator juxtaposed against a criminal act, without an obvious criminal. Bouncing between two heated discussions, a drip-feed of confused fandom and police questioning is fed through intravenous fashion to unveil a devious truth. In seven unconscious actions, a group of ‘innocent fans’ show their true identity.
Like slamming a perfectly formed dessert into a chainsaw, our film draws new visions from the aesthetic wonders of Wes Anderson, Agnès Varda, and Alfred Hitchcock to name a few…. And then sets them on fire. With this film we aim to engage audiences on all levels through sound, sight and story. It is through our sheer passion to create, that we have come together to strive for a short-film worth both your engagement and ours.
To do this, we need your help.
Who we are:
Director: Thomas Bennett
My name is Thomas Bennett and I am directing this project. Living and shooting film in Leeds, I have previously written and directed theatre for the Edinburgh Fringe, as well self funding my own short films. Alongside me I have a fantastic team of filmmakers from all over the UK and Europe. The vision behind the project spawned as a group-lead discussion, a style of creation we aim to continue across all aspects of this film and a core message in the company helping us to make our film a reality, the National Youth Film Academy (NYFA).
The NYFA stands at the centre of our creation as it brought all of us together to design and shoot this short-film. We have all worked previously to different extents within the world of filmmaking, however this is a real chance for new, up-and-coming talent to create something of greater magnitude. Through the NYFA, your support and our own efforts, we aim to open our creative output to a wider audience than any of us have previously attained.
This is a fantastic opportunity for you to help the next generation of young filmmakers realise their potential.
Our wonderful team:
Producer: Sabrina Vitali
Hi I'm Sabrina, I'm 22 years old and I live in South London. I'm so excited to be the Producer on this exciting short film! I have a background in Speech and Drama and Musical Theatre, and I have performed at the Epsom Playhouse Theatre and ArtsEd. Now I'm really looking forward to working behind the scenes to bring this incredible film to life!
Assistant Director: Holly Mackinlay
I'm Holly, a writer and director from South London, with a background in theatre. I am very excited to be working on this project!
Writer: Hannah Adler
Hi I'm Hannah, a 24 year old screen writer from Manchester. I adore the screenwriting process. I've studied a Creative Writing Masters, worked as a young writer at Pentabus Theatre Company, and can't wait to share this story with you!
Cinematographer: Paula Osa
Originally from Estonia, I've lived in London for the last 5 years and I'm about to begin my studies in MA Cinematography at MetFilm School. I am working as a DOP for The 7 Signs; my previous work includes student productions and my own short film, 14B.
Film Crew: Charlotte Eldon
Hi I'm Charlotte, I'm a 22 year old freelance film maker from Bournemouth, I will be assisting as film crew on this short film. I have experience as an actor and crew on previous projects and have worked a fair few festivals as both camera operator and vision mixer. I'm really excited to be part of telling this awesome story.
Actor: Amelia Howe
Hi, I'm Amelia, I am a 20 year old actress from Surrey. I've worked on a variety of plays in my local theatre, multiple short films and worked as a professional scare actor at a scare maze in York. I've done a masterclass in screen acting at Pinewood Studios. I'm still new to the industry and can't wait to work on this film and then go on to start my course at East 15 Drama School.
Actor: Philip Stapleton-Povey
Hi I'm Phil, a 25 year old actor from Warrington. I am a second officer in the Merchant Navy with a degree in Nautical Science. This is my first acting project despite wanting to pursue a career in film for a long time.
Actor: Mona Najma
Hello, I'm Mona, 25 year old actor and filmmaker living in London. I've worked as an actor for several years on a variety of film, theatre, short film and art projects. More recently I have started to go into filmmaking and create some of my own productions, but this aspect is still fairly new to me! I'm really excited to see this project come to fruition.
Actor: Katie Brien
Hi I'm Katie and I'm a 21 year old actor from Swindon. I'm new to the industry as have only been acting for about one and a half years and have mainly been trained in theatre. This will be the first film I'll be working on!
Actor: Lamar Bernard
Hey there, I'm Lamar, I'm a 23 year old actor. I'm fairly new to this industry despite always having an interest in acting. This is the first film I have been involved in, with many more to come in the near future.
Actor: Louise Waller
Hi I'm Louise and I'm an actor and writer from Norfolk. I've been working in the industry for the last 5 years, with experience predominantly in stage and comedy.
Actor: Maria Balasoiu
Hi, I'm Maria, a 25 year old professionally trained actor, having graduated from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire with a BA degree in Acting in 2018. I've been in the industry for the past 5 years and played in numerous shows and films, including 2 stage productions at the Southwark Playhouse Theatre.
Actor: Michael Fantham
Hello, I’m Michael and I’m a 21 year old Theatre and Drama student from Cardiff! I’ve always tried to be involved in acting whether it's on stage or screen and have always had a dream of being able to make pieces of art that I can be proud of. I believe that this film is something I can be truly proud of!
Our Current Position:
The Seven Signs is currently deep in the realms of pre-production. Over the last month, our writer Hannah Adler has crafted a wonderful script of witty, satirical dialogue and striking imagery. It stands at the heart of the production having gone through copious revisions, group discussions and ultimately hard-work to make it the driving force this film needs. Our collective mission is now make that vision a reality. Locking-down locations, locating props, creating shot-lists, are just a few of the many pre-production jobs ahead of us. The largest factor and the key to how far we can go with filming this script lies within your trust in us to do so. Which leads on to:
Why We Need Your Help:
To transform The Seven Signs from its current position as a fantastic piece of new script writing into a short-film, unfortunately requires slightly more than sheer ambition on behalf of its crew. It requires support, financial and vocal. We are therefore asking for your help, by any of these means.
A more detailed breakdown of how your donations will be used can be seen below however we are aiming high with this production. Any aid you provide will be of great service to us, especially as we understand this is difficult time for many. From spending money to secure locations, to putting donations towards entering film festivals, every penny will be used in conjunction with our aim of creating a fantastic piece of cinema that can be seen by as large an audience as possible. Our goal of at least £3000 will help us greatly in our aim to achieve this. The more funding we receive, the better the production we can provide for you.
Here is an estimate of our budget breakdown that indicates both where our funding will be used, and how much we need to raise to make sure all of our costs are covered. What you might notice very quickly, is that our goal of £3000 could fall far short of what we need. The reason our goal therefore stands at £3000 is that we believe this is a goal we can certainly hit with your help. If we surpass this goal then no donation will be wasted. Our expenses are almost certain to be higher.
Impact of Covid-19:
The world has changed drastically with the onset of the global pandemic caused by COVID-19, and the film industry has not avoided this change. In many ways small scale film creation, such as our own, has borne the brunt of the damage. This has made our already difficult task of creating a film, somewhat more so (no-one on the team has met in person!) We have however adapted accordingly, in particular, video-calling has become invaluable to our process of filmmaking.
Once pre-production ends and production commences, we shall have to further adapt to any rules and regulations regarding the virus on set. We, like you, do not know what these new changes will be, however any donation you provide will help us to adapt with greater ease and speed to make our production successful. Our safety, the safety of staff, and the safety those around us on set is of utmost importance. Aid from this Crowdfunder will help to cover the cost of all changes we are forced to make that have been incurred by COVID-19.
Final Thank You:
Making a film is no easy business and for most, such an opportunity never arrises. We want to thank you for taking your time to engage with our project and put interest into our future creation. We really hope you can help us to achieve this, for even if you have no financial support to give, your vocal support and attention is still greatly appreciated. For a steady stream of updates, stay tuned to our Crowdfunder and our social media platforms.
Images subject to copyright via:
Robert Whitaker/Getty Images
Bob Daugherty / AP
The Voice: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Evnt5bS8k2Y&list=LLLPMLvCqCLIt50NxK2pVtBw&index=91>
GMTV Arhcive: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15lLEWBplqA>