Twenty-four-year-old Bonnie Elroy has lived at Elroy farm her whole life and never really felt the need, nor the desire to leave. She's always been proud of the family business she and her mother have run - it's a humble living they make, but enough for the essentials.
She was only fifteen when her father Martin left and it tore the family apart, leaving her and her mother alone to work on the family farm. Nine years later, after Bonnie's mother goes missing, Martin returns unexpectedly to discuss the future of the property and land, and to be with his grieving daughter.
The Meadows is a short thriller film exploring social isolation, parental abandonment and mistrust of intentions.
The Meadows explores the effects and reality of living in extreme social isolation. The locations we’re looking at are largely open fields and for internal shots, obsessively clean and minimalist rooms.
The feel of 'The Meadows' is going to be predominantly the eerie uneasiness one develops when left alone in a vast and off-putting landscape. The total isolation of the characters being surrounded by nothing but slushy terrain, ugly nature and old, run-down farmhouses is a feeling we will very much be attempting to give to the audience. Alongside this, I will be dressing the interior sets to create a more horrific unease akin to films such as Goodnight Mommy (2014) and Signs (2002). Knives, rusty hooks hanging from chains and ropes hanging from beams in run-down barns will all come together to develop this. Creating a contrasting very tight space to the exteriors to assert the distinct lack of comfort and confidence Martin may have in these surroundings. A very muted colour scheme will be important to the sets and costumes with an emphasis on light blues, whites and greys for the exteriors and rusty browns, light greys and pitch black for the interiors.
The costumes of the characters have both been built to develop a little of their personality and motivations. The knitted grey turtleneck on Bonnie shows her rural leaning and need for comfort but also gives her somewhere to hide, as well as being fairly unassuming and believably the dress of someone innocent of any violence.
Martin’s costume is also of rural footing and pushes a father aesthetic and due to the many different connotations of “father” can be seen as comforting as well as off-putting and stern, highly conducive with the personality shift we’re planning.
The director and cinematographer will work together to visualise the conflict and story in the film. Shooting will be in a wide 21:9 aspect ratio to capture the vast, desolate landscape of Elroy farm and the lonely figure of Bonnie within it. A cool, steel blue colour palette will reflect the cold subject matter of the film, leveraging a flat dynamic range to reveal the secrets hiding in the shadows of the farm. The cinematographer will also make use of unconventional and harsh framing to dissect the reserved character of Bonnie and her turbulent relationship with Martin.
Who are we?
The crew behind The Meadows is a group of second-year Film and Moving Image Production students at Norwich University of the Arts.
A few of us have had to deal with becoming children of single parents and it isn’t a story that is often focused on. However, because we have been through it, we want to incorporate that part of us into the film, due to its relevance to the character.
We were drawn together to tell this story through a common love for thriller and mystery films, though we all have our own reasons. These reasons will come across as the personal marks each one of us will leave on the finished film.
How can you help?
We can’t do it without your help!
If you’ve gotten this far, and like what you hear, please consider donating or sharing.
We hope to, with your support, do justice to the story of The Meadows, pushing the production value sky-high. Any money you donate will be used for crucial aspects of production and distribution such as:
- Casting professional actors to play Martin and Bonnie
- Booking locations for the shoot
- Travel to and from shoots for the cast and crew
- Props and costumes
- Accommodation for the cast
- Film distribution
- Film festival entry fees
Should we pass our initial target of £1,000, we will reinvest it into bettering the above aspects.
Meet the Team
Mariel Ferrer | Director
My name is Mariel Ferrer and I'm the director of The Meadows. I've directed a few other short films and my vision for The Meadows is really strong. I'm looking forward to working with our amazing actors to tell this thrilling story and capture the intense emotions that can come out of social isolation.
Harry Bolam | Writer & Sound Recordist
My name is Harry Bolam and I am the writer for ‘The Meadows’ as well as the on-set sound recordist. I wanted to write ‘The Meadows’ as it was a story that I developed over time that has grown stronger and stronger each day. I wanted to create a script that could be turned into a gripping and exciting film that would entice viewers around the world and show how great student films can be.
Edward Starling | Producer
Greetings. My name is Edward Starling. I will be producing this exciting short film. I look forward to working with all of my talented colleagues, and my first producing role. I will push my team and myself to create a tense, edge of your seat thriller, which I hope you will enjoy: The Meadows.
Callum Howard | Cinematographer & Sound Designer
Hello and welcome to our crowdfunding campaign for The Meadows, my name is Callum Howard and I will be providing the cinematography for this amazing film. I am hugely excited to work with director Mariel to help articulate her ideas for this story visually and do justice to the brilliant script written by Harry. A passion for storytelling runs through my veins and I am humbled to be able to apply my skills to personify the character and conflict in this story.
Alfie Sewell | Production Designer
My name is Alfie Sewell and I am the Production Designer for our new film “The Meadows” and will be using all of my design and artistic experience and ability to create the most vivid and enthralling environment I can. This experience allows me to have a very strong foresight of how the space will look and how best to pull the audience into the gripping reality of “The Meadows”, alongside my very talented team.
Delfina Witkowska | Editor & Assistant Producer
Nice to meet you! My name is Delfina Witkowska and I'm the editor of The Meadows. I've edited short films before both in and out of university, most recently fiction and documentary films. My belief is that The Meadows can be made really strong using the edit, capturing the mood and representing each character accordingly using the speed and placement of cuts. The talented team behind The Meadows is one I’m incredibly excited to be a part of because I’m confident that we can work together to tell this story right.
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Thank you for taking the time to learn about our campaign and support us!