What's the story?
When a non-believer is pushed down a slippery slope towards the breaking point, is there any way back when things get this dark?
True Believers is the story of Martin Morgan, an underachieving nobody living in London. His life is flipped upside down when celebrity prophet Darius arrives in the U.K and announces that Martin will die within the fortnight. Darius has a history of being correct and has built up a huge far right religious fan base, but the rest of the world, including Martin, think he's a fraud.
Step in Martin's devout Christian fianceé Hannah, who cannot ignore the prophecy so easily and desperately begs Martin to flee the city. Martin becomes increasingly unhinged as his relationship with Hannah breaks down and fans of Darius threaten him every night. Can he make it through the next two weeks?
Johnny is an East 15 Trained Actor and University of East London graduate, with appearances in Colourhouse Theatre productions of Snow White and Rapunzel. He'll be playing our tortured lead Martin Morgan and showed he can play the fierce denial and resistance that Martin struggles with over the course of the film. He's also an all round lovely guy. Headshot by Aslam Husain
Tess is a London-based actor, recently having completed an MA in Acting at East 15. One of her highlights of her career so far has been working on A Midsummer Night's Dream with a cast drawn from the RSC. Other great moments have included site-specific theatre through the Barbican and performing new writing at the Park Theatre. She has also had opportunities to act for camera - most notably, she appeared in a short film which won a national ITN competition. She plays the second lead in our film Hannah Baker, who desperately tries to convince her fianceé Martin to leave the city and save him from Darius's prophecy. She has a strong moral compass shaped by her faith, but struggles to get Martin to believe in her. Tess fits my original character breakdown of Hannah brilliantly and I have no doubt she'll be able to show this on screen. Headshot by Marta Pequeño
Aaron is a great guy, nothing like the sort of person who would prophesise the death of some random person they don't even know. Thats why he's playing the role of Darius, the film's mysterious antagonist who swoops into the UK and turns Martin's life on its head. He describes himself as a creative, expressive person, driven to find an outlet with a professional background in I.T but has always sought opportunities to put himself out there. Over the years, he has tried his hand at stand-up comedy (for which he was occasionally paid), sketch comedy, improv and, latterly, radio presenting (again, occasionally paid). He has also had opportunities, from time to time, to act, which is something he always comes back to. He's keen to further his acting experience, learn, hone his skills, and always to create something new. Headshot by Nicholas Dawkes Photography
Ian Kirkup - Writer and Director
I'm a writer and director that enjoys the entire process of making a film and telling a story. During three years at university I aimed to become a good editor, but I've also really enjoyed getting to write and direct three short film dramas. I love the feeling of being on set and working with a good team. I'm hoping to tell a good, wacky, Black Mirror style story in True Believers and make it my best film yet, but I can't do it without our amazing crew who are doing most of the work!
Jake de la Mothe - Director of Photography
Jake is a young and passionate creator who is always looking for new opportunities to make his mark. Working for the last two years he's explored explored all aspects of filmmaking, from start to finish. As the DoP he hopes to create a visually striking piece, exploring colour and composition.
Kitt Hytch - Editor and Sound Recordist
Kitt is a filmmaker that has been studying for over 5 years in film. She won best audio visual editing City College in 2015 and was drawn to this project after working with Ian before and his stories are already wacky and creative and they are the best projects to work on.
Bradley Baterip - Producer
Bradley is in charge of the production, making sure we have everything we need when we need it. He wants to get into producing as a full time job and has been an immense help in organising the project. He's also written and directed three films at university including A Hard Place, The Routine and Tag.
Kerr Matheson - 1st Assistant Director
Kerr is our resident Scotsman and 1st AD, helping out with auditions and providing immense amounts of moral support. He's a new student at London South Bank University and recently directed Hidden Knees, a great 90 second comedy short.
Matt Stepton - 1st Assistant Camera
Matt is an aspiring DoP/director and has worked on various university projects including An Eternal Love and An Autistic Romance.
Why we're making it
Martin goes from a stubborn non-believer to an isolated, broken man who believes that violence is the only way out. In writing the script, this began to feel similar to the stories of homegrown terrorists and how they became radicalised into commiting terrible attacks. But why do another story of Islamic extremists? Why not set it in our current world of terror and swap the religions and ethnicities involved and see how things might be different or just the same?
How you can help us
Your money will helps us pay for the biggest expenses of our project
- Locations. We'll be film for 3-4 days in a house which will cost us around £75 per night
- Food and travel. With a cast and crew of 9, plus any extras we may use, there will be shooting days where we will need to cover the costs of 10+ people surviving in London, which will be around £100 each day
- Festival submissions. We want to give this film the best chance of success and for that we need to be able to send it to as many festivals as possible. These can be free, others can cost anywhere between £10-£50.
- Art design. We want to build the world of the film and make it look believable, for this we need a good supply of props, costumes and makeup.
All this will help make the film the best it can be, and ensure that we are all working well, letting our creativity flow without being burdened by the worries of how much it will all cost!