How difficult are broken things to mend? A rusty E-type can take an expert team a year to restore. Broken relationships, of course, can take even longer to rebuild.
Martin Reynolds, the estranged son of an elderly former racing driver, discovers his father’s classic Jaguar E-type thought lost 50 years ago. With his ailing father Archie now in his 80s, Martin knows time is running out to break bread with him.
A former racing driver, Archie is still haunted by the death of a teammate killed during a race in the 1960s. His stubborn nature coupled with symptoms of Parkinson's disease make the prospect of making amends with Martin seem more remote than ever...
57 - the number of racing drivers killed during Sir Jackie Stewart's 11 year career as a racing driver. The fictional Archie would have been a contemporary of his
BELOW - Storyboard of the special moment when Archie in confronted with his old E-type for the first time in decades
Hailing as he does from an analogue age, Archie views the trashy TV car show Martin presented as being as glossy and superficial as his son. So things aren't going to be easy.
After locating his Dad's E-type Martin sees in this rusty car an opportunity to set things right - restore the car, restore the relationship - and the drama stems from the way these two men struggle to reconnect over the Jaguar's rebuild.
Motor racing in the 1960s was exceptionally dangerous. Archie continues to suffer nightmares about the terrible crash that claimed his teammate's life, and Martin's efforts to rebuild their relationship are further frustrated by his refusal to open up about his past.
Only when father and son are prepared to reveal the secrets and lies that have drove them apart will they be ready to complete the restoration – in both senses of the word...
To find out if these two people can heal their divisions and get the E-type on the road, we need YOUR help to fund our brilliant film. And by doing so you'll become a part of the team!
WHY THIS STORY?
No matter what it is you set out to save, it takes time, dedication and effort to do so. In these divisive times we hope a film that shows it is almost never too late to rebuild things will be warmly received by audiences.
The Jaguar E-type is one of Britain's greatest post-war triumphs, and the key stages of a restoration offer exciting opportunities for a cinematic vision. We wish to bring this vividly to life. In so doing we will celebrate this beautiful car, and the skilled work involved in reviving them.
This is a story about characters first and foremost. We want to dramatise the tension between father and son, who have been separated by years of silence. We wish to explore the effects that a lingering trauma can have too, and the challenges Archie faces with his developing Parkinson's, which he is reluctant to discuss with his son.
At the end of the day, Martin just wants to take his Dad for a drive. Years of animosity and rust have rendered this near impossible. Yet he keeps trying. Such relationships should not be left to rust away.
2 - the number of years we'll have spent on this short film by the time it's completed
BELOW - Early storyboard showing Martin discovering his father's old E-type in a barn
WHAT'S THE MONEY FOR?
A film consists of almost as many moving parts as a car - and the components aren't free. Having gone to this much trouble to develop a story that is this involved and complex, it would be a great shame to just film it on a smartphone and consider that good enough.
Our film deserves to go to major film festivals where it will be seen on the big screen, and they expect a very high quality of filmmaking.
Along with travel, accommodation and insurance, the cast & crew need to be paid. They also need to be fed, so catering must be budgeted for too. And even though we anticipate much of the camera, lenses and lighting equipment can be sourced from our existing contacts, there's the chance this may need to be hired as well.
We guarantee that your pledges will be spent on the above, making the most dramatic and heartfelt short film there can be. We are grateful for every one.
We’re offering perks in return for your pledges!
These include a link to stream the film once it’s complete (or DVDs or Blu-rays), a calendar that will feature prominently in the film itself, a credit in the film, some exclusive E-type themed products not available in the shops, and for those who are feeling particularly generous, a Producer credit!
We guarantee that whatever you pledge will be spent on making this short. Yet if you can't donate you can still help us by sharing this campaign on social media.
Find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram & spread the word: @etypemovie
Should we reach our target our aim is to complete this film in the spring of 2020. As always in filmmaking, nothing is guaranteed and post-production can overrun. We will try our hardest to make sure this doesn't happen. It really does mean so much to us to have your backing!
6,500 - the minimum amount needed to make our film
Our short film will involve two main and two supporting cast members, to be filmed over 4 days in the autumn. By filming entirely on location, including at a Jaguar restoration workshop, we aim to provide an authentic and visually entertaining depiction of saving these beautiful cars.
A film is only as good as its script, and ours has undergone numerous drafts in order to make it as perfect as we can get it! It will attract excellent actors to play these complex and wonderful roles.
We've already filmed some restoration work at Eagle E-types, one of the most prestigious restoration companies in the world. Their specialized cars were featured on Top Gear twice, and they also supplied cars to the Hollywood movies Fast & Furious 6 and Kingsman: The Golden Circle! Some of the shots we filmed there are in our promotional video.
It seems only fitting given our film's story that two of the restoration companies that assisted us - Dase Engineering and Heynes Heritage - should be owned by a father & son team. We remain grateful for their help.
This won't be an easy production. We'll be using expensive cars, exclusive locations and we aim to shoot this ambitiously. This short has to look like a movie made on a much larger budget!
27 - the number of drafts our script has been through
BELOW - Close up of Archie's hand as he pats the bonnet of his old car
Archie is 80 with a body stooped by time. He has mild arthritis yet still insists on driving, though for how much longer Archie is not prepared to guess. He loves to tinker with his cars at his country house. Archie dresses like a gentleman, and he is a stubborn and determined individual, as a former racing driver would be. He is a haunted man, however, and continues to suffer vivid nightmares about his racing teammate killed some 50 years ago.
Until recently, Martin (50s), presented a TV car show that his Dad dismissed as tabloid telly. Martin worked hard on it and was bitterly disappointed when the show was axed. Described as a middle-aged man who tries hard to be trendy, Martin is the one who makes the effort to rebuild his relationship with his father...and the E-type along with it. He shares his father's stubbornness - he'll need to be in order to build bridges with him.
55 - the number of years it's been since Archie owned his E-type
The Jaguar E-type is one of the most iconic cars ever made. Launched at the Geneva Motor Show in 1961, it was ecstatically received. Renowned for its beauty, its curvy, streamlined shape make it among the most beautiful sports cars ever made.
Capable of reaching around 150mph, the E-type is considered to be one of the most pleasant sports cars to drive as well. A '60s icon, the car continues to be revered, with early Series I examples fetching hefty sums at auction. The car was current up until 1975, with the later Series III version featuring a V12 engine.
The Archie team can't wait to film one of these beautiful cars. It'll be a privilege. We plan to feature a Series I car in our short film; however we will be subject to whatever car(s) are available to hand at the time of filming!
72,500 - approximate number of E-types built
Hampshire-based director and co-writer Eben Skilleter is embarking on his seventh short film with Archie's Last Drive. His previous shorts have all been accepted at film festivals (winning 3 of them), and his aim with Archie is to create a more ambitious film than any he has previously attempted. His goal is to direct a feature film and he sees this short as vital in making this dream come about.
Screenwriter John Suriano is a native New Yorker living in England. John has written several screenplays and made numerous short films, and has attended the Cannes Film Festival to represent some of these films. John is now fully aware that they drive on the correct side of the road in England.
Producer Nidhi Gupta is a multi-award winning producer, previously funded by the Film London Calling and the Easter Edge Film Fund 2015 (Suburban Dracula dir. Kawita Sreen, starring Aaron Phagura) as well as the multi-international award-winning Astroturf (dir. James Uren, LSFF 2019 & Cambridge Film Festival 2018). Along with Archie, Nidhi has 2 feature films in development, and sponsors the Women of Watersprite prize, supporting emerging female filmmakers.
7 - the lucky number of short films that Archie's Last Drive will make for Eben
STRETCH TARGETS - 6,500 is essential, yet if we reach...
...8,000 we can hire more filmmaking kit and extra crew to make an even better film!
...10,000 it would enable us to film at an extra location or maybe even add another day's filming to further increase production value!
...more than the above amounts there's the possibility of having a full orchestral soundtrack, hiring a drone for filming, or other such luxuries!
1 - the number of chances we have at making this short!
Thank you so much for reading. If you've any questions please do contact us.
Pitch video credits:
Camera: Jon Collins (restoration scenes), Eben Skilleter
Executive Producer / AD: John Suriano
Editor: Luke Jones
Composer: Geoffrey Robinson
Sound Design / Mix: Eben Skilleter
Clint & Malcolm of Dase Engineering, without whom our pitch video would have been impossible to make
Paul Brace of Eagle E-types, again without whom our video would not exist
William & Jonathan Heynes of Heynes Heritage
Paul Skilleter for his incredible Jaguar knowledge
And Sue for the use of your barn!
N.B. - the E-type in our promo vid, 281 GOH, was not a barn-find car - it just filled in as such for the purposes of our film!
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