Hello Fellow Creatures!
It seems like an age since we finished shooting! We were so pleased with what we ‘got in the can’, what a luxury to have the equipment ... View update
FELLOW CREATURES* is a short dark comedy with an absurdist twist that seeks to explore the value of life, predetermination, and authorship of fate. It is a morality tale that illustrates our complicity in the suffering of others if we are given enough temptation for personal gain.
FELLOW CREATURES is the first project of our fledgling Production Company, THE SHOTLEY COLLECTIVE.
* Our working title Push The Button was also held by another project with some similar themes. So to be clear and differentiate ourselves entirely, we have taken the natural step to rename our film, Fellow Creatures.
Our world is in trauma, most of our usual activity has been stalled by a pandemic that has killed nearly half a million people, and left many more ill, confined and frightened. But it has also provided a brief respite for our choked planet. A pause for breath. And a chance to question our rapacious appetite for more.
Lockdown has brought out some of the best in communities; offers of aid, clapping for the NHS and a sense of solidarity and civic responsibility. But there is still so much division and injustice, so much that has to be recognised and changed. What kind of world do we want to rejoin?
Though FELLOW CREATURES is set outside of time, neither pre nor post this current crisis, perhaps the central moral dilemma is pertinent now more than ever.
TOM, a recently divorced weekend father, is juggling the dinner time of his 15 month old baby and the needs of his teenage daughter. The chime of the doorbell signals the arrival of an attractive stranger offering an envelope and an intriguing proposition - for £1,000, he merely has to decide whether or not to open it. Either way, THE STRANGER tells him, he will win the money. However it may contain a pathway to even greater riches. Or a nasty surprise.
How far will TOM go?
Our film dramatizes a philosophical conundrum (The Mandarin Paradox) that has been at the heart of controversial debates for years; how much is a single life worth? Using humour, compelling cinematography, cast and crew of well-established creatives, FELLOW CREATURES is playful yet packs a real punch, one that we hope will make an impact in people’s hearts and minds.
FELLOW CREATURES will be shot in one location, with two actors, in real time, and a small crew, therefore its production is well suited to a modest budget. In conjunction with our experienced and talented collaborators, we have every confidence in our ability to deliver a high-quality distinctive product.
In order for our short film to reach and impact as many people as possible, we want to create the highest calibre film that will appeal to audiences and festival-programmers alike. This means using quality crew, locations, and production design. Though working on a low-budget short is not the most lucrative for crews, in the current climate, we feel it is integral to be able to offer our crew a nominal fee for engagement. The budget will be spent on the following:
All production expenses, including:
- Crew and kit hire
- Location hire
- COVID-19 production safety equipment
- Colour Grade
- Sound Edit
- Soundtrack & Music Rights
With our new stretch goal we will be able to enhance the look and feel of our film in a number of ways:
- Hiring a Production Designer
- Steadicam shots
- Extra crew
- Prep days for our Heads of Department
- Committing to a 3 day shoot
All these things will stretch our budget to its limits. So with advice from the lovely people at Greenlit we have decided to extend our target to £8000 to incorporate our new stretch goal. This means we still have nearly two weeks to achieve this and make an even better film.
NOT MUCH TIME
We are looking to shoot 7th - 9th August. Having been in lockdown for so long we're desperate to get our creativity flowing again and have found this to be an ideal window of opportunity. We appreciate that this doesn’t give much time for crowdfunding. It's going to be quite a journey in a relatively short space of time, anything could happen. We'd like you to come on the journey with us. For exlcusive rewards and behind the scenes footage, make your pledge today!
Our collaboration goes deep. Jonathan and Jason appeared together in more than 3 series of BBC’s Casualty, starting way back in 1996 (their first TV gig!). Jamie and Jason appeared together in the TV series Waterloo Road and Agatha Raisin. And all three of us were involved in Jason’s directorial debut Le Petit Mort, a short film starring Jamie with music composed by Jonathan. Jason has appeared in two plays directed by Jamie.
As actors we have each at some point been on set and said “Surely we can do this?”. We may have even whispered, “better”. Well, now it’s time to show our cards.
THE TEAM (in alphabetical order)
SHELLEY CONN (Actress - THE STRANGER)
We are particularly excited to have the brilliant Shelley Conn confirmed as playing the role of THE STRANGER.
Shelley can most recently be seen starring in the second series of Liar for BBC/Sundance TV and she will next be seen The Irregulars for Netflix and The Deceived for Channel 5 and Virgin Media. Prior to this she was seen in The Rook for Starz, and Deep State for Endor and Epix. She was also one of the leads of the NBC series Heartbeat, Lifetime’s original series The Lottery, 24: Live Another Day for Fox and Terra Nova for Steven Spielberg. Amongst her many high-profile television projects in the UK are Mistresses, W1A, Party Animals, Strike Back, Marchlands (The Oaks), Dead Set, Back and Raw for RTE in Ireland.
Conn’s feature film credits include Charlie and the Chocolate Factory opposite Johnny Depp, the James L. Brooks’ film How Do You Know, Nina’s Heavenly Delights and Love Sarah. Conn was featured in Variety as one of the Top 10 Faces to Watch on TV.
On stage Shelley was most recently seen starring in The Doctor by Robert Icke which has just completed performances at the 2020 Adelaide Festival and was due to transfer to the West End in April however due to Covid-19 this was unfortunately put on hold. Other notable stage credits for Conn are multiple seasons at the Royal Shakespeare Company including The Roman Actor, The Island Princess and All’s Well That Ends Well. She played the lead in Contact Theatre, Manchester’s production of An Unsuitable Girl. Other credits include The Vagina Monologues (Royal Festival Hall), Miss Julie (Tara Arts) and Muslim Voices written and directed by Nina Raine (Royal Court).
JAMIE GLOVER (co-director)
Jamie has been an actor and a director for nearly three decades. He recently played Harry Potter in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in the West End and has appeared in leading roles in theatres all across the country, from the RSC to the Donmar Warehouse; the Sheffield Crucible to the Royal Exchange in Manchester. He has appeared extensively on television and on film, including Waterloo Road and Agatha Raisin, both alongside Jason. In fact, Jamie and Jason have a long collaborative, creative relationship. Jamie appeared in Le Petit Mort, a short written and directed by Jason, and has directed him twice in the theatre, in a national tour of Measure for Measure, and Five Finger Exercise at The Coronet. Other directing credits include The Dumb Waiter at the Print Room (Offie nomination for best director) and Miss Julie and Black Comedy at the Chichester Festival Theatre.
JONATHAN KERRIGAN (Writer/ Composer/TOM)
Jonathan has been a professional actor for nearly 25 years. His career has mainly been in television playing series leads in Heartbeat, In The Club, Mersey beat and Casualty having appeared in multiple series of each. More recently he can be seen in Pandora for CW America. Theatre credits include Che Walker’s critically acclaimed Frontline at The Globe Theatre and the West End version of Sleuth. Jonathan composed and performed the title music for the TV series Merseybeat (BBC1). He has also composed commissioned pieces for documentaries such as BBC1’s Living Without A Memory, Eliminate the Yahoo (BBC4) and Batwomen of Panama (Fitz Productions US) and soundtracks for numerous short films including Salvage, To The Sea Again, The Other Side Of My Sleep, Charlie and Le Petit Mort directed by Jason Merrells starring Jamie Glover.
JASON MERRELLS (co-director)
Jason studied Fine Art/Related at University. Visual Art, writing & directing have always been part of his working practice, but he has worked primarily as an Actor for most of his career. Initially in fringe theatre, where he also wrote & devised shows, before getting his break on Casualty where he met Jonathan. After this, as well as being involved with fantastic theatres & companies like the RSC, the Glasgow Citizens, Plymouth, Sheffield Crucible, Manchester Home and Cheek by Jowl he was fortunate enough to be a part of many seminal, writer led drama productions on television including: Queer as Folk, Clocking Off, Cutting It & Waterloo Road where he met Jamie. Their collaboration - with Jonathan composing the music - resulted in the short film Le Petit Mort which had a festival run in New York and Strasbourg and led to Jason directing 6 eps of Scottish serial drama River City for BBC Scotland. He is currently in Agatha Raisin with Jamie which is in its 4th season.
He has also directed a music video Sign on, for the band Death to the Strange.
Jason’s novel When a Tree Falls will shortly be released online.
MARK BRENNAN (Producer)
Mark is a writer, producer and director who has been working in commerical, coporate and branded video for the last 13 years. He is also a filmmaker whose most recent short film, Squall, has just begun its run on the festival circuit and was funded here on Greenlit. His previous short film, Tea For Two, starring John Challis and Amanda Barrie, was selected by multiple film festivals including premiering a the Portland Film Festival in the US and screening at the BAFTA-qualiyfing Aesthetica Film Festival here in the UK. It was his experience traveling the film festival circuit with this film that inspired him to co-found the Exit 6 Film Festival, of which he is the director. Exit 6 Film Festival is now in its 5th year, screening short films selected from around the world and consistently listed on FilmFreeway's Top 100 Best Reviewed Film Festivals out of the 9K+ events they facilitate worldwide, including BAFTA and Oscar-qualifying festivals.
RICHARD MOTT (Director of Photography)
Richard’s features include The Corrupted and Pressure both directed by Ron Scalpello, and drama includes Intergalactic alongside director China Moo Young, the pilot for Ben Taylor’s Catastrophe and Him & Her S1 alongside director Richard Laxton.
EXAMPLES OF JASON MERRELLS' LINO PRINTS -
Available as part of the Associate Producer Reward. Yours will be of a still from the film plus an Associate Procucer credit which will appear on IMDB.
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Thanks once again to our incredible Supporters for all their kind donations which have gone towards further realising our film.
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