SteamWork Film is excited to be producing 'The Flock', building on the international festival success of the script, and is undertaking this crowdfunding campaign to raise the production budget for the film and to bring its followers with us on this incredible journey.
Set in the near future, 'The Flock' is a slow-burn, 15 minute horror film that honours the heightened tensions of that genre but with more emphasis on character and theme than blood and gore. The determined Isabel, mayor of a survivors township, takes off with her adoptive daughter, the semi-feral Vera, to search for her missing partner, Abel, who's been out in the wasteland scavenging. Following his trail, and avoiding the traps he's set to evade bandits, Isabel and Vera stumble across evidence that makes the apocalypse the least of their worries!
The film opens with Abel, an ex-army medic, crossing paths with Malcolm, a deranged and dangerous survivor, with his own warped vision of a post-apocalyptic world. Tracking Abel's movements, and facing the numerous threats of the wasteland, Isabel and Vera wind up at the factory where the trail goes cold. In the meantime, Abel's journey has taken a different route which leaves them all at the gates of an unexpected and deadly future.
As an introduction to the world of The Flock, we shot a 'prequel', called ‘Leaving Grateful’, in which the inciting incident occurs. Set some 8 years before ‘The Flock’, we're introduced to some key elements and characters as the 'apocalypse' sweeps across the world. Enjoy!
Okay, we admit it, we love a horror film. AND, we love a Western or two. The horror films we enjoy most are those that use horror as a wrapping on a mirror to humanity. George A Romero’s ‘Night of the Living Dead’ pointed a finger at consumerism, ‘Birdbox’ could conceivably be calling out Social Media, and the classic ‘Battle Royale’ highlights the pressures of education.
‘The Flock’ takes its lead from these types of stories, and swings a leg over the Western genre with its characters, settings and defining moments.
There are few things more terrifying than a confrontation with an unreasoning foe. A virus, a scared and hungry wild animal, a deranged idealist. Around the world right now we’re seeing all of these. And they’re all human. We’ve had two World Wars, and countless others, which should have been chance enough to learn some lessons. But we didn’t. ‘The Flock’ was written in response to global events where one group of humans enacted atrocities on another to create a world with no recourse to the law.
Why this story, and why now? As Mark Twain once said, “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect.” We hope the film will give rise to some reflection.
Creating this conflict and ramping up the stakes in a short film wouldn’t be easy. So we took a microcosm of that world and embodied the opposing ideologies in a small number of people rather than whole populations (that would need a much bigger budget!). The setting would be important and needed to be appropriate to the story. And then we saw this picture-
We don’t know who created it (if anyone can tell us we'd like to credit the artist) but it it set our minds racing. A seemingly well dressed man sits amongst the rubble of civilisation, looking out over what we have done. The post-apocalypse!
However, we also see the film in terms of a Western, an industrial Western to coin a phrase. Lacking the sweeping vistas of Wyoming or Arizona, we're using the uniquely British backdrops of old industry and moorland. These elements sit well with the gritty visual style of the film, more akin to Sergio Leone and Sam Peckinpah than the clean, bloodless Westerns of the 50's and early '60's. Shots of lyrical landscapes and impersonal industrial facades are interspersed with bursts of violence appropriate to the post-apocalyptic setting, and the story takes a measured approach to developing a singular vision of survival, faith and determination in the wasteland that Britain has become.
During the course of the story, themes of belonging, belief and betrayal are explored, culminating in a revelation that the apocalypse was just the beginning!
Writer/Director- Andrew Griffin
Andrew 'Griff' Griffin, a member of filmmaking collective SteamWork Film, has been making short films since 2010 when a friend asked him to act as cameraman on the short film 'Heistmeister'. Sitting in a supermarket trolley to shoot dolly scenes was all the catalyst needed to fire up the filmmaking engine and, since then, Andrew has written and directed several award winning projects. The script for ‘The Flock’ has won four awards internationally, the most recent being the 2019 Special Jury Prize at the Barcelona International Film Festival. ‘The Flock' is his most ambitious and complex film to date, requiring multiple locations and a cast of thousands. Well, at least a couple of dozen!
'Isabel'/Producer- Francesca L White
Francesca is an accomplished and award winning actress whose roles span the gamut of genres; from horror to action, and romance to drama. Her skills extend to martial arts and weapons, which make her eminently suitable for the role of ‘Isabel' and supports the character's backstory of war correspondent and journalist. Isabel's understanding of conflict allows her to escape a panicked London and lead a group of survivors to establish a safe haven, a township called Grateful. It's here she meets Abel and Vera, and their post-apocalyptic family is brought together.
Francesca has also helped produce a number of films, including ‘A Welcoming Place’ and 'Bewteen The Divide', the experience of which she brings to the making of 'The Flock’.
Director Of Photography - Alex Powell
Alex is a key member of SteamWork Film, bringing with him a wealth of cinematography experience in both commercial and narrative work. Known for his keen sense of story and able to support key moments in the film with additional cutaways, Alex works with sense a of calm that extends to the rest of the cast and crew. With so many extras required on the set of ‘The Flock’, calm will be in high demand.
Head of Make Up and SFX- Mike Peel
This where we get to say 'THE Mike Peel'! Mike is head honcho at Rogue Creations SFX and has done literally everything. He's worked on blockbusters like 'Harry Potter' and 'Casino Royale' and a variety of other features such as the indie hit 'The Descent' by Neil Marshall. Given the enormity of the special make up task ahead, we're incredibly grateful that Mike has agreed to join the project. (Betty The Stiff, who appears in the opening scene of 'The Flock', is one of Mike's long suffering friends. Sorry, prop, not friend).
Associate Producer- Andy Weltch
Andy is a PR and media powerhouse and joins the project as we shift into campaign mode. Running his own PR company, Weltch Media, for many years, Andy has helped a number of productions from concept to completion, including ‘Cops and Monsters’ TV series, ‘Slasher House 2’ and short film ‘Mia’.
We're also blessed with huge talent in Production Design by Amanada Fullwood; Score by Jacob Stoney; Sound by Wayne Reay; and Editing by Nick Hamilton
'Abel'- Ben Manning
Ben is a seasoned actor with a penchant for horror, starring in indie hits such as 'Cleavers: Killer Clowns', Hangman' and 'The Snarling', which he also produced. Ben's gentle giant demeanour fits perfectly with 'Abel's back story as an army medic, caught up in the original outbreak of the virus that leads to the apocaclypse. Finding himself one of the 'immortals', Abel makes his way back through a devastated Britain to find his family, only to discover his niece, 'Vera', is the only one to survive. Taking responsibility for her continued survival, 'Abel' teaches 'Vera' all his medical and army skills, which prove useful in the story of 'The Flock'.
'Vera'- Tiana Rogers
Tiana has a strength and vitality that echoes within 'Vera' and brings a depth to her character. Tiana's experience with film is longer than her youth may suggest, appearing in the 'Slasher House' series of movies by Mycho Entertainment along with a slew of other shorts and features. Her roles within those films will help Tiana bring a sense of threat and severity to the role of 'Vera'.
"Malcolm' is a complex character and we want to make absolutely certain we cast the right actor in this role. Much of the story's conflict centres around Malcolm and his unique and twisted vision of what comes after the apocalypse. He's not a nice character but he's quite a cool villain.
How Will The Funds Be Used?
With that pie chart we're assuming folk will donate and support the film. But why should you? Well, if you're into dark dramas that have a message hidden in the fabric of the story, this is for you. Or if you like to watch a beautifully crafted horror film with some sizzling special effects, it's right up your street. Or if you just think the phrase 'industrial Western' sounds cool, welcome aboard. We'd like to think the film will fulfil all your expectations, but we really need your help to bring it to life.
We're hoping to raise £10,000 (or more, we're an optimistic bunch) that will go towards production costs of shooting the film. The actual cost will likely be higher and we'll continue to invest in it ourselves, but without your support and generosity this film won't see the light of a cinema projector. The funds raised will be a crucial component of the film's overall budget and will be used to elevate 'The Flock' to a truly cinematic experience on a short film scale. Every pound we raise will ultimately be seen on the screen; in detailed production design, costumes appropriate to the story, catering (we know it's the apocalypse but everyone needs feeding!), locations that are almost characters in their own right, and stunning SFX & make up that the story deserves. We would also like to pay our cast and crew something toward their time and effort. They're all in this project because they're passionate filmmakers and the story is what's pulled everyone together, but we're asking quite a lot and we'd like to reward that commitment.
Obviously, this film will not be made without that cash injection. However, if you also want to support the project in another way we'd certainly be grateful for any likes, shares and positive comments on any or all of our social media channels. And if you have any skills you think would be a benefit to the film, please don't hesitate to get in touch, maybe you'll be the key that unlocks the vault of success!
We think we have a cool set of rewards (over on the right, or right at the bottom if you're on a mobile device) and we hope there's something there for everyone who might consider pledging support in this way. However, if you think of something else that could entice you into the world of 'The Flock', please get in touch and maybe we can do something about it. And if you have any questions about anything listed there, drop us a line and we'll get back to you quickly.
Oh my! None of us want anything to go wrong with anything we ever do. But, as Robert Burns was heard to utter on occasion, "The best laid plans of mice and men, gang aft a-gley!" Things go wrong, sometimes badly, sometimes unnoticeably. However, the risks for The Flock are mostly financial (will we achieve the target?), or weather based (will the heavens open as we're shooting the outdoor scenes?). You lovely folk are in control of the first risk, and all we can do with the second is have Plan B. Which we're prepared for with alternative scenes, umbrellas, rain covers for the equipment and an indomitable spirit. There could be an instance where an actor has to pull out at the last minute (actual event in an earlier film), or a location is suddenly unavailable (also previously dealt with), but ultimately, filmmakers have to be ready to adapt to all sorts of issues and the team we've assembled has seen their fair share already. So although we can't say what our particular challenges will be, you can be certain we're expecting it.
If you've read this far, thank you very much indeed. We look forward to bringing this film into being and sharing it with you all, and please keep an eye out for all the updates to come. As we go through the campaign, we'll have more announcements to make and information to share. Flock on!
Ask the community
We're always on the lookout for props that can support the setting of the post-apocalypse. Big or small, if you have something that looks like it's been untouched for a number of years, rusty, faded, cracked and dirty etc, just let us know and well take a look. If we can, we'll arrange pick up and return (if return is required!). Thank you!
If you can help, please message Andrew Griffin directly.
- 3 Backers
- All or Nothing