Having been inspired by Ingrid Verniger’s efforts in creating a feature film on a mega-micro-budget (they met during a workshop at the Bradford Film Festival in 2012) the director, Jon Rosling, set about creating the feature length script from ideas for five short monologues and raised the finance privately with the help of local community arts networks and Executive Producer and actor Aaron Jeffcoate.
According to the director:
Originally the project was meant to be a small scale affair, shot very quickly and for very little money, however as more and more named people became interested in it the scale of the production grew beyond what was originally envisaged. This was particularly the case when George Newton came on board – he brought several key actors and crew who were essential to the success on and off set. Filming commenced in late December 2012 throughout South Yorkshire and ran over three two-week blocks, with a week between each to allow the crew time to work their paid jobs. Filming completed on February the 8th with one or two pick up shots taken throughout the next few months.
The cast and crew all worked for a flat rate fee of £100 plus a percentage of the film’s profits. In that sense, and despite all the odds stacked against it, the project became a genuinely collaborative effort whilst at the same time was produced to the very highest production values for an incredibly small amount of money (the total production budget was under £3500, which a further £1500 to promote the film at festivals).
Synopsis: Shattered by the experience of war ex-soldier Darren finds himself back in England and disenfranchised by a society struggling to find an identity. His best friend Paul has moved away to university while his other friend Gary has joined the extremist ranks of the far right National Defence League. Even Paul’s teenage brother, Billy, is a changed character from the young boy Darren used to know, one who is now edging towards a mind-set of violence and hate as he comes of age.
Darren’s former girlfriend, Sophie, has also grown distant. She doesn’t want to know him despite his desperate determination to engage. Unknown to him her mind is pre-occupied with problems of her own – namely a secret one night stand with one of his best friends that has left her with a decision to make and a responsibility to face.
His only connection is with his estranged grandfather, Graham. However when Sophie is propositioned by a young Asian boy called Yusuf, Darren’s grip on sanity slips further and encouraged by Billy and Gary he heads towards punishing Yusuf for what he regards as a provocation.
After a violent confrontation the outcome of which exceeds the expectations of all his friends and drives him over the edge, Darren then discovers the truth behind Sophie’s secret – a secret that spells betrayal and a betrayal that will change all of their lives.
Five Pillars (UK)
Five Pillars (UK) will be screened at No/Gloss Film Festival 2014.