This isn’t just a movie. It’s a project about transforming a community and lives through the making of a film*…
(* Which happens to be about transforming a community and lives through the making of a film). It's a story within a story.
Since Sept '22 we have been working with residents of Wythenshawe, Manchester to work on this amazing project - the end of which will result in the creation of a full-length feel-good comedy-drama feature film.
So How Does It Work?
Ordinarily the process of making a film involves bringing together a group of people in order to create a finished product. We’re turning that process on its head: creating a finished product as an excuse to bring together a group of people.
As the old cliche goes, it’s all about the journey...
The film itself aside, we hope that this project will inspire the community and forge stronger links and relationships. We hope that it will be a positive experience for all involved and grow self-esteem. We hope that it will inspire their own grassroots creativity, and give those involved a huge sense of achievement when they watch the film. (“I did that!”)
We also hope that it will bring positive PR & attention to the local area & businesses.
As for the film itself…
Well, initially there will be a ‘Silver Screen Dreams’ premiere event in the local community for all those who’ve been involved (with the obligatory popcorn and photos on the red carpet).
And then on to a wider audience…
Whilst the principal reason for making is not about finding critical acclaim or seeking fame & fortune, we still want it to be a great movie; a movie that will be enjoyed by and will inspire and encourage all those who watch it.
To that end the plan will be to enter the finished project into various film festivals nationally & internationally. We will be looking to secure a distribution deal for it. At the very least we will sell it on Amazon Prime. If there are any profits they will be put back into making films that bring hope and social change. We would also hope that this would lead towards more projects in the future.
There might also be a possibility of filming a documentary type film alongside this film within a film (making it a film within a film within a film!) recording community transformation as it happens.
So, how are we engaging with the local community?
Well there are several ways...
We have a core group of almost 20 participants from the Wythenshawe area - from a very broad range of ages, backgrounds & life experiences. Since September we’ve been training them every Thursday evening in all aspects of filmmaking, both in front and behind the camera.
As well as learning new skills, this journey has been about building teamwork and confidence - as well as having a lot of fun.
On the run up to Christmas, we created 3 short films together and are now busy getting geared up for the main project this summer!
When it comes to filming the main project we’re hoping to engage with the wider community too - getting them involved as extras, helping out behind-the-scenes, and using local locations.
We’re also hoping to engage with local businesses - featuring their premises in our finished film, and also creating shorty, quirky mini-adverts for them using our team. These will be released as part of a viral social media campaign in the build up to filming the main feature.
Our aim is that our hope-filled, feel-good film will create a buzz around the whole community.
And once we’ve finished? Well, we’re not intending to finish. This idea is growing and growing.
We’re hoping that this film project will be the first of many and will create a mini film industry in the area.
(the name might need a little work)
On another note…
We’re hoping that the training and experience we give to the people we’re working with will give them core team transferable skills which will serve them well beyond this project.