This summer, Bristol’s very own Drama Department on Cantock’s Close will be the location for an ambitious and exciting feature film by up-and-coming production company Third Eye Productions. Small and relatively young in the industry, Third Eye Productions is co-managed by three Bristol Undergraduates: Misha Vertkin (Managing Director), Jennifer O’Leary (Producer) and Miriam Battye (Writer). They have already won awards from prestigious bodies such as the BFI’s Future Film Festival and Encounters Film Festival. The company, based in London and Bristol, seeks to promote and showcase the talents of other aspiring writers, directors, photographers and actors/actresses. Essentially wherever your interest lies, there’s an opportunity to get involved.
The Director, Misha Vertkin, has recently been accepted into the Director’s Guild of Great Britain, as well as recently being named in the Guardian as one of ‘Five To Watch’. He has four years of experience under his belt (having started writing films at 16), including working for the BBC, so he’s well-equipped to make a huge success of what appears to be a very ambitious project. The Duignan Fund, based in the University’s Drama Department, awards grants to undergraduate students wanting to create their own projects; it supports their ambitions and allows them to achieve what they otherwise could not afford to realise. It was the Duignan Fund that awarded a grant of £8,000 to Third Eye Productions in January of this year, a large proportion of the total budget that they hope to achieve.
It is important to note that this will not be a student film: it is being shot on a RED Epic Camera, a £70,000 piece of equipment, which Peter Jackson himself is using to shoot The Hobbit. On top of this, there will be a professional influence on production: overseeing the principal photography is Alys Rowe, the assistant camera to Andrew Lesnie, who was the Director of Photography on the famous trilogy The Lord of the Rings as well as King Kong. Due to the nature of the project, undergraduates who wish to get involved are being prioritized. Liam Healey, a third year Drama undergraduate, is taking the role of Director of Photography, but the tuition and direction from Ms. Rowe will be invaluable to any aspiring student film makers.
The film is set in a fictional world ruled by an oppressive dictator, in a situation reminiscent of George Orwell’s 1984. Going behind the curtains of a musical designed to glorify the tyrannical leader we see a major set piece completely destroyed in the opening scenes, ruining the entire musical. The preceding half-hour is then witnessed in real time from the perspectives of the four different protagonists. The true story of how creativity wilts and flourishes in this grim environment is then gradually unveiled. Once entered, the theatre is not left for the duration of the film, this gives it an overcrowded, claustrophobic and repressed feel. It is a darkly comic tale aimed to appeal to a wide and varied demographic, and will be shot almost entirely within the Drama building of the University – a wonderfully sprawling location with many facets and aesthetic gems.
Shooting will begin on the 1st July 2012 and will continue for a month. However, even if you are not available for the entire month, Third Eye still wants you to be involved. With a relatively low budget – £100,000 usually being considered a “no-budget feature” in the industry – there is a lot of scope for your interest. For the creatively-able: the entire set will have to be created from scratch; propaganda for the fictional country will have to be designed; elaborate costumes will be constructed and the list goes on. On the other hand, if you’re more technically interested then there are plenty of roles in the Camera, Grip and Sound departments, as well as a core team of producers to help plan the logistics of this massive feature. Of course, a cast will need to be assembled: actors, actresses, dancers and singers should all apply. Don’t be put off if you’re lacking professional experience though because this project is all about showcasing ambitious raw talent and it could even be the break you need. Don’t worry if you’re not doing a related course as there are a range of undergraduate disciplines involved including Economics and Veterinary Sciences. Be a part of the 100 people needed to make this idea a reality.
There will be workshops for those wanting to act and be part of the production team with auditions taking place at the end of March. For all the pre-production roles, involved in designing the fictional world, Third Eye Productions needs you now! Don’t miss out on what is guaranteed to be an amazing experience that could change the course of your life.
To find out more information on the film and its progress, visit www.briefintermission.com.
If you want to get involved then contact Jennifer O’Leary (firstname.lastname@example.org).
For more information on Third Eye Productions, visit www.third-eye-productions.co.uk