Category Archives: Local Film

Crispy’s Curse Needs Your Help

Crispy’s Curse – By John Williams

Can you help local film maker John Williams with his new film Crispy’s Curse ?

Crispy’s Curse is a horror/Slasher/Comedy film by local film maker John Williams that follows the murderous habits of a charming and mesmerising clown as he strikes from the dead to continue his deathly games. Hot on his trail are a group of paranormal investigators (spirit hunters international team), Messiah Fist (A Christian heavy metal band on a mission from god) and Alon Baptiste (

A powerful spirit medium and destroyer of dark energys) . These are closely followed by 2 small town detectives by the names of Pope and Moss, forever inappropriate with an undeserved swagger.

Can they together rid the town of Crispy’s Curse, before the whole town becomes his victim.

To donate towards the film production costs, John has set-up a Kick Starter page for more details click here

To read more about John and background in film making click here

John Williams film 1

The Adequately-Clothed Philanthropist

The Adequately-Clothed Philanthropist

North Staffs TV aims to feature as many films as possible made by local people.   This week we have been speaking to local film maker Richard Steele about his film The Adequately-Clothed Philanthropist and also find out what got him into film making.

The Film Maker – Richard Steele

We asked Richard what got him into film making and how long he had been making films for “I got into film making with a friend in my twenties as we would absorb loads of films and became convinced we could make better films than some of them!.  A group of us started out in 1999, but I’ve been making films solo since 2002. There are a number of local film makers who make far better films than I, and more often, I’m just interested in the idea – I usually do one about once a year. I started out as an editor first and foremost – I still feel like the directing part is only a formality to get to the edit suite!

We asked him if he is big film fan himself and what sort of films he likes to watch “I love films – as long as the idea is good I’ll give anything a go! Though I’m more interested in film theory; I see myself as a theorist first and practitioner second. I used to be a media lecturer and I always tried to get my students to apply the theory in their work rather than just go out and shoot random things. I’m a fan of British social realism, from the Free Cinema Movement in the 1950s up to Shane Meadows and Ken Loach. In fact I’m writing about the representation of the working-class in contemporary British cinema for my MA dissertation. I also like anything philosophical and challenges the nature of memory and reality – I studied a lot of Baudrillard!

The Film – The Adequately-Clothed Philanthropist

The film is about a Trade Union leader who goes undercover in order to find out how the state of modern business operates within traditionally public, state-funded services.

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Richard got the idea for the film watching a few episodes of The Secret Millionaire and Undercover Boss.  He always thought that a few grand from a millionaire for a charity doesn’t solve anything in the long run, despite their good intentions. So he thought what if the system could change? After all, the same system allows for such parity between rich and poor in the first place. So it was a reversal – An average guy going ‘undercover’ with the representatives of neoliberal capitalism. As for the ideas for what the main character is up against, these were all based on articles he read in the press beforehand – companies like Argos and Poundland did agree to take on benefit claimants as working for their benefits, and PFI hospitals are always looking to drive down pay and conditions.

The title of the film is a humorous spin on the title of Robert Tressell’s excellent novel ‘The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists’, about the reality of being working-class in the early part of the 20th Century. The draconian conditions and unsteady work seems to be resurging today with zero-hour contracts etc.

In regards to the filming altogether it took about 2 weeks, although not every day. It was shot out of sequence to accommodate the actors’ availability.  In total it was about 3 months or so, from mulling over the idea to finished edit.

Richard toyed with the idea of making it into a series, as there are so many other aspects of modern society that could have been highlighted through satire – particularly the issue of forced academization of schools, but in the end he decided to focus on the NHS and workfare. It was just a case of breaking it up in the script and trying to emulate the type of reality shows he was imitating.

For the film production there was Richard and his actors Rob Bateman, Kerry Sirrell, Rosemarie Gibson. He also talked local film maker John Williams into taking a part too. As it was his first film in 4 years at the time John also gave him some guidance in pre-production.

Cost wise, there wasn’t that much to buy, just a litter grabber and a set of scrubs for the nurse but that was about it! For locations he asked Burslem School of Art and Newcastle Baptist church for permission to film there to give the impression of many different locations.

We asked Richard what tips would he give to anyone thinking of making a film “As well as the cliché-ridden platitudes of filming what you know, I would also say that on low/no budget it’s always useful to get round problems creatively – that’s what I enjoy about the process anyway. For example I approached a few hotels to let me film there as originally I wrote for Nigel to stay in a hotel (in contrast to the squalid conditions the TV millionaires stay in), but I couldn’t get permission, so changed the script to a B and B and used my uncle’s house. There’s always ways round things, you just have to find them and adapt. Also, technical knowledge and showy effects are no substitute for a really good idea. Though if you’ve got both you’re a better film maker than I and I’d love to see it!

You can watch the film below.  Do let us know your thoughts on this locally made film.

 

Isolated – View The Film FREE (Tomorrow 16-06-2016)

Isolated is the feature film directorial debut from Stoke On Trent’s very own Fuwad Abrar. Isolated is about Jack (Samuel Vaughn) who commits the biggest mistake of his life and is trying to fix the thing he regrets the most.

View the film for FREE on the big screen at the Sutherland Community Project (Bidds), full cinema experiance with an amazing sound system. There will be a bar open on the night.

Doors open at 6pm film will start at 7pm. Large free onsite carpark.

Address : Sutherland Road, Longton, Stoke on Trent, ST3 1HZ

Filmed in and around Stoke On Trent, Staffordshire.

Starring – Samuel Vaughn, Gerald Maliqi, Deshira Latifaj, Chris Myatt, Jake Ballard, Chris Wood, Adrian Dobrzynski and Paul Caddick.

Note : This film is rated 15.

To read our previous article and view a trailer click here.

There is a Facebook event page for this  – https://www.facebook.com/events/1028256943925249/ 

isolated