So after the final days of shooting we are well into the post production stage of the film. This includes editing, marketing, distribution and so on. So I thought I would give you the final and last updated version on the synopsis, the log line and my directors statement.I hope you enjoy.
Log line: An absent mother grieves the loss of her only son unconventionally.
This story is all about love and hardship. The narrative is told from the perspective of Angie who is reliving her son’s death on the day of his funeral. Her story is set in the heart of East London during the summer of 2004. Where we first see best friends Billy 10, and Daniel 9 walking towards a corner shop after a kick about at their local park. Billy is the older and the more dominating, naughty, and mischievous out of the pair. While Daniel is shy, quiet, and intelligent, pretty much the complete opposite.
In her story she then fast-forwards almost a decade later to a week or so before present day where Daniel has just returned back from university for the summer holidays. Daniel is eager to meet up with his friend who he hasn’t seen in months although the same can’t be said for Billy. Billy has been going through it whilst Daniel has been away, although ‘Danny’ as they call him is completely unaware. Billy has been stuck doing dodgy jobs for his ‘cousins’ to make ends meet with know hope of leaving his mundane area. If things couldn’t get worse he recently found out through a letter from the NHS that his dad is severely ill and will die shortly if he dose not receive a new kidney. Frank, Billy’s father lost both of his parents at a tender age, and his wife Angie who left him to follow her dreams of Broadway a few years after Billy was born.
Billy’s knows he’s played an integral part in his fathers stress and illness so he decides to take matters into his own hands by stepping up to do the transplant with the NHS, as he is the only direct family his Dad has remaining. Billy ‘s brave heroics come to nothing as the NHS deny his application in the fear that he would not make it through the operation due to his diabetic condition. So his side X girlfriend Denise introduces him to a Doctor who does underhand black market surgeries for extortionate prices.
Denise and Billy meet up with the doctor in a pub, in preparation for his surgery. Billy has had no communication with his mother since she left when he was 5. Unfortunately on the same day of Daniel’s arrival Billy passes away as the procedure takes a wicked turn for the worse as feared. Frank Billy’s father was completely unaware Billy knew he had an illness, let alone the fact that he would make an attempt to save him. He has now lost the last important thing in his life. Even though Billy dies, all is not lost because Frank fortunately receives a donor from the NHS just in time. Billy ultimately dies in vain.
Frank survives but the east end looses a very popular and loved character. Angie ends her story by expressing to the audience how she couldn’t bring herself to attend her son’s funeral, as she was not apart of his life. This is an epic tale about the unfortunate loss of a good boy who always managed to get caught up in bad situations. The story harbours some deep underlying thoughts and enigmas of class and society.
This film is an adaptation of a poem I wrote called ‘A bit about Frank’ some years ago. The poem, which I originally wrote, is Frank’s half of the conversation between Daniel and himself in the kitchen scene. To understand this film you have to understand the poem, and to understand the poem you have to understand me the poet. It was easy for me to create Frank and his world because I have seen it first hand. I lived in and around his neighborhood. Frank as a character became so real to me that I could see him in myself. So writing his lines and developing his interaction between him and the other characters became second nature. This story has been chopped and changed several times for various reasons including time and financial constraints but I have always managed to retain the core heart of the film. Before I created this media text I gathered inspiration from films like ‘Cass’ and ‘Green street’ which both harbor a raw gritty and British feel which I wanted in my movie.
This was my second opportunity to work with kids for a film of mine, the first being for ‘Rendezvous’ in 2014. This experience made it easier for me to get a good level of performance out of the child actors in a shorter space of time. ‘Angie’ who was a late addition to the script can be likened to Bianca from ‘Eastenders’. She is both bold and strong and really takes the audience on an emotional journey whilst telling her story. Billy play’s an integral role because after his death he causes a massive shift in all of the remaining characters, which also highlights his importance and popularity. Daniel is also likeable character and I think the audience will gravitate towards him similar to how we feel for ‘Yemi’ in E4’s ‘Youngers’. This tragedy is filled with up’s and downs, comedy and tear provoking moments. It literally has it all. I thoroughly enjoyed directing this film even though it was extremely stressful. It has taught me the importance of focuses on research throughout all the stages of production and also to constantly communicate with cast and crew. There is so much I could say on each character but I’d rather let you get on and watch this film. I would like to thank everybody who gave a hand to help take my initial poem idea to screen. You know who you are.
Cass, 2008. [FILM] Jon .S. Baird, England: Optimum Releasing .
Green Street, 2005. [FILM] Lexi Alexander, United Kingdom: Universal Pictures.
Youngers, 2014. [FILM] Anthony Philipson, United Kingdom: E4.