I wanted to make a film about the Fens in the Fens, with creative and talented people who live in the Fens. Then I hit a roadblock. Where were all these talented people who live here? Where are the camera crews, the set designers, the makeup artists, the musicians, the lighting technicians and the actors?
So I talked with various groups, and from this developed the idea of a collective. This has led to the start-up of The Fenland Films Initiative, a way for local people working in film and music to come together, use the group to network, and find people with the skills they need for their projects.
The purpose of the website is to highlight people from the arts with skills that can be called on for other local projects. Say you needed a sound engineer, or a video editor, or a makeup artist who specialises in special effects. The web page would be your first port of call. The site also includes musicians, authors and scriptwriters. The plan is to have enough people featured to take a project from conception through to completion.
For example, I have a script for a film based in the Fens which I would describe as a ‘road movie with teenagers’. The story looks at the lives of Fen teens, the issues they have to deal with, and the pressures of living in a rural part of England.
How the site works
There are three avenues to support our projects.
The first option is to have your profile featured on our website, which promotes the arts and arts-supporting businesses. You can have an image, a bio, and a link to your website. Signing up for the Tier One Patreon membership secures your post on the website.
The second option is to take up one of Patreon Tiers Two to Five, all of which give you a first look at new material. These are incremental in cost, and the higher the level, the more you get. Tier Five gives you access to everything offered in all the tiers.
The third option is to get involved personally by being one of the crew or cast. As each project develops, different skills are required and a casting call is put out for those interested. Once the project is completed, those who applied would have their profile, skills and experience added to the website.
What is Patreon?
For those unfamiliar with Patreon, it is a crowdfunding site similar to Kickstarter or Indiegogo. In return for your support you get rewards back. Most crowdfunding sites feature one-off campaigns that last for about a month. Patreon differs by being continuous, and the rewards are ongoing. The financial contributions are smaller and spread out over the year.
One project in progress is the aforementioned feature film about the lives of two teenagers in the Fenland area. We planned to film this year, but Covid has put everything on hold. We are now looking to film in the summer of 2021. If you are interested in being part of the project, in front of the camera or behind it, then please visit the website or email us for more details.
In the meantime, we are working on a murder mystery podcast series, which is currently being written. We will be looking to cast for voice actors in the new year. If you are interested in being involved, please email us and we’ll let you know when we are ready to start.
If everyone in the Fens promotes their work together, everyone supporting each other, we can reach a wider global audience. Fenland will become a place where people can come to enjoy a hub of arts and media.