Help fund a spectacular & unique short film: magic-realist teen drama about self-esteem, mental health & positive relationships.
What’s it about? What’s the Synopsis?
MOLLY, a strange and lonely 16 year old girl, begins baptising dozens of children in the local river. OWEN’S teenage gang go to bully her, but Owen can’t admit he really fancies Molly. Now he must choose whether to stick with his mates or protect the girl he loves.
Andy Mark Simpson’s unique teen drama deals with self-esteem, mental health and positive relationships among young people and has had input from dozens of youth groups to create a positive message.
Concept photo to show the look we’re going for
It’s unusual isn’t it? Where did the idea come from? What will make it stand out?
Well, it all comes from the mind of Andy Simpson – a North East English filmmaker who has been working with young people throughout his adult life. His films are noteworthy for being based deep within his native Northumberland and often feature local people, bringing regional stories to a global audience. His films often follow the social-realist style – films which tackle the social issues of everyday life.
The idea for ‘Waterbabies’ comes from Andy’s desire to tell a story which shines a light on some of the issues he sees affecting young people regularly: low self-esteem; mental health; bullying; and most importantly, the idea of hope.
As a filmmaker, Andy is also interested in religious rituals, spirituality, and how these things connect to nature. So the style Andy chose for ‘Waterbabies’ evolved far beyond traditional British social-realist grit into something more magical. It is also authentic; Andy works with teenagers every day so the self-esteem thematic is very important to him too.
Our Team want you to contribute and join our supporters to create a positive message about youth in our world.
Who is in the Team? Have you made films before?
Yes! Check out our epic journeys so far:
Andy Mark Simpson- Writer-Director from Ashington, a coal-mining town in North East England. Andy’s mixes his magic realist filmmaking style with improvisation from young actors. He previously made: ‘Young Hearts Run Free’ (***Total Film, ‘Heartfelt’ The Guardian), his debut feature film, self-funded on a tiny budget but released in cinemas in the UK and the USA (some interesting stories from that tour!)
His short films include: ‘The Piper at the Gates of Dawn’, ‘Mad About The Boy’ and ‘Grotto’.
Gerry Maguire– Producer from Northern Ireland, based in Newcastle & London. Gerry is a Producer at Pins & Needles Media. He has produced short films like ‘System’ and ‘In Waiting’ by Cecilia Stenbom, been Associate Producer on BAFTA-nominated feature ‘I Am Nasrine’, and Executive Produced the feature ‘This Is Not Happening’.
James McAleer- Director of Photography . James is a talented cinematographer, his work includes feature film ‘Harrigan’ starring Stephen Tompkinson and he has been BAFTA Longlisted for ‘Invertebrate’.
Fantomeline Pictures – Editing and Post-Production – based in Gateshead, Fantomeline will help us finish ‘Waterbabies’ to the highest professional standards. (‘Inspector George Gently’, ‘Peaky Blinders’).
Danny John Williams- Casting Director– based in Teesside, Danny has cast numerous projects for Candle & Bell and Creative England, and runs DJW Acting School.
Magenta Sharp– Production Co-ordinator from Byker, Newcastle. Magenta graduated with a 1st Class Hons degree in Film Production from Northumbria University, and won best film award for ‘Venus’. Magenta will be working with the team throughout this campaign and the film’s production, to bring the project to life!
This project has twice been shortlisted by a national funding body, getting in the last 25 or so in the country, but not in the few that were given funding – despite the brilliant feedback. So, instead of getting our money signed off by someone in an office somewhere, we are turning to the most important people – our audience – to help complete our funding. We want to share our journey with Supporters now and in the future.
Our budget will pay and feed cast and crew, ensure a safe shoot with the water safety teams and help us make a film of the highest possible quality to match our ambitious, spectacular vision.
What’s in it for me? When do I get my rewards?
Check out our cool rewards- perhaps you want to buy a copy of the film in advance, or maybe get your name in the credits? Or have a guided tour of the locations with the Director?
Some perks will be delivered straight away (like the £15 ‘Shout-out’ messages!) but others, such as a copy of the final film, will be delivered when the film is finished around October. Don’t worry though- we’ll keep giving you cool goodies and updates in the meantime.
Where will it be shown?
We are aiming for prestigious film festivals around the world including BAFTA and Oscar qualifiers. After the festival run we aim to show in cinema events like the brilliant Tyneside Cinema Short Film Night (where some of Andy’s work has already been screened). If you want to see the finished film before the festival run then £10 will get you a digital copy and if you want to see it even earlier then £120 scores you an Associate Producer credit and 2 tickets for the Cast & Crew Premiere in Newcastle.
Where are your careers heading? What are you making after ‘Waterbabies’?
Right now all our energies are focussed on ‘Waterbabies’ but it is also a step within a bigger journey. Building on our previous films, ‘Waterbabies’ is the project which will really be a big break for us and will help impress funders and most importantly, develop a cool audience (you guys!) for our next full length feature film ‘Girl & the Ghost’, a script which was recently shortlisted for the Sundance Film Festival Lab. The Team are really on the cusp of something big and your contributions to ‘Waterbabies’ can help us get there.
How will you get the extras?
We want as many extras as possible- dozens or even hundreds if we can. We have been speaking to primary schools in the area, numerous drama and dance schools as well as Brownies, football teams etc. We are also asking everyone we know who has kids! Do you know anyone who would like to be in the film? Get in touch!
What about the water scenes?
We’re working with a really great team of trained water safety specialists to ensure we can actually be in the water for the important shots, and ensure everyone is safe while they’re there.