Kevin Macdonald watches Choke Mate!

Last month Choke Mate was up for short film of the month on shooting people. We asked all you shooting people members to vote and you very kindly did.

NB: If you don’t know, Choke Mate was a short film we made in 48 hours during the Kickstarter campaign for The Fitzroy, partly to show what we were capable of and partly for fun. Here’s a blog of how that went!

You guys got us into the top three. Which meant we were in the final!

The prize was for Kevin Macdonald (director of Touching the Void and The Last King of Scotland) to review the three finalists and pick an overall winner.

Sadly he didn’t pick Choke Mate but just to be in the final was a great achievement and we really appreciate everyone who voted, watched and helped spread the word.

Here’s what Kevin (as I’m now calling him) said about the film.

“Again, an intriguing concept. Has a nice sense of dread and an evocative use of locations. I felt that the director/writers/actor didn’t quite convince me with the ending – why one takes the mask and the other doesn’t.”
Kevin Macdonald

Well Kevin! It’s all about self-sacrifice. You see, one of the masks is broken and he gives up the last mask for her…. I jest, of course. If he doesn’t feel we got that across then we didn’t get it across (to him).

To be fair he’s not the only one who’s not got or felt the ending. It’s not clear enough that one of the masks is broken. And that is my fault as the director. I did want to put in a closer shot of the broken mask, with a smashed eyepiece. It would have really rammed it home that the mask was broken. Unfortunately we just didn’t have time to do it.

Which actor is this?

Which actor is this?

The other thing we have learnt from feedback on Choke Mate is, that it is hard to distinguish characters when their faces are covered. Bane! This is going to be something we have to figure out for The Fitzroy.

All in all we are really chuffed that Choke Mate made it into the final. We are proud of the little film that could. Thanks again for voting for us and do leave your comments on what you think of it and if you agree with Kevin.


Sharing the love.

This is a blog I’ve wanted to do for a little while now.

During our crowd-funding campaign we received a lot of love and good will – not just families, friends and strangers but also from other filmmakers and crowd-funding projects.

Well, I would like to pass that good will on wherever we can. Personally I’m a huge fan of the crowd-funding model and not just because The Fitzroy reached it’s target. I truly believe it is the start of a new model for creatives to reach, build and share with an audience. It is, without doubt, an exciting time.

So I thought I would share with you a few projects that have caught my eye recently*. Hopefully this might become a semi-regular blog? Who knows.

*Disclaimer time: I’m not personally connected to any of these projects, but I have backed them all and think they are pretty awesome.

Without further ado, here they are.

Bid For My Life

Comedian, actor and filmmaker James Hamer-Morton looks to sell his soul* and make a hilarious documentary at the same time. I think this is going to be such a blast to watch.

*I don’t think he is actually selling his soul.


We Are Monsters

A British sci-fi mutant film? Starring Doug Jones? Whats not to get excited about! These guys have been running an awesome campaign and made the amazing film PANIC BUTTON.


Borrowed Time

I love the trailer to this film – really funny and sweet.

These filmmakers are using kickstarter to help get their film onto cinema screen. If indie films can’t help each other do that, then what hope do we have trying to compete with the Hollywood marketing machine?


The Nightman of Nevermoor

An exciting short film from a phenomenally talented group of filmmakers. Seriously, check out their previous films and you’ll want to see what they do with this one – I do.


Like I say I have no involvement in any of these projects, I just think they are very cool and wanted to help spread the word.

I hope you like them as much as I do and you can give them a tweet or facebook mention and help spread the word… I wanted to put ‘spread the love’ again but was worried this would turn into a love-in.

Titles – the first steps

It’s full steam ahead for The Fitzroy and we’ve started to have our first few creative meetings! It’s incredibly exciting.


The title designers Chris and Marko skyping in the meeting

One of those meetings was for the titles. If you’ve been following us for a while you’ll be aware that the title sequence to the film will be animated and tell the backstory to the world of The Fitzroy (also you can be in it!! – more on that at the bottom).

I consider the titles to be integral to the film and we’ve got not just one, but two really talented guys working on them; Marko Anstice – he did the illustrations on our website – and Chris Tozer who did the gfx in the promo video. Do check out their work. It’s pretty amazing!

I love title sequences. One of my favourite sites is Art of the Title. For me the titles are a chance for the filmmaker to put the audience in the right mood for the film and reassure them that the film is going to be… well, good.

We also want our title sequence to do a few more things. Here’s the actual brief I gave the guys:

The titles must be…

  • Energetic, funny, engaging
  • Tell the narrative backstory of The Fitzroy
  • Answer ‘logistic’ questions about the world of the Fitzroy
  • Reflect the mood of the film
  • Contain all the characters.

Simple really.


One of the first steps to any creative process (as far as I’m concerned) is to brainstorm and put together mood boards and references.

So that’s what we’ve been doing and we thought you might like to check it out. We’re using Pinterest and you can see all our references for the titles. This is a working tool and is constantly evolving and changing.

Click here to see the references on Pinterest

If you have any suggestions for references then let us know, either in the comments below or on our facebook page and if we like them we’ll throw them into the mix.


Okay one of the awesome rewards we offered during the Kickstarter campaign is to be featured as an animated character in the titles! How cool is that? We’ll turn you into a character and put you in the titles. A bit Like this…

cartoon charachter

NB* The style might change a little as we are still figuring out the look of the titles.

If you would like to be in the titles – just head over to our shop. All money goes to making the film better and bigger!

So that’s the first steps of creating the titles. Once we’ve locked down a look we will start working up some tests… I’ll keep you posted.

And just because it’s one of my favourite title sequences, here’s the titles to the Pink Panther.

Indiewire Project of the Month

We’re up for Indiewire’s Project of the Month! …which is incredibly exciting. Put simply if The Fitzroy wins we receive a consultation with the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival and more importantly register a blip on the film world’s sonar!


We had a production meeting over the weekend. At the very start we went around the table and all said what we want the film to achieve and what was most important to us. Of course stuff like ‘be the first step on the career ladder’, ‘win awards’, ‘gain industry respect’ and ‘make loads of money’, all came up. Those goals are important but there were two things that we all agreed stood above everything else.

1)     Make the best film possible.

2)     Get as many people to see it as possible.

Those are our goals for the film!

But to get as many people to see the film as possible we need to start building awareness now!

We’ve had a great start with Kickstarter but we really need your help in spreading the word about The Fitzroy and getting as many people behind the project.

In my head I see a Fitzroy army!

So please gather your arms, join the front line and vote for The Fitzroy.


Please be sure to follow these simple steps. If not, your vote will not count!

1) Visit Indiewire: LINK
2) VOTE for The Fitzroy (or whoever you like – but we hope it’s the Fitzroy).
3) Enter your EMAIL address and then click on “VOTE”.
4) Check your email for an email from “Polldaddy” (it might go to your junk folder!) and hit “Confirm Poll Vote.” 

And that’s it. If only democracy were as simple.

Please help us SPREAD THE WORD – post it on Facebook, email to your friends, tweet it… if you’re in a coffee shop and see an attractive person on their mobile device but are struggling to find an ice breaker? Go over and tell them to vote! Okay that last one is a bit specific but you get the picture.

We think the vote is going to go down to the wire – EVERY VOTE REALLY DOES COUNT.

Thank you

NB* Even if you voted for ‘project of the week’ in December, I’m afraid you need to vote again for it to register for ‘project of the month’.

Here’s the link if you want to share it:

We are almost there!

Hi folks,

Just a very quick blog as the campaign heads into it’s last few hours.

Looking back on the campaign it has been a heck of a ride with so many up’s and downs. It feels like a lifetime ago yet the past 45days have flown by!

At the time of writing this we have just 34 hours left and are at £59,006!

The goal is within touching distance – but I’m not counting any chickens yet, there is still a chance we might not make it.

The Fitzroy by Jack Candy-Kemp Only available for another 34 hours!

The Fitzroy by Jack Candy-Kemp Only available for another 34 hours!

You’ve all shown so much support and kindness towards the project – it has been really humbling and has touched all of us involved in the campaign.

But could I ask for one more favour? … well two actually.

Kickstarter is all or nothing – if we don’t reach the target we get nothing… and we don’t get to make the film!!! We are close but it is possible we might not make it.


If you could please share the film with anyone you can in anyway you can that would be awesome.

Please facebook it, tweet it, tell people about it.

Here’s the link…

The other favour is…

We are very proud to be up for indiewires project of the week. We’re up against three other projects and to win could give the film a huge boost and really help it become a success.

If you have 30 seconds please vote (ideally for us).

Thank you.

And fingers crossed we can make it.