STARBURST: What can you tell us about Ends Meat?
Helen Curran: Ends Meat is my next short film, shooting in March. It’s a story of a Man driven to do some very bad things, with horrific consequences. It’s a mixture of mystery, horror noir, and Brit grit. The screenplay was written by Kris Heys and I’ll be directing. This was a concept pitched to me a long time ago, but it’s only now that we’re in a position to make it. It’s set over the course of one night in and around Manchester city centre. It plays heavily on juxtaposing the bright lights/busy city against the dark and ominous back streets. I can tell you that the script blew me away. We are very lucky to have such an incredible story to tell.
You’ve been filming around Manchester City Centre, how did you go about choosing locations?
We’ve really taken inspiration from many aspects of the city. One thing I love about Manchester is how the beautiful, sometimes Gothic old architecture somehow sits right with the modern buildings. It gives us a great backdrop to set our story. All the years living here, the view of Oxford Road, or Portland Street at night looks amazing, and the loneliness of the canal and alleyways have always been an inspiration, Ends Meat seems to have brought it all together - even Manchester’s history of old cotton mills plays an element in our film. So a lot of them were there in our subconscious, now we get to see them all in one film!
How much of the film is finished? What will the money raised from the crowdfunding go toward?
We’ve not even scratched the surface as regards filming yet. We spent one night filming some key shots to put together a teaser trailer. We’ve cast the two lead roles (Manchester-based Mark Vanhendrijk and Christopher Faith) and secured most of our locations, but the majority of the work is yet to come.
Any contributions we receive will go towards equipment rental, art and design, location fees, post-production, distribution, and very reasonable actors fees (as this is micro-budget), we’d love to be able to afford crew expenses, at the very least, as well. And, of course, feeding our cast and crew custard creams and copious amounts of tea is essential, but we want to feed them some real food too!
This will be the second film you’ve crowdfunded, what sort of perks will be on offer for fans?
We’ve got some good perks lined up, some exclusive posters, HD digital downloads of the film, and Delicacy thrown in for good measure. There’s also perks to appear in the film as an extra, or to get your photo in there instead. We’re offering producer credits too.
In your opinion, how important is crowdfunding to independent artists nowadays?
I know for me, personally, it’s extremely important, this is only the second time a project of mine has been crowdfunded so I’m by no means an expert, but it’s such an important tool. I didn’t run the campaign for Delicacy myself, but this time I am doing so, it will be a new experience for me. It allows an instant rapport with an audience, and the ability to have complete creative control of our projects. It’s great that from the side of filmmaking we can engage so closely with an audience, almost immediately. When a film is on the festival circuit, it normally is out of public view for quite some time; crowdfunding allows the film an audience before it’s been filmed. It’s a bonus for us making the film, too, that we have support outside of our immediate bubble.
Your last genre film Delicacy did really well worldwide, how was that experience?
That was a completely surprising experience. I never expected it to do as well as it has done. My thoughts were to make a small genre film, maybe it will play in a couple of festivals, and then we can put it online. It’s been over a year and a half now and it’s still touring festivals. It’s been the gift that’s kept on giving. We’ve been in over twenty festivals now, throughout the UK and the US. It’s racked up nine nominations and won five awards including a Royal Television Society student award for Best Drama. I certainly didn’t expect it to do as well as it has in America. I was even lucky enough to attend SBE’s HIFF (Hamilton International Film Festival) in New York last summer! I could honestly not be happier with how it’s been received.
I love genre film as a filmmaker and as a film fan, and Ends Meat brings me back to a not too dissimilar place as Delicacy.
How can people get involved with the Ends Meat fundraiser?
We are raising funds through Indiegogo and have a range of perks on offer, and even if a contribution isn’t possible sharing our campaign, trailer, and social media links online is a huge help. We need to reach as wider audience as possible!