Wanted: film producer

I am seeking a film producer to help me realise my first film. It will be a feature-length low-budget drama filmed and set in France.

Cross Road Blues, which I directed at the Hackney Empire

While I have many years’ experience in writing plays for the stage, and have directed at theatres including the Hackney Empire, I’ve no experience in film outside making short inserts used as projections within stage productions. So, I’ve decided to openly advertising my search for a producer here as an adjunt to the usual informal networking. Maybe the perfect producer is out there somewhere. Maybe it’s you.

Qualities and qualifications

I’m looking for someone with a bit of experience under their belt or someone who is very hungry to learn: who has produced a few shorts perhaps, has worked alongside a producer on a feature, or has experience already in producing low-budget features. You will be responsible for raising funding (including your own fee), recruiting the production team and working with me to organise all aspects of the production.

You can be based anywhere, but London or southern France would be  convenient.

Speaking French would be a huge plus, but it’s by no means a deal-breaker if you don’t.

The film

The film will be a feature-length drama set in the south of France, in English with a mix of British, French and Australian characters: tense, funny, psychological, tragic and redemptive. It’s got a lot of darkness in it, with personal histories scarred by loss and abuse, but also a lot of light, and love and happiness prevail for some if not all of the protagonists.

The location and some cast members are in place, and I have a solid plan to shoot in September 2018. I expect to need to raise a budget in the tens of thousands (GBP).

The script

I have a script treatment (synopsis) at the moment. The full screenplay is a work in progress. Please email me on plays@davidwalterhall.com if you’d like to see either or apply for the role.

And please share this post with anyone you know who might be interested.

Thanks.

New sites for Voltaire’s Meteor and Cross Road Blues

New sites have gone up recently for my plays Voltaire’s Meteor and Cross Road Blues. You can head over to www.voltairesmeteor.com for news about forthcoming productions of this latest wee creation of mine. And likewise you can go to www.crossroadblues.net for info about my venerable script about Robert Johnson and the devil, including a small gallery of cool Robert Johnson tattoos based on the play’s poster artwork.

Jean Meslier to ride again

I haven’t posted here at all this year, so in the interests of proving to the world that I’m not dead or critically infirm, I thought I’d write a quick update. So what have I been up to?

Well, for the first half of this year, I’ve been working on an almost complete rewrite of The Last Priest, my 2007 play about French priest Jean Meslier, who was a secret athiest, and whose posthumous Testament was an early spark of the French revolution. I finished a solid first draft mid-summer, and will soon be meeting with the original group of producers, a cast of new and old members, a new director and a team that is being assembled without my knowledge or input, but in whom I have a lot of trust.

There are no firm dates for a production yet, but there is a new title (still, perhaps, provisionally): Voltaire’s Meteor: The Midnight Zeal of Father Jean Meslier. (Voltaire described Meslier as “the most singular phenomenon ever seen among all the meteors fatal to the Christian religion.“)

I’m also currently thinking of writing a film, not about Meslier though.

Watch. This. Space.

Peter Darney to direct Horses in the Rain

Pleased to announce that Peter Darney will be directing the preview performances of Horses in the Rain at the Rag Factory this November.

Peter will be returning from New York where his production of Signal Failure is at the SoHo Playhouse from 8th October-16th November.

Horses in the Rain is at the Rag Factory on 7th, 8th and 9th November at 7.30pm. Tickets are available here, priced £10.

Horses in the Rain @ the Rag Factory

I’m very pleased to announce that my play, Horses in the Rain, is to be presented for a limited preview run at the Rag Factory off Brick Lane, London this November.

Show dates are 7th, 8th, 9th November at 7.30pm. It runs for about an hour and a half.

Tickets are available here, priced £10. Full details are on the Facebook event via the link below.

New website for Now is the Hour

Finishing touches and final licks of paint are being applied to the all new website for my play Now is the Hour. This is a site aimed at professional, amateur and student theatre companies, so they can find out a little more about the play, download the script, and hopefully make plans to put on a production of their own, following the great success we had at the Maddermarket last year. If you’re interested, please get in touch via production@nowisthehour.co.uk.

Here she is: www.nowisthehour.co.uk

Click to view the site

Lots of stuff happening

Lots of stuff is happening this year, me-wise, so I thought an update here was well overdue.

The highlights at the moment are:

  • 3rd August, 2pm, Cockpit Theatre, Marylebone – The first public rehearsed reading of my play North of the Sunset will take place, with Julian Joseph playing the part of Thelonious Monk, both acting and playing piano. Send me an email if you’d like to come to this one.
  • 19th–28th September, Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich – The new full-length version of Now Is The Hour is getting a two-week run at the Maddermarket in Norwich. To be directed by Stu Dennison, if he makes it back from Istanbul.
  • TBA, TBA – We have recruited a director for Horses in the Rain and will be agressively pitching it to theatres very soon. Watch this space…

Idea for a theatre festival

I had an idea yesterday that goes like this: get a designer to create a set, giving them more or less free rein. Install it somewhere and then commission writers to come along and view it, then create plays that would use the set, and put them on as a short festival. They could end up being incredibly diverse. As well as being an interesting artistic exercise – I personally love having this sort of arbitrary creative stimulus – it’s also very economical: the productions save a whole lot of money on design, construction, get-in/get-out etc. Anyone think it’s an idea worth pursuing? Or know if this has been tried anywhere before?

Horses in the Rain – first workshop


Yesterday we had a workshop to run through a new script that I’ve been working on for the best part of a year. It called Horses in the Rain after a song by Django Bates and Sidsel Endresen (on YouTube here), a title that represents loneliness and the search for inner strength, which is kind of what the play is about, but not quite so exactly. It’s about two friends who drift apart but keep clinging on for one reason or another – and in that respect it may be a more universal theme than I first realised. Everyone afterwards had a story about a friendship in their lives that somehow paralleled the story.

Pictured are Beth Munro, directing, and Angela Koo and Emma Perry acting.

Here are some more photos:

Comparison of UK crowdfunding sites

I was helping out a friend today by researching some of the UK-friendly crowdfunding sites, with a view to getting funding for a non-fiction book, hence these details are tailored towards that end. Having done the legwork, I thought I’d share the results here in case anyone else is in the same position. All data represents the state of the sites as they appeared today. Accuracy is not guaranteed.

I hope this is useful and relevant to somebody else. I’ve basically cut and pasted this from what I sent to my friend today:

Choosing a crowdfunding site

Kickstarter requires the project funder to have a US bank account, so it actually would rule you out. There are a number of UK-friendly alternatives, including:

  • Crowdfunder.co.uk
  • Pozible.com
  • Sponsume.co.uk
  • WeFund.co.uk
  • PleaseFund.Us

Analysis of publishing projects on these sites

Specifically comparing publishing projects on the above sites (all Davids to Kickstarter’s Goliath). These generally include magazines as well as books in their publishing category. I am also including Kickstarter itself by way of comparison.

site no. of live projects highest current total FB fans commission[1]
Crowdfunder

6

£285

n/a

5%

Pozible

48[2]

£3,708[3]

7,836

7.5%

Sponsume

5

£1,315

2,682

4%

Wefund

0

(£5057)[4]

6,562

5%

Pleasefund.us

10

£15,325

19,140

5%

Kickstarter

119[5]

£12,087[6]

227,897

5%

Methodology

I’m comparing the highest total currently raised, whether that project is likely to be successful or not, as it is a clearer indicator of spending than either the success rate (which is hard to establish in most cases, and dependent on the targets) or the targets themselves (which might be unrealistic in some cases).

Facebook fan numbers are there as a broad comparison of the sites’ popularity.

The number of live projects is self-explanatory, though it’s worth noting that the categories used differ on the different services. Some bundle book writing alongside theatre, others bundle it with journalism, or keep it separate.

Commission is generally taken off your total when you receive the funds.

Recommendations: Pozible vs. Pleasefund.us

Having ruled out Kickstarter, there are two clear winners in the analysis: Pozible and Pleasefund.us.

Of the two, Pozible is probably the better, with the sole and possibly fatal disadvantage that it’s based in Australia and all funds are in $AU. There are plenty of foreign (and even foreign-language) projects there, but they’re a minority.

Pleasefund.us is equally impressive as a site, as well as featuring the highest-funded project of all those sampled: an activity cookbook for children. It’s just a bit smaller in reach.



[1] does not include PayPal fees (an extra 3% or so)

[2] includes theatre projects

[3] converted from $AU

[4] not current; this finished almost a year ago

[5] non-fiction books alone. Total books many times greater. Total “publishing”, greater still.

[6] converted from $US