Last night I was invited to a screening and Q&A for a low budget film titled 'Pandorica'. If you haven't heard or seen it (I am guessing most people haven't) I strongly recommend you do. The film is set in a post apocalyptic world and centres around a game of survival following a strong female lead called Eiren who competes with fellow members of the Varosha tribe to gain leadership.
There are plenty of reviews online and across the indie circuit but I want to draw attention to some incredible feats which I think make the film truly special.
First to note is the fact that the films writer/director/editor/colourist and a hundred other roles is only 30 years old. His name is Tom Paton and the guy is an indiefilmmaking genius.
The film was scripted in 3 weeks in May 2015 they then took the film into production in September and it's already playing in cinemas now in April 2016, which means they made an entire feature film, from concept to screen in under 12 months! It takes me ages to get a project underway or finished, my latest webseries has been in post production since December but Pandorica proves that a high production value project doesn't need to be hindered by money or time.
The budget for Pandorica was 70k which is still low in film standards but Tom and his crew quadrupled every pound they had with some brilliant problem solving. Firstly they shot the entire movie on a Sony A7 with just two lights, so the DP George Burt deserves a knighthood for what he achieved, this allowed them to get an exceptional amount of coverage. This also allowed them to shoot in incredibly low light situations and it's clear to see how well the A7 performs. equally astonishing is the huge gamble Tom took by casting not only an unknown in the lead role but someone who had never done any acting, training or filming at all. Pandorica introduces Jade Fenix-Hobday who pulls out a stunning debut performance, she looks amazing and remains solid right up to the brutal and bloody ending. This could have hugely backfired for all involved but it's a gamble that paid off handsomely. Tom also managed to bag Bentley Kalu (Edge of Tomorrow & Avengers Age of Ultron) who informed everyone that Tom Cruise's catering budget for Edge of Tomorrow was more than the entire Pandorica budget! Also joining them is the wonderful Luke D'Silva, Adam Bond & Marc Zammit (Rise of the Foot Soldier), all of the guys make for an interesting male division in the tribe and each of the guys effortlessly play out the scenes.
The Q&A unravelled tons of funny anecdotes and interesting on set stories that largely involve Marc losing stuff, getting stung on his dick by nettles or over estimating the power of a drone. It's clear to see that these guys are doing exactly what all indie filmmakers hope to achieve by creating a solid, bankable commercial product and having an absolute blast whilst doing it. I urge you to check out Pandorica and I think this is the start of a new generation of British independent film. Tom's paving the way by proving their is a huge amount of talent out there outside of the mainstream and us Brits when given the opportunity know how to deliver something unique, impressive and entertaining. One final cool thing to note was when watching the credits role I noticed the script supervisor was Gemma Chitty who 5+ years ago was the most amazing production assistant on my debut film Young, High and Dead!
At present Pandorica is in negotiations with a major distribution company but is available in UK cinema's and on VOD. Go support this great British independent film by checking out the film trailer and website below.