Wash Club is a short film about how an aspiring journalist accidentally becomes the ringleader of a death cult. Based on a true story.
For those of you who might not know already, I am involved in a short film project that has received backing from iShorts 3 via Creative England and BFI.Network. This is the result of a lot of planning, production meetings, pitches and laundrette visits.
I first heard about Wash Club on BBC Radio 4's Short Cuts Podcast, where poet and playwright Ross Sutherland had a spoken word piece explaining how he accidentally formed a secret society. The story had me gripped immediately and I knew it would make a great short film, so I did a little research and reached out to Ross. This was in May 2015.
We were both aware of iShorts and spent a good few months having meetings and exchanging emails, talking about how we could adapt this story into a film format. When the application rolled around in October 2015, we pooled all of our resources together and submitted the treatment.
Our Producer Lauren Parker and Director Of Photography Karl Poyzer were both on board from Day 1. We've done several music videos and short film projects together and were eager to take this next step as a team. Lauren was already successful last year with her Kickstarter campaign for Lab Rats - a short body horror which attracted a lot of attention and went on to feature at several festivals.
We finally heard back from iShorts in December and by January we were having a meeting with Jessica Loveland and Peter Parker, discussing what we hoped to achieve with Wash Club. By February we were notified that our pitch had been successful from over 300 applications and that we'd been awarded £5,000 in production support.
Creative England's support doesn't end with the money. Since then we've been involved in several development workshops and seminars from industry professionals which has proven invaluable. Pavel Jech, author of "The Seven Minute Screenplay" flew over from Prague just to give a lecture on story. We also had Bafta Nominated Director Dan Elliott come and give practical, insightful advice on his approach.
The next step in securing our funding is through crowdfunding. This is something that I've always been reluctant to do as a film maker - mostly because of the fear of rejection and failure that comes with putting yourself out there, cap in hand and asking for donations. It was never going to be easy, but I had the help of a truly inspiring team and I'm pleased to say that we've already raised nearly 1k in just 7 days from 32 backers whom I'm eternally grateful to.
This is just the beginning - we've still got a long way to go but I'm confident that we can do it. The original Wash Club happened because it was a story that grabbed peoples attention. It was the crowd that made it a reality. Now, 17 years later, we are asking the crowd to do the same thing again.