Category Archives: Dance

London Labour Film Festival

I was in London last month to see Big Society the Musical open the London Labour Film Festival. Big Society was written and produced in Liverpool by over three hundred and fifty people, who gave their time over three years to make a statement.  It seemed a long time since eight writers got together in a room off Hope Street, Liverpool to thrash out a story.  Our inspiration, David Cameron’s Big Society speech.  When he delivered it, he made it sound like it was his idea, when all over Britain, the ethics of the Big Society had been practised for centuries but then how can someone who has never experienced poverty understand what it’s like.  As a line in Big Society goes, it’s ” …. falling like change through a hole in a rich man’s pocket.”

The Festival opened with a speech from Unison Northwest Regional Manager, Lynne Morris who introduced the film with passion and commitment and explained how important it is that trade unions invest in the arts and in creative responses such as ours.  The screening of an extract from the recent Tony Benn film which followed, was the perfect empowering short to be played ahead of “Big Society” and set the tone for our anti-austerity musical.  Tony Benn’s message expressing the need for the people’s voices to be heard could not have been a better lead-in.   As one character in Big Society the Musical says, “If they don’t hear us shout, then we’ll sing.”

After our screening there was a Q&A with our Director Lynne Harwood, leading lady Paula Simms, performer Joe Maddocks and composer Andy Frizzell, kindly chaired by Carl Roper, National Organiser for the TUC.

Read a review of what Trade Unionist blogger Jon Bigger thought of the screening here 

The screening was attended by Industry professionals, trade unionists, filmmakers and independent cinema owners and the production team were excited to have forged a number of exciting partnerships off the back of the screening…. more will be announced in the near future but in August the team behind this exciting piece plan a one day mutli-cinema mass audience event… to be sure there is a screening in YOUR area sign up for a screening here:http://www.first-take.org/screenings#/

 Help us get the message out about the film. Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bigsocietythemusical

Follow us @BigSocietyFilm 
Other Ways to get involved: 

We are actively seeking partners and champions to help us host screenings around the country, share the Video on Demand campaign and get involved with marketing and distribution.  If you are interested in discussing opportunities to partner with the film please contact the team on all@first-take.org

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Filed under Dance, Feature films, Film writing, Musical, Team Writing

A picture’s worth a million words

Back from an energy sapping but riveting four days at London Screenwriters’ Festival, I settled down to the working week and the chores and joys of clearing the inbox. The beautiful short film, Moments, directed by Chris Cronin and produced by Andrew Oldbury and Phil Meacham with Mike Clarke as Executive Producer was definitely one of the joys and a brilliant reminder of why I began screenwriting in the first place – the power of pictures alone to tell a story.

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In Director Chris Cronin’s own words, Moments is “a love letter to all those Disney classics that used dance to express powerful emotions that simply couldn’t be described by words alone.” From the moment the first dancer flies across the screen, you’re swept up in that perpetually sunlit, magical world where all Disney stories live. Love is not only all around us but makes us want to leap and dance just like Cronin’s leading man, hapless Joel, played by an engaging Simon Hardwick, who keeps missing out on love and even unwittingly sabotaging the feel good factor for everyone else.

It’s skilfully paced and plotted, with charming, funny scenes and there’s the feel of a potential feature film here. There’s comedy and pathos and Simon Hardwick hits just the right note in his search for love and Madeleine, the girl he keeps missing while Lauren Harvey plays Madeleine with a humour and gentleness that complements Simon Hardwick’s mixture of wistfulness and gung ho enthusiasm.

“Moments” is currently screening at film festivals around the world, but do look out for it in the future once it’s released for public viewing. It’s most recently won Runner-up in the short film category at Screen Stockport Short Film and Television Festival, UK.

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“Moments” was shot over three days with cast and crew drawn from all over Britain and shows what fantastic talent we’ve got in the UK.

And one last word, before I get back to my inbox – this is a writer’s blog after all, so I can’t finish without mentioning – Chris Cronin for story and Joanne Gardner and Tina A. Wake for screenplay.

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Filed under Characters, Dance, Film writing, Short films