An award-winning Birmingham filmmaker has launched a crowdfunding scheme in a bid to see his next feature film come to fruition.
Steve Rainbow - who wrote and directed the acclaimed More Canals than Venice documentary covering100 fascinating facts about Birmingham - hopes securing £15,000 via crowdfunding will be the key to seeing a psychological thriller about the UK’s last lighthouse keeper completed.
The film, Brokenhead, is Mr Rainbow’s third feature and follows the final days of the last lighthouse keeper in the UK.
It is already in development but Mr Rainbow hopes crowdfunding will part-fund it and ensure the project is completed as early as possible.
The film tells of a lighthouse keeper who spends his days fishing, relaxing and occasionally doing voice-over work on a deserted island, until one day his perfect life of solitude and peace is dramatically disturbed when his past catches up with him.
It stars Birmingham actor Sean Connolly, who recently voiced several of the characters in Aardman’s Shaun the Sheep The Movie.
Mr Connolly is also the voice of Keith Horrobin in The Archers, the UK’s longest running soap opera, which is produced by the BBC at The Mailbox.
Crowdfunding can trace its roots back to the 1700s but it is in recent times the idea of raising money from a large group of people has taken off, with this alternative form of fundraising now a common way to finance films.
Mr Rainbow said: “Crowdfunding is a great way to get people who might normally not consider being a film producer to get involved and take some ownership of the production of a feature film.
“For as little as £50 we are offering the opportunity to invest in a British feature film. What could be cooler than saying you’re a film producer. Money can come and go but a film will last forever.”
Mr Rainbow, a former winner of the Best Short Film award at the Birmingham International Film Festival, set up The Birmingham Film Company with business partner Blair Kesseler.
Mr Kesseler has a long history of raising finance for charity in Birmingham and when he retired he decided to join Steve and step into the world of film production.
Their first project together was More Canals than Venice, which received a Royal Television Society award nomination.
A copy of the film has also been donated to every school in Birmingham thanks to the generosity of Aston Business School and the King Edward VI Charity.
Mr Kesseler said: “Birmingham has a proud history of entrepreneurial investment in all areas of business and this project simply carries on that tradition.
“When I questioned Steve about becoming a film producer he said I had got the three most vital ingredients - I know how to raise money, have time on my hands and love the movies.
“Investing in films is one of the best things I’ve ever done and Brokenhead is a unique chance for others to invest a relatively small amount into a film that could make them a profit. It’s a golden opportunity to get into the film business with very little risk.”
Brokenhead is set to be shot on Portland Bill in Dorset and Spurn Point in Yorkshire, with some of the profits from the film going to the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and Trinity House, who maintain all the working lighthouses in the UK.
The film will also feature the music of regular BBC Radio 4 composer Andy Garbi.
Speaking about his role, Mr Connolly said: “When Steve asked if I would like to play the lead and offered me the script to read I was delighted. I have worked with him before and he has one of the best talents for storytelling in film I’ve seen.
“He’s also no stranger to working with low budgets and pulling beautiful looking rabbits out of shabby looking hats.
“The part is fascinating and not without its challenges but the audience are quite simply going to love getting inside the lighthouse with us on this amazing journey. I can’t wait.”
Brokenhead crowdfunding options are available for the next 29 days and range from £50 to £1,000, with co-producer and executive producer options also offering a share of profits.
Anyone interested in being part of the project should visit https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/psychological-thriller-feature-film-brokenhead .