Here is a video that will explain about our film, Dark Matter, and how you can be part of it. All the info is below, but of course feel free to get in touch with us for more details, or if you'd like to read the script.
Contribute to Darkmatter Production
Drama/ Thriller / Irish Western
A father and child are living rough in the wilderness, travelling down the West Coast of Ireland. Puberty is approaching for his daughter in this drama about the suppression and control of women, identity, family and the madness of the male psyche.
Third short film from writer director John Robert Brown. Produced by John and Danielle’s own Production Company, Just a Little, and teaming up again for a co-production with Tibo Travers’ SweetDoh Productions.
Dark Matter is an exciting and ambitious short, filming in the beautiful surroundings of West Clare Ireland, combining themes of fatherhood and gender and delving into styles and themes of the western genre and fairy tale stories.
Literary critics such as G. K. Chesterton and C. S. Lewis felt that fairy stories are “spiritual explorations” and hence “ the most life-like” since they reveal “human life as seen, or felt, or divined from the inside”
"The Uses of Enchantment - The meaning and importance of fairy tales", by Bruno Bettelheim
Vision / Style
Cillian - Barry Ward
We are delighted to announce our lead actor as Barry Ward!
Barry most recently appeared in the leading role of Jimmy Gralton in Ken Loach’s film ‘Jimmy’s Hall'’ which premiered at Cannes in 2014 prior to worldwide release. Since then he has wrapped on a new feature 'Blood Cells' and 'Bypass'.
As a fourteen year old Dubliner, Barry made his professional debut as John Paul Spencer, in Roddy Doyle`s highly acclaimed BBC drama, 'Family' directed by Michael Winterbottom.
Barry also has extensive credits in theatre productions as well as short films making him a widely recognised actor in Ireland. He is currently shooting the upcoming RTE five part drama 'Rebellion' alongside Charlie Murphy, Brian Gleeson and Sarah Greene.
The Dream Team
DIRECTOR - John Robert Brown
John is an Irish director based in London and makes shorts, music videos and virals. His films have been screened in many festivals and have been nominated for various awards over the last year. His last short, Promise, was shortlisted for Venice Film Festival in 2014.
After a brief flutter with acting he began his career with professional photography, although making films was always his ultimate goal. John’s start with photography gives him a thorough and deep knowledge of imagery, from framing through to it’s history. John quickly discovered his real calling and passion was in writing and directing and has developed a unique, measured and hands on approach to filmmaking.
PRODUCER - Danielle Harvey
Danielle produces films, commercials and promos and her work has been screened at numerous festivals and events throughout the UK and Internationally. Danielle, originally an actress, began producing in 2011 and consequently embarked on a working collaboration with Writer and Director John Robert Brown and co-founded production company, Just a little.
Danielle’s most recent work has included two online commercials for Heinz UK and two fashion films which recently picked up awards at The Berlin Fashion Film Festival. Her most recent short films with Just a little have included, Mum Says, a film she produced for director John Robert Brown, which was shown at London Short Film Festival in 2013 and, Promise, which in 2014 was recognised at Festival’s supporting females in the Industry, including The Underwire Festival, London and Ozu Film Festival, Italy.
PRODUCER - Tibo Travers
Tibo created his first film production company in France aged 20 and later enrolled for an MA in Film and TV Production at Royal Holloway University of London. He settled in London where he started working in the British film industry as 1st Assistant Director and Production Manager. He has completed eleven feature films to date, as well as dozens of short films, adverts and promos. In 2012 Tibo worked at the National Film and Television School with producer Chris Auty on the creation of a Entrepreneur MA, a project supported by Richard Branson (Virgin) and Patrick McKenna (Ingenious).
Tibo founded SweetDoh! in 2013 and since then produced a slate of short films including "Deleting Emily", "Happy Hour" and "The Elevator Pitch", with multiple awards and selections including Raindance, Sundance London, Berlin International Film Festival, London Short Film Festival, Emden Film Festival, Loco, Washington DC Shorts, etc.. SweetDoh’s non-fiction slate also includes a large series of campaigns for the NGO Orphans in Need (Nominated for Young Director Award), commercials for Google+ and Cornetto (Winner of MoFilm award), and two music videos for the label Anjunadeep, including Babyfoot Romance, the Limelight Award 2015 for Best Music Video.
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY - Ewan Mulligan
Ewan Mulligan is an Irish-American based in London. As a talented and meticulous, director of photography, he has worked on numerous music promos, short and feature films, not to mention various commercials for brands including Carte Noir, Babyliss, Balentine's Glenfiddich and Paul Smith.
Ewan is a long time collaborator with John, working together as co-directors as well as John's DP. This close friendship and collaboration ensures a complete honesty, trust and understanding of each other, which ultimately leads to stronger vision of the film.
Ewan's credits include Indivision Films' 'Paragraph' which is due for screening at Tribeca, and Ludere Productions' 'Ibiza Undead', while more recently he filmed Bertil Nisslon's 'Bromance' that featured in Nowness.
COMPOSER - William Davy Cole
William Davy Cole (b. 10th June 1988) is a London-based composer and sound artist. William read Music at the University of Nottingham, where he received his first formal lessons in composition from Nicholas Sackman. He then went on to study composition under Jonathan Cole at the Royal College of Music, graduating with distinction (Mmus) in July 2012. William’s studies at the Royal College of Music were generously supported by the Ralph Vaughan Williams Trust, the Leverhulme Trust and the Bishopsdown Trust. In July 2014, William began a full-time PhD in composition at City University, supervised by Diana Salazar. His doctoral studies are funded by an AHRC studentship.
William is a founding member of re:sound, a collective of composers, performers and artists from other fields who organise unique music events, concerts and installations in atmospheric and idiosyncratic spaces across London
John's grandmother was born in and grew up in Querrin County Clare, which is our base while filming and is in close proximity to most of our locations. Like his father, John spent many summers growing up here. The area holds an incredibly special place in his and his families' heart.
Here is John and his Uncle rocking out!
Here is John's father, Robert, and his siblings enjoying themselves in Querrin.
We have already selected some beautiful locations in the ‘almost undiscovered’ area of West Clare. Here is just a few sneak peaks for what's in store…
The film’s production design will not be set in the modern era but rather a timeless universe. With no definite time period evident we can create a truly cinematic space, there to enhance the characters’ feelings and mood.
We will shoot on the lovely Red Dragon, owned by our Director of Photography Ewan. He's used the camera many many times before so is able to unleash 150% of its potential for us and deliver some incredible visuals. Ewan has also been on a few recces in the area with us and had the opportunity to study the local light and skies… and of course experience the wild weather first hand…!
A whopping part of our budget is going towards renting and hiring the best possible kit - and we certainly need a lot of it - and quite specific stuff at that. Your contribution will help towards renting, sourcing and up-keeping some of the following:
Risks and Challenges
Filmmaking is an exciting enterprise, but also a challenging one. There are many parameters that one can not predict or control, this is why we count on our experience to be best prepared for problems when they arise. We have solid plans for Pre Production, and we will follow the old saying: Fail to prepare is to prepare to fail!
We are shooting our film in an amazing but challenging and moody location: County Clare, in the west coast of Ireland (see our location pictures). It’s miles away from London – where we are all based. Our first challenge is to bring a whole film crew there safely and in good time, so we can start first day of principal photography as planned, and to take good care of them for our 4 days shoot. (Future crew member, do not fear, your bed is already booked and your dinner is heating up.)
We also have to prepare ourselves for all possible breakdowns or car issues, as we are located far from big cities and it would take a long time to travel. Thankfully we already have very good contacts with the local council and with a very nice man who owns a low-loader.
The final challenge with our location is the uncontrollable environment and weather. Although we are shooting during the mildest season – summer, we are aware of possible bad weather conditions. But in wind, rain or the odd summery snowfall (it's Ireland after all!) we firmly intend to complete the shoot on time and within budget.
Thank you for reading!