Excalibur Moving Pictures was created in the summer of 2001 to produce fiction films for cinema and television. Excalibur also supply editing and photography services to various clients. However, the main focus of Excalibur will making movies, bringing together the talents of film professionals from all over Ireland and the United Kingdom.
Excalibur's current project is the film short Against The Day of Wrath (working title) which is in now the planning stage and we are currently looking for a talented cartoonist to work on the storyboards. Once these are completed, advertisements will be put in the UK drama/theatrical newspaper Stage and on websites such as shootingpeople.org and Mandys Film Production Database. The script is also being sent to leading British and Irish actors before general casting commences. It is also intended to either submit the project to producers or production companies that work in television drama or on the film festival circuit to obtain the necessary production funding, although another consideration will be to approach the relevant film boards.
THE FILM Against The Day of Wrath. Narrative and Casting requirements
A graduate in film from Southampton Institute, Dean Shepperd is now based in Ireland. Dean has also been working on two feature film screenplays (a psychotic thriller and a modern tale of relationships in the 21st Century). The research is centred on the culture that surrounds modern life for most single people. A lot of his writing focuses on the things that make us tick, questioning who we are as opposed to how others see us. "A question of why we do the things we do. A matter of choices we make, or choices that are made for us, in our lives. We all hope we make the right decisions for ourselves, but we are heavily influenced by everything around us, from modern culture to our own daily experiences, peer pressures, etc. None of us really know what is going to happen in the future, but that's part of the thrill of living your life to the full. The boundaries in many peoples lives are changing. Whether that is a good or bad thing only history will eventually bear out. However, as a film maker it's also an exciting time and hopefully writers and directors will continue to push the boundaries of creativity to produce new and entertaining movies for a global audience."
Dean is an admirer of the work of film directors Luc Besson ('Nikita', 'Leon', 'Angel-A',) Ridley Scott (''Blade Runner', 'Gladiator', 'Thelma and Louise', 'American Gangster',) Tony Scott ('Enemy of the State', 'Spy Game', 'Man on Fire') and John Woo ('Face/Off', 'Hard Boiled'.) Other movies that have influenced Dean include 'Usual Suspects' and 'Se7en', "Both story telling at their best," and 'Reservoir Dogs'. "I have often thought that if Shakespeare was alive today and writing movie sreenplays, he might write something like this. Reservoir Dogs reminds me so much of a good Shakespearean tragedy." Luhrmann's 'Romeo & Juliet' and 'The Matrix' also rate among some of his favourite films.
"I am very influenced by the use of colour, light and contrast. I started doing stills photography at the age of 12, which taught me the importance of good framing, depth of field, colour, light and contrast. There are some film-makers who focus on performance, while others concentrate on action or visuals, yet there is no reason to focus on one aspect of film at the expense of another. It is true that a film should not just be a succession of images stuck together. However, each frame is still a blank canvas to be created. I admire Luc Besson, Ridley and Tony Scott, and Quentin Tarantino, not only because they create vivid images and powerful performances, but also because they are not afraid to stick their necks out and try something new. 'Leon', 'Blade Runner' and 'Reservoir Dogs' are probably my three favourite films. Together they encapsulate everything I love about filmmaking and prove that mainstream films can be powerful, emotional, yet still have stunning imagery."
"When I wrote my film short it soon became apparent that the end of the film would have to be emotionally powerful. Movies like 'Fight Club', 'Sexy Beast', and 'Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels' (the overwhelming passion and emotion of Big Chris [Vinnie Jones] using a car door to club Dog to death) have played their part in the ever changing perspective of film violence in modern cinema. Audiences are no longer fooled by unconvincing fight scenes, yet filmmakers are now capable of going way beyond audience expectations of realism. In the film short I want the audience to leave the cinema feeling overwhelmed by what they have witnessed at the culmination of the story. They too have will have played a part in it through their identification of the characters. It is my hope that this story will have a powerful affect on both their senses and emotions. However, this is not a gratuitous portrayal of violence and the majority of any violence in the story will be off-camera. Indeed, the theme of the story revolves around the tragedies that the principle characters have suffered in their lives and sensitively conveys just how terrible abuse and violence can be, in any form."
|'The Fifth Element, the Post-Apocalypse and Post-Classical
Cinema', introduction and essay by Dean Shepperd |