A scene from 'Poppies' (2008)
Tale of fear and paranoia
By Laura Joint
Devon film-maker Ashley Wing is working on his debut feature length movie, The Cromwell Alert.
It's wartime Britain, and the blitz has reduced London to rubble. Hundreds of miles away in seemingly sleepy Devon, there is fear and paranoia: we're at war and no-one can be trusted.
This is a story of tight-knit communities falling apart - and it could be coming to a cinema near you very soon.
Paignton film-maker Ashley Wing has teamed up with Cornish-born writer and actor Clayton Fussell to embark on their first ever feature length movie, entitled The Cromwell Alert.
Still in development, the film would be shot in Devon with - as far as possible - a local cast and crew.
Ashley (right) and Clayton
Ashley and Clayton, working as Cottage Industry Films, hope to raise £1 million from grants and investment to make the film in 2010.
The pair have already collaborated on a number of short films, among them a dialogue-free comedy OMG, and a mockumentary, A Hard Day's Knight.
Ashley has also received excellent reviews for his previous works, including Poppies and Between the Lines - Poppies picked up the Best Film prize in the Fxhome awards.
Making a feature film is a huge step, however, especially as Ashley has a full-time job as a sign-writer and Clayton is a web designer.
To showcase their work to date, they are organising a screening event to take place in either Exeter or Paignton in late summer 2009. The screening will include their latest short film, a dark comedy called Robbing Peter, which was shot in Brixham in May 2009.
"We're trying to get some support, by showing people the potential we have. We are applying for grants but we are also looking for investors.
Clayton in a scene from A Hard Day's Knight (2007)
"We are promoting film-making down here, by filming here and using locally-based crews where possible."
Clayton is currently based in London, so their scripts go backwards and forwards by email, being tweaked until they're both happy with the results.
"We come up with an idea, draft a summary and go through it together," said Ashley.
"This has become a full-time job but I'm doing it in my spare time because I already have a full-time job!"
The Cromwell Alert may be set during WWII, but Ashley says it has been written with present-day Britain in mind: "It's about a small community enveloped by fear and paranoia, where trust is tested to breaking point by extraordinary circumstances.
"Immigration, fear, threats to national security are all topics relevant both today and in wartime Britain, and it's these extremes of behaviour that we want to explore in our story."
More details of the screening event will be released soon. In the meantime, you can watch some of the films by using the weblinks on the top right of this page.
last updated: 19/06/2009 at 09:52