Beast of Burden
Connor, an aspiring footballer, is determined to reach the pinnacle of the beautiful game. But do his dreams compromise his mental and physical well-being? Will a chance encounter with Maya alter his mindset and make him question all his previous efforts.
Beast of Burden
Written and Directed by Christopher Deakin, Beast of Burden tells the story of Connor, a determined young footballer, who despite setbacks, is determined to secure himself a professional contract.
As we follow his daily routine, we see him plumbing new depths to keep his head above water, taxi driving, training in car parks and even sleeping in his car, in order to devote every ounce of energy he possesses into pushing himself to the physical limit.
When out one night, he meets Maya, a precocious and impulsive young woman, who manages to enter Connor’s orbit and completely alter his momentum and ultimately his long held ambitions.
Chris wrote this story to be a beacon for all those with lofty ambitions, be them in sport, entertainment, business and so on, that your dreams do not have to be so rigid that they dictate every aspect of your daily life. The film also aims to show people that your ambitions and goal in life can and should be an enjoyable endeavour, and if it comes in the way of your physical and mental well-being, then it may be time to reassess.
Christopher Deakin - Writer/Director
Christopher Deakin is a Manchester based Director that started out as an actor. In the past three years, Christopher has directed seven short films. His most recent film "ineffable" was selected for the prestigious Crystal Palace International Film Festival, and also received a 4* review from UK Film Review who said; "this short film is charming, deceptively deep and well worth a watch."
Beast of Burden explores the subject of giving up on your dreams. Something that all creatives consider on a regular basis. His goal for the film is to reach out to people who have been or are in a similar situation and let them know that sometimes it is okay to change your dreams.
Neal McAndrew - Producer
Neal McAndrew is a North West based creative producer who has been facilitating the developments of projects through his Liverpool City Film Makers networking group. Since 2017 he has engaged the local creatives of Liverpool to cultivate an environment that encourages enthusiasts and professionals alike to combine forces to reinforce the film industry in Liverpool as the city embarks on a major development of film production capacity in the coming years.
Beast of Burden, marks the first of a number of up coming projects for 2021 in which Neal has embarked upon producing, as well as contributing to various other capacities within film making. July will see him embark on shooting short alternative drama, "Homecoming", directed by Ana Stanojevic. He has joined the Assistant director team on the upcoming micro-budget feature Kate and Jake. As well as entering pre-production on short film "Jumpers for Goalposts", alongside fellow North West film makers Jack McLoughlin and Thomas Elliott Griffiths.
Alex Coleborn- Cinematographer/Co-Producer
Creative Director & Cinematographer Alex Coleborn works between Manchester & Bristol creating high quality promotional and documentary style content fuelled with the power of emotion and a distinct focus on storytelling.
Before co-founding e.Motion Pictures, Alex has been working as a cinematographer & camera operator for the last 5 years. He has produced work for the likes of Rule 28, The Alchemist and British Cycling. With a specialism in sport based visuals.
"Beast of Burden" marks another project in which Alex has been able to visually convey the collective efforts of our dedicated and enthusiastic crew and cast.
Theo Graham - Connor
Theo is a Manchester based Actor. He started acting at school, before contacting the local actor training company - DNA Performance Resources - in order to start his journey towards becoming a professional actor.
He signed with an agent a year later and quickly secured his first TV credit. Since then he has gone from strength to strength playing regulars and series leads in a number of productions. Theo played the role of Hunter McQueen in the long running channel 4 soap "Hollyoaks" from 2016-2018, garnering him a Best Actor Soap Award Nomination. His most recent work has seen him streaming in the role of Dane on the Netflix smash hit 'Fate - a Winx Saga'.
Amelia Isaac Jones - Maya
Amelia Isaac Jones is a third year acting student at Manchester School of Theatre, and has, in her time in study, racked up multiple roles on stage and now with her performance as Maya kicks off what we are sure will become a burgeoning portfolio of film projects.
Credits in theatre include, Lady Capulet in "Romeo and Juliet" , and Celia in "As you Like it".
Amelia joined the cast after an audition process, in which the team praised her for the authenticity and familiarity of her performance, and she absolutely delivers this in our completed film.
Adam Cryne - Joe
Adam Cryne is a Manchester based actor who boasts a wealth of experience in both theatre and film.
In 2018 he appeared in the short film "Tequila Sunrise", developed through the Metropolitan Film School. Recent years have seen him embrace roles in short films such as "Velocity" by Nicky Williams, and "Then the Drink Takes You" by Wesley Charles.
"Beast of Burden" is the third collaboration between Adam and director Christopher Deakin after 2019's "Things you probably shouldn't do while high on Cocaine", and 2020's "Ineffable"
This production has been like nothing we have experienced before as it was developed, cultivated and shot, entirely during the Coronavirus pandemic. The unforeseen circumstances meant that as a team we, not only had to be incredibly dedicated to the message and story we wanted to convey, but also do this in a way that did not in any way compromise the Covid-19 safety of our cast and crew.
What your generous donations will allow us to do, is recoup some of the unforeseen and therefore non-budgeted costs that came with ensuring that this production took place in a safe and secure manner. The changing of locations, the rise in insurance costs to ensure we were indemnified, amongst a myriad of other factors was brought upon us, as the production team, to dig that bit deeper to achieve our vision as best we could with the resources we had.
The good news for all our amazing backers is that your backing is not contingent on the completion of the project... The film is done!
Given the fact the film is already shot, our intentions with the funding we secure are very simple. We have such passion for this project that we simply want to amplify its impact by getting out to the biggest audience we can. This will involve submitting it to film festivals with broad ranging audience impact and broad scope of theme. While this will be primarily for UK based festivals, we are not ruling out submitting to festivals in other countries should we feel the film will strike a chord, and further the film’s journey.
We want this film to be a calling card for not just ourselves in the production team, but for our whole crew and cast who are all early stage film creatives and will want to utilise the project as a launch-pad for their aspiring careers in the industry.
We would like to close out our page by paying respect to our brilliant and dedicated crew, who fought with us to get this film made, in unprecedented circumstances and create something we are certainly proud of and want to share with the wider film community as well as audiences as we embark on this exciting second part of this Beast of Burden journey.
Editor - Ana Stanojevic
Sound Recordist - Callum Kilgraff
Art Director - Lauren Fenn
Assistant Sound Recordist - Sam Lord
Assistant Director - Valerie Bundy
Composer - Sam Lord
1st AC - Nathan McDonald
Gaffer - Paolo Franciamore
2nd AC - Lee Preston
Musical accompanist - Alexandria Anfield
Stills Photography - Jasmine Allcock-Fox
Runner - Chezden Mills