BEHIND THE SCREAMS
Inspired by the creator's real experiences of being a woman working in film, BEHIND THE SCREAMS takes place on the set of a horror movie.
While filming in a historic London pub a director is tormented by more than spirits as she is confronted with the realities of being a woman in the film industry.
BEHIND THE SCREAMS
A film crew are making a seemingly impossible horror film. The production is in the final days of what has been a gruelling and frustrating shoot. Tensions on set are high as Chloe, the director, and Sean, the Director of Photography, have clashed frequently.
Interweaved in the action is the film that the crew are shooting. In it, we see an array of female horror character tropes that Chloe and the female crew members on set struggle to relate to. As things keep going wrong on set, we learn that there is more than just creative differences at play causing the chaos behind the scenes.
The crew become the target of sinister spirits inhabiting the pub. The escalating hauntings parallel the growing tension on set, increasing Chloe's self doubt. At the climax of the film, the spirits launch an attack on the crew and we are left to guess as to whether or not they survive.
Our film navigates the idea of how the paranormal may correlate or reflect people’s inner demons and the real evil that lurks within society. As a woman who works in the creative industry, this is a story that I wanted to tell as it is one that I, along with many others that I have spoken to, continue to experience time and time again.
The spirits’ interaction with the crew intensifies as Chloe faces increasing unjustified criticism on both a personal level, primarily from Sean, the Director of Photography, and at a systemic level from the production studio. Through this, I want the film to comment on how women still struggle to secure their place in the film industry without facing stigma. I also want to show how ultimately, the inequality she faces on set fails the whole crew and film.
I’ve been fascinated by the way the Horror genre reflects societal fears and changes and I think the genre lends itself well to exploring the themes of misogyny and gender bias within the creative industry.
I think it’s important to represent women in positions of power in the film industry not only to normalise this, but to show what women achieve even in the face of pervasive adversity. By having Chloe contrast the one-dimensional female characterisation in the fake film, BEHIND THE SCREAMS will use typical female tropes we see in horror to comment on the experiences women have in the creative industries.
We will be shooting the film in an old and iconic pub in London. As we are filming in a location with such a rich history, I want to ground the story in the location and allow the environment itself to immerse the audience in the action and experiences of our characters.
Lastly, I want to create a working environment where the creative team can work closely to secure a vision in which they feel they’ve had the opportunity for creative expression. Through my debut film and our crowdfunding efforts, my hope is to build a platform where I can collaborate with like-minded film and theatre makers to explore this genre and its sub-genres further.
UPDATE: 23rd November, 2023
Check out our video below to learn about Holly's inspirations for the story and characters of BEHIND THE SCREAMS!
Writer - Director
Holly is an actor and first-time director based in London, originally from Leeds. As well as being a performer, she has worked within the costume department over the last five years for theatre productions, shows for Apple TV and Amazon Prime and short films such as FIND THE LIGHT and THE MAGICAL TOY SHOP.
Niamh is a northern theatre maker based in London and The Lake District. She moved to London 7 years ago to study theatre and production arts, earning the Associate Artist Award in her graduating year from Goldsmiths University. Over the last five years she has worked in theatre producing and coordinating a mixture of live events. She is currently the Programme Coordinator at THEATRE CENTRE working on a range of touring productions including HUMAN NURTURE (Ryan Calais Cameron) and BIRDS AND BEES (Charlie Josephine).
Emma Kyung Mi Sheldrick is a film producer and photographer based in London and Seoul with over 7 years of experience working on a variety of media productions from all around the world. She has worked in Seoul over the last 4 years on productions including PACHINKO (Apple TV+), BTS: PERMISSION TO DANCE ON STAGE - LA (Disney +), THE 93RD OSCARS AWARDS (The Academy Awards) as well as a variety of branded projects for clients such as CNN Create, Maltesers, Youtube and Spotify. BEHIND THE SCREAMS marks the beginning of her foray into producing independent narrative film content.
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