The Boy In The Shed
The Boy In The Shed is a thought provoking featurette, that centres around children’s mental health and bereavement. Eddie, a young boy grappling with mental health, struggles to come to terms with the sudden death of his father. He meets Summer, the new girl, who teaches him to talk about his feelings, allowing him to deal with loss, bullying and loneliness in a world he feels no longer his own.
The Boy In The Shed
DIRECTOR'S STATEMENT BY BEN WICKS:
I’ve always been fascinated by how children cope with so-called ‘adult issues’.
A recent short of mine, Snapshot, focussed on how a child came to terms with his grandfather’s diagnosis of Alzheimer's.
Alistair, my co-writer and I, wanted to put a child back into those ‘adult issues’ and, after both going through bereavements ourselves and watching how our younger siblings also struggled to cope, we started to write the character of Eddie and The Boy In The Shed was born.
It is crucial for me to showcase the effects mental health has on a young boy who tries to communicate his feelings over bereavement. I do not want to shy away from showcasing bereavement on camera and will ensure that this is a visceral project with raw emotion at it’s heart.
Mental health within children plays a vital part in the characterisation of Eddie. In the film, we explore this mainly through sound. We wish to create a sound-scape of what we would consider ‘everyday sounds’; the music blaring from the parked car, the whirring of the garden mower, the sizzling of the pan in the kitchen and the screech of the ambulance whizzing by. All forming an overbearing cacophony that we wish to build into the score of the film - allowing us into the mind of a child struggling with their mental health.
Fundamentally, The Boy In The Shed should be almost documentarian in its approach. Whilst still remaining tonally cinematic, audiences should feel that what they are witnessing is real life. I hope to achieve this through the use of a hand held camera and shallow close ups, giving focus on the emotion of our characters, namely Eddie.
When we meet Eddie in the present, his world is cold, dark and lonely as he battles the demons of bereavement & anxiety. Extreme and uncomfortable close ups will put us firmly in the mindset of Eddie.
This darker and colder world is juxtaposed by Eddie’s memories of Dad - seen through flashbacks. These are warm and exciting - wider, more fluid camera movements will allow for a calmer mindset. I intend to shoot the flashbacks at golden hour to really paint a ‘rose-tinted glasses’ feel.
From the tone of films from the likes of Andrea Arnold & Mike Leigh, to the visuals of Belfast, JoJo Rabbit and A Monster Calls, the aim of this film is to catapult the audience into the world of Eddie - his struggle to communicate and understand the loss of his idol, his Dad - something every audience member will go through at some point in their lives.
This film is a featurette, meaning the film will be about thirty minutes long. Subject to finance, our plan is to start principal photography in February 2023.
We’ve created a structured film festival plan where we will be entering top tier, BAFTA qualifying festivals. Our hope is to use this platform to raise further awareness around children’s mental health.
We have been incredibly blessed to have Child Bereavement UK join us on this journey as one of our charitable partners. They have provided invaluable insight and guidance in order to make the script as accurate as possible. We are also incredibly lucky to have the Norwegian trio I See Rivers providing us with music for the film.
We are excited to announce that The Boy In The Shed will be the first major co-production between Shoreditch Pictures (Directors being Ben Wicks, Sarah and Jeremy Culverhouse) and Window Zebra Productions (Directors being James Haslam, Dominic Howlett and Sam Kemp).