The Descent of Sanity
A father tormented by the disappearance of his daughter abducts a man he believes to be responsible for his little girls kidnapping with the intention of finding where she is, whatever the cost.
The Descent of Sanity
1268 child abduction offences were recorded by police in England and Wales in 2018/19. More than double those recorded in 2013/14 of 565 and the highest in a decade. The numbers are rising; with a 7% increase in recorded offences on the previous year and an analysis by Action Against Abduction suggests that three quarters of stranger abduction victims are girls and the average age of victims of attempted abductions is 11. The numbers are staggering and with The Descent of Sanity we want to help change the narrative by raising awareness of the problem and navigating teachers, parents and caregivers to the 'Clever Never Goes' campaign by Action Against Abduction.
The Concept Trailer above portrays the style and tone that A.J. Dodds & Johnny Read will be directing The Descent of Sanity in.
The Descent of Sanity is a crime/drama short film by Carlett Eagle Productions.
In the Descent of Sanity we watch as our main characters unravel before our eyes to reveal their true characters when pushed to their limits. Seeking the truth about his daughters whereabouts after she has been abducted, DS Steven Lee played by Johnny Read (Day93, The People of Featherhead) finds and takes the man he believes to be responsible to a secret location, away from the prying eyes of his family and friends on the force who have seen his sanity waiver, to extract information from him; by any means necessary. Peter Thompson played by James Tandy (best known for his stage performances in Romeo and Juliet and Sleeping Beauty at Birmingham Royal Ballet) a teacher and well respected member of the local community, is caught off guard when he is taken in the boot of a car to a disused warehouse on the very edge of town. He comes face to face with the intensity of a father's grief and determination for his child. A man with nothing to lose; and he has everything to lose. The film explores the stages of grief in a raw, emotional and very physical way through a father, daughter relationship that is revealed to be more than it seems on the surface as the story unfolds. Will Peter find a way out? Will Steve find the truth? Gripping storytelling ensues as we delve deeper into Steve's psyche.
The story has been quietly in development by Johnny and A.J for a number of years but it was really developed into something gripping when Johnny became a father himself and was able to offer a further insight in to understanding the gravity of the situation which was not available to them before. This was then crafted into a compelling narrative by the duo.
Fortunately for us our producer, Stephanie Read, has a degree in Psychology so we were able to combine her knowledge with the creativity of Johnny and A.J to create a gripping story line with emotional accuracies.
The locations of the film are both COVID friendly- or as 'friendly' as working around COVID can be!- and visually and historically fascinating.
Check out some of the images below of Dibbinsdale Woods and our warehouse inspiration locations.
Once the film is complete we want to support local community cinema so we will be screening the film at the new Leigh Film community cinema currently being built at the iconic Spinners Mill! Leigh Film are raising funds to build their sustainable cinema and you can check them out here.
Writers and Directors, A.J. Dodds and Johnny Read met in 2010 whilst studying and have created and produced countless small productions together but it would take 10 years and Johnny's marriage to our Producer, Stephanie Read before Carlett Eagle Productions would take them on a new indie film journey. Together, we have written 5 screenplays, both short and feature and have a further 5 in the pipeline currently in their draft states. We are hard working and despite forming in early March, right before the current pandemic sent us into lockdown, we have written, directed (via zoom!) and produced short film DAY93. We're really proud of the results considering the obvious limitations and would love to know what you think too!
Stephanie Read, Carlett Eagle's leading producer comes from a background of Counselling and Psychology. She has since collaborated with Johnny and A.J on a number of projects in development at Carlett Eagle Productions, and will be writing and directing her own short film, "Sticks and Stones" later this year.
Johnny Read as 'Steven Lee'. A former Detective Sergeant that turned to alcoholism after his daughter was taken from him. His declining mental state is a key part of the story, and Johnny breathes life into this character at every turn. His authoritive nature is constantly at war with his inner turmoil. His mission is pure, but his methods and intentions are far from it. It is this that gives Johnny a fascinating duplicity of self to work with throughout. Being a Father himself, he is able to channel his own life experiences to give an honest and raw performance.
James Tandy as "Peter Thompson" - School Teacher to former pupil "Sarah Lee". During the casting process, James stood out above all by bringing every element of "Peter". He showed a level of vulnerability and honest fear that was beyond what we had hoped for. Amongst many other elements that give "Peter" the range and complexity that the character requires. Definitely an actor to watch.
Due to the pandemic we have worked hard to ensure that we are able to create a fantastic and visually stunning film with a skeleton crew by building our team with great talent. Our brilliant skeleton crew consists of:
Harry Rae Smith - Director of Photography
Chloe Potter - Assistant Director
James Woodall - 1st Assistant Camera
Zac Gardiner- Sound Engineer
Danny Whiting- Production Assistant
In addition to the film, we have a really talented, up and coming singer/songwriter, Gael McGregor, writing and recording a song as the official soundtrack to the film.
We think you will agree, her natural, simplistic style and vocals are beautiful and a fantastic accompaniment to the film exploring grief and a father, daughter relationship.
You can find her Instagram by clicking her image to listen to some of her stunning vocals.
We will also be directing and producing a music video to accompany the song which will be released shortly before the film- or you can see it first with one of the perks packages available exclusively here at Greenlit!
We are raising money for the production and marketing/festivals for The Descent of Sanity.
Our fantastic cast and crew have agreed to work voluntarily but we don't want them working out of pocket! So our budget includes their travel and catering as well as location and the overall production costs including equipment, costume and special effects make up and the editing and grading of the film in post-production. Your contributions will also go towards the safety of our cast and crew during these unprecedented times with covid safety gear and sanitisation.
Our biggest challenge has and will continue to be COVID-19. The virus delayed the production of The Descent of Sanity back in late March but it will not stop us!
All cast and crew are required to complete basic coronavirus awareness training provided by Screenskills and we have a number of safety measures in place including; a dedicated production assistant to oversee and record temperature checks, sanitisation of equipment, ensuring cast and crew wear masks and social distance at all times wherever possible.
We're aware that during filming our lead actors will be close to one another so to keep everyone safe, they will be required to quarantine before production starts.
We have a range of fantastic perks for our backers to thank you for your contributions. We're talking exclusive to Greenlit and limited edition so you can't get these anywhere else!
We're excited to bring this film to life and we want to thank each and every one of our backers on this campaign. The Descent of Sanity could not happen without you. Thank you!
Click the links below to check out The Descent of Sanity on IMDb and Instagram, and the Carlett Eagle Productions website. You can find more information and free resources for the 'Clever Never Goes' campaign at clevernevergoes.org