Dream Big

A BFI Network developed short film, written and directed by Pip Swallow.

After being passed over for a big promotion at work, Miranda discovers that she can control the world via her model railway set. A bittersweet comedy about a derailed woman, trying to mould herself to the institution but ultimately finding the power within to create her own.

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    Dream Big

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    Hello and Welcome to DREAM BIG!

    DREAM BIG is a bittersweet comedy uniquely centred around the empowerment of a female protagonist and a very British hobby – the model railway.



    Writer/ Director – PIP SWALLOW


    Pip is an up and coming comedy filmmaker. Her first short, GREAT EXPECTATIONS premiered at Tribeca, won Edinburgh TV Festival’s New Voices Award for ‘Best Pilot’, and also screened Underwire, Cambridge and Norwich Film Festivals. Her second short as writer and directorial debut, is the recently completed comedy-horror, DAY OF THE 20,000 GAMMON.

    Producer – GEORGINA FRENCH


    Georgina has produced numerous multi-award winning short films, working in collaboration with emerging and established talent. Recent credits include: FROM A STRANGE LAND, directed by Caroline Steinbeis, WHAT HAPPENED TO EVIE, directed by BAFTA winner Kate Cheeseman & Exec Produced by Prof. Stefan Allesch-Taylor CBE, NOTHING IMPORTANT, directed by Tara FitzGerald.


    Cinematographer – TANIA FREIMUTH


    Tania’s work has garnered nominations and awards for Best Cinematography. Her work has screened on Amazon Prime and BBC iPlayer.

    ​Cinematography is at the heart of a journey which began for Tania on commercials, music videos and HETV drama; COLD FEET, INSPECTOR LINLEY and THE LOST PRINCE, culminating in her first feature shot on 16mm film. Her recent work includes: CYN starring Eloise Smyth and Bill Milner and A BIRTHDAY PARTY starring Yusra Warsama and Nahel Tzegai.

    Tania’s a member of the GBCT, Illuminatrix - Rising & BAFTA.


    Production Designer – MAY DAVIES


    May's extensive feature film credits include: DAEMON MIND, directed by Jason Fite, THE GROUP, directed by Will Higo & WAR OF THE WORLDS: THE ATTACK, directed by Junaid Syed. For TV: LANDSCAPERS & THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING OSCAR.



    We’re delighted to announce our first cast member...

    Rhoda Ofori-Attah – MIRANDA


    Rhoda has appeared in INFORMER (BBC), DARK HEART (ITV) and TEMPLE (Sky). She joined the critically acclaimed show TOP BOY in 2019, and returned in the second season for Netflix. You’ll also be able to see her in the new season 3 of SEX EDUCATION (Netflix). You can catch up with her now in Uberto Pasolina’s new film, NOWHERE SPECIAL (2020) starring James Norton.


    Stayed tuned for further casting news!



    Miranda is a woman who has dedicated herself to her job but when the interview day for a big promotion comes up, she is overlooked in favour of a man who is everything she's not. Returning home, she takes refuge in her hobby, her model railway. Fuelled by anger she paints a figure to resemble the man who pipped her to the post and maniacally runs over him with a tiny train. At work the next day, she is shocked to find that her revenge fantasy has played out in real life, her competitor is in hospital after an accident on the railway tracks. Miranda is given her dream job in his stead. Miranda can’t quite believe her luck and checks her power by painting a Deliveroo driver. All is confirmed when the driver knocks on her door. The next day she decides to use her power for good, when she sees her neighbour has lost her cat, and paints a window cleaner saving Chairman Meow, from a nearby tree. Buoyed by her new found power, she is emboldened to pursue the office romance she had previously been too shy to act upon. But as she tries to paint her fantasy life she is overwhelmed with the unquenchable desire for more and more. She accidently sets the model railway on fire and her boyfriend nearly dies as a result. She throws away the broken railway, leaves her job and sets up her own business; a miniature golf course.



    When Pip saw her friend’s dad’s model railway back in her home town of Spalding, it struck her as the one corner of the UK where things were ok, not uncertain or divided, and where the trains were running on time.

    The model railway setting is emblematic of our human desire to have control in an uncontrollable world and to be a giant where we can very often feel infinitesimal. It also resonated to her as a filmmaker, an art that relies on creating your own world; a set peopled with actors, fulfilling a narrative of your own choosing.

    Women are often the people who keep things running smoothly, who bend themselves to fit into the male-dominated world. This story is about women trying to fit into an environment not of their making, playing by rules not designed by them or for them. Miranda is fighting to exist in that world, but ultimately finds fulfilment in forging her personal utopia.




    Dream Big was selected for the BFI Network’s Short Film Development Programme in 2020. Pip worked with highly regarded script editors Kate Leys and Jessica Jones to develop the screenplay. We now want to take this great script to screen...

    We’re off to a fantastic start. A major UK film fund are supporting us with partial production finance. We have 79% of our budget raised! Hooray!



    We’re so close... but we need further funding to bring this film to life! With your help, we are aiming to raise an extra £4,000 to complete our budget. Dream Big is a very detailed and highly ambitious short film. The story unfurls over six days and includes multiple locations, SFX, VFX, a sizeable cast, and also features an animal (and they say never to work with animals!). This funding will enable the film to have high production values, and be the best it can possibly be. In return for your contribution, we have some fantastic perks, which we hope you’ll enjoy!

    It’s also about spreading the word. Empowering women and girls and achieving gender equality are crucial to creating inclusive, open and prosperous societies. Gender inequalities, however, persist so it is important that we find new ways of addressing this issue. Your support will enable us to have this conversation, in an accessible and entertaining way!



    We are planning our shoot for 4 days in late October. We have secured various locations, including Miranda’s house and garden shed, and also the world's oldest and original model village, Bekonscot. Market Deeping Model Railway Club are very kindly loaning us one of their train layouts for the shoot. The model railway where Miranda discovers she can control the world!



    Can you help us spread the word? Please consider sharing this campaign with your friends, family and followers on your social channels. Every mention is a big boost and will allow us to reach more and more people.



    Huge thanks for taking the time to read about our film and for considering becoming a part of the DREAM BIG team. We can't wait for you to join us on our journey to create the film. We appreciate every single one of you.


    For the latest updates, follow us on:






    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

    raised of £3,000.00 goal
    67 Backers
    Ding, Ding! All aboard!

    You're on board! We hope you'll get a warm, fuzzy glow from supporting women in film. We'll say a huge 'Thank You' on the film's website and Facebook/Twitter/Instagram.

    You're on the right track!

    You'll receive the above + You ALSO get to watch the film when it's finished! We'll send you a password protected link to view the film online after it has premiered

    It's a freight day for it!

    You'll receive all the above + a PDF of the shooting script signed by the cast

    What a tram-endous opportunity!

    You'll receive all the above + a 'Special Thanks' in the film's closing credits. You can show all your friends your name on the big screen!


    You’ll receive all of the above + the opportunity to be a supporting artist in the film. Play one of our ‘Happy Golfers’ in the final scene of the film. Here is your chance to get a real life film experience!

    (23 remaining out of 25)
    Let off some steam!

    You'll receive all the above + an invitation for 2 to the Cast & Crew screening in London + join us for a drinks reception afterwards

    (6 remaining out of 10)
    We're rail-ly funny!

    You'll receive all the above + you have the opportunity to be immortalised in the film as a painted 00 model in Miranda's model railway, which you get to keep after the shoot. Delivery November 2021.

    (4 remaining out of 4)
    Come train or shine!

    All of the above + An hour-long private masterclass with the Writer/Director and Producer. The masterclass can be gifted to anyone you like. Is there someone in your life who’s interested in a career in the industry? The masterclass can be tailored to focus on any aspect of the creative process, such as writing, acting, auditioning, directing and producing. (Delivery from November 2021. Online, unless you're based in South East England)

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    Just the ticket!

    You'll receive all the above + be credited as an Associate Producer in the closing credits of the film + IMDB entry

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    You'll receive all the above + be credited as an Executive Producer in the closing credits of the film + IMDB entry

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