The First Time I Never Met You
Could the life you’ve already lived stop you from re-living it? A troubled widower rewinds time to reunite with his late wife. But can she fall for the man that his grief has turned him into?
The First Time I Never Met You
The First Time I Never Met You will be a 10-12 minute drama/sci-fi short film.
Our incredible team is behind several brilliant short films that have been selected by international film festivals (London Film Festival, London Short Film Fest, Black Harvest Film Fest, Aesthetica, etc…) We’re raising £15,000 ($19,500) to shoot and complete the film.
We invite you to join the team on our journey and help us bring this heartfelt story to life.
John, a troubled and recluse widower, has built a time-reverse machine… and it works. After it takes him back to his very first date with his late wife, Esmé, John is so moved by the reunion that he struggles to conceal not only his feelings for her, but also how much he knows about her. With the past version of Esmé only having recently met John, she becomes disturbed by his behaviour and concerned for her own safety. As the date diverges from its original course, jeopardising their future together, as well as everything it yielded, John finds himself in a race against time to save everything he once held dear.
Here's a Sizzle Reel we’ve put together using clips from other movies/tv/videos to represent the story, tone and style of our film.
What if the life you’ve already lived stopped you from re-living it?
The film will play as a character drama wrapped within a science-fiction cloak. Think of the deceitful yet caring romantic dynamic of David O’Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook, mixed with the emotional complexities of time travel, as per Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival.
John’s journey will also be depicted with 4 distinctive lighting colour schemes, portraying each stages of his journey: The Present, The Past, Memories of Future Past and the New Path.
The camera will follow John’s perspective. As he goes from believing his course of action is the right one, It will show him on the left side of the frame facing towards the right (Left to Right), for as long as he believe his course of action is the right one. The camera will shift perspective (Right to Left) when John realises the error of his ways. A sub-conscious link, based on the western world notion that the way forward, when applied to a 2D plane, is often perceived as Left to Right (the direction in which most of the western world writes.)
Have you ever had a close relationship reach a point of no return, whether it be because of a break-up, a betrayal, or worse… a death? I have… and often times, I found myself stuck in the bargaining stage of grief, trying to negotiate with my memories, in order to manifest an emotional reality where the end of that connection shouldn't, and wouldn't, hurt as much. A true feat of cognitive dissonance. The good memories become sour, the positive experiences inspire cringe, and any personal growth is written off.
The First Time I Never Met You explores a more visual struggle of that inner battle with grief, and presents a perspective of what is at stake when rejecting the journey from grief towards acceptance. To quote Alfred Lord Tennyson “ ’tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all”. The film is my vision of how those two ideas weigh up against each other.
John is a physicist, whose unusual way of thinking has led him to crack time winding, but also made him a loner, who never fitted in, despite his cooler brother’s (Mark) unconditional efforts to support him. Until he met Esmé, who was able to truly understand and appreciated him. Their relationship turned him into a more social and happy man, as well as a loving father. When Esmé died of cancer, John quickly detached himself from the world, and even from his daughter, Hope, leaving Mark to pick up the pieces. When we meet John in the film, all his energy and attention is focussed on devising a way to Time Wind on a scale large enough that would allow to him get Esmé back.
In the past, Esmé is a research scientist, with an insatiable curiosity and enthusiasm for life. Fascinated by evolution, she’s a staunch believer in mother nature and the course that it follows. She’s a career driven professional, but also full of life, happiness and positivity: the same traits that allow to see the endearing side to John’s unusual way of thinking. Before John’s attempt to re-write history, Esmé became a noted and respected evolutionary scientist, before she died from cancer at 36.
Mark is John’s older brother. He’s always had a keen understanding of John's inability to fit-in, which turned him ever so protective of John. Mark became the shield that would protect John from bullying, social angsts, loneliness, and even from John himself. Mark was there to support John during his first date with Esmé, which happened at his bar. A bar he has since closed down to once again support his brother, as John neglects his duties as a father, due to his inconsolable grief.
John’s workshop is pivotal to the story. It is where he secluded himself to work on the Time Winding machine. It also serves as a visual representation of his state of mind, it is dark, cluttered and filled with items from Mark’s old bar, which is where John and Esmé’s first date happened. The workshop is a representation of the past that John is mentally stuck in, but also actively trying to get to.
Mark’s bar has a warm vibe, it’s a place to relax, that rarely sees any drama. A stark contrast with John’s state of mind, that will work as a visual queue for tension that will arise from John’s predicament.
TIME MACHINE DESIGN
The time machine will be designed as a giant cylinder, that sends light throughout an infinite cycle. A design inspired by theoretical physicist Ronald Mallet work’s on time travel which theorises that a circulating beam of light will cause space and time to become twisted, creating the opportunity to send information back in time.
Website | IMDb Eric is a writer, director and actor based in London. After graduating with a degree in film from the Thames Valley University, he went on to direct several short films which went on to enjoy succesful and international festival runs. He went on to study acting and has seen appeared BBC's Holby City and Eastenders, as well as various short and long form projects. HOLD is the latest short film that Eric directed, and was his first (and not last) venture in the realm of sci-fi... Watch it below.
IMDB Isaura Barbé-Brown is an actress and writer who grew up in East London and trained at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York and with the British American Drama Academy in Oxford. Since moving back to London, Isaura has worked regularly in film, tv, theatre, voice over and dance and has written scripts, articles, essays and reviews. She has been awarded as the Best Actress across 10 years by the British Urban Film Festival, and Best Actress by the LA New Wave Film Festival; as well as received a Best Actress Nomination frmo the Off West End awards. She has also given talks and been on panels at the BFI, the Watersprite Film Festival and the Norwich Film Festival. Isaura appeared in the Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beast: Crimes of Grindelwald as Laurena Kama, and set to feature in Showtime's upcoming Halo TV series.
Website | IMDb Originally from Sydney, Michael studied at the Sydney College of the Arts and began his career camera assisting on films such as Alien: Covenant (2017). He then moved to the UK to study Cinematography at the National Film and Television School, funded by a grant from the Ian Potter Cultural Trust. Graduating in 2019, Michael’s graduate fiction project “Azaar” went on to be nominated for “Best British Short” at the 2020 BAFTA Awards. Azaar, as well as Michael's graduate animation project A Bird With No Legs, won silver and gold respectively at the Australian Cinematography Society awards.
IMDb Reine began her career in the film industry by interning on the feature film City Island with Andy Garcia and Alan Arkin. She has since filled various production roles on a number of different film and TV projects in the UK and internationally. She has also produced several of her own short films which have been selected to various film festivals around the world and received some awards for them. She also worked with Dame Maureen Lipman and Miriam Margolyes, OBE in two of her short films.
She recently completed her first feature Farah, a Lebanese psychological thriller that deals with mental health and the pharmaceutical industry. Reine has also founded her own production company, Blue SiReine Productions Ltd, in which she aspires to mainly work on social conscious films as well as female lead stories.
Stephanie Faucher is currently a Production Coordinator in TV, starting career in the London TV & Film industry in the Fall of 2018, after finishing the Production Management Course at the NFTS. Her work consists of being: a Production Coordinator on Docs for Netflix, HBO Max, Apple TV, BBC2, and Channel 4, PMing Shorts, and being a production consultant for shorts & online series. Her film career began in the AD Department and has since moved to Production, working on films that premiered at Sundance, NYFF, been distributed by A24, and won several awards. As a Third Culture Person, Stephanie is someone who has grown up all over the World and experienced a wide variety of cultures to the fullest. Her aim is to tell stories of the little sectors of cultures we readily pass by and don’t think about twice.
Here’s a breakdown of where and how the money will be spent:
The health and safety of our cast and crew is essential and given the ongoing pandemic, we will consult with a COVID-19 supervisor and follow the appropriate government COVID-19 guidance for film crews to ensure that our set will be a safe and hygienic space for everyone.
Here's a list of the perks and rewards that come along with the different levels of contributions:
A Big Thank You - £5.00 Support the project with as little as £5 and you will receive a BIG thank you, and a shout out on our social media channels.
Credited Special Thanks - £15.00 You will be mentioned in the 'Special Thanks' section of the film's credits and its IMDb page. Reward also includes: A Big Thank You First Look Access - £25.00 Be amongst the first to stream the film. Support with £25 and you will receive a private link to the film before it is released to the rest of the world, as well as a digital copy of the film's official poster. Reward also includes: Credited Special Thanks / A Big Thank You
Shooting Script - £50.00 Discover the film as it was at one of the earliest stages of its life by receiving a digital copy of the script, when you support the film with £50. Reward also includes: Digital Copy of the Poster / First Look Access / Credited Special Thanks / A Big Thank You
Storyboard - £75.00 Support the film with £75 and on you’ll receive a digital copy of the storyboard in pdf and gif (animated) format. Reward also includes: Shooting Script / Digital Copy of the Poster / First Look Access / Credited Special Thanks / A Big Thank You
Personalised Video - £100.00 Receive a personalised 'thank you' video from the team. 5% of your support will go to a UK bereavement charity that supports people dealing with grief. Reward also includes: Storyboard / Shooting Script / Digital Copy of the Poster / Preview Link / Credited Special Thanks / A Big Thank You
1-to-1 with the Filmmakers - £150.00 Attend a 30mins 1-to-1 online session with either Reine Issa (producer), or Eric Kole (writer/director) as per your choice. You'll also get 1 ticket to a screening of the film.* 5% of your support will go to a UK bereavement charity. Reward also includes: Storyboard / Shooting Script / Digital Copy of the Poster / First Look Access / Credited Special Thanks / A Big Thank You
Be An Easter Egg - £250.00 Become part of our cinematic universe. You could be mentioned in the context of the story, or a character could even be named after you, making you our film's very own Easter Egg. You'll also get 1 ticket to a screening of the film.* 5% of your support will go to a UK bereavement charity. Reward also includes: Storyboard / Shooting Script / Digital Copy of the Poster / First Look Access / Credited Special Thanks / A Big Thank You
Fantastic Fans and Where To Meet Them - £350.00 Fan of the Wizarding World? Attend an online Q&A with Isaura Barbé-Brown (Laurena Kama in Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald), there will be an opportunity to ask your own questions. You'll also get 1 ticket to a screening of the film.* 5% of your support will go to a UK bereavement charity. Reward also includes: Storyboard / Shooting Script / Digital Copy of the Poster / First Look Access / Credited Special Thanks / A Big Thank You Associate Producer - £600.00 Become one of our Associate Producers be credited as such in our end credits, as well as IMDb and anywhere the film's credits will appear. You'll also get 2 ticket to one of the screenings of the film*, as well as the film's downloadable digital package (film treatment, behind the scenes photos, screenshots and videos.) 5% of your support will go to a UK bereavement charity. Reward also includes: Storyboard / Shooting Script / Digital Copy of the Poster / First Look Access / Credited Special Thanks / A Big Thank You
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - £1,000.00 Kevin Feige, Kathleen Kennedy, Spielberg… Executive Producers’ contributions are monumental in making spectacular projects happen. Support the project with £1000 and become one of our Executive Producer. You will be credited as such anywhere the film's credits will appear (end credits, IMDb, etc...) You'll also get 4 ticket to one of the screenings of the film*, as well as the film's downloadable digital package (film treatment, behind the scenes photos, screenshots and videos) and the opportunity to attend an online table read with the cast ahead of production. £50 of your support will go to a UK bereavement charity. Reward also includes: Storyboard / Shooting Script / Digital Copy of the Poster / First Look Access / Credited Special Thanks / A Big Thank You
*Screening ticket are for a screening that will take place in London, once the film is completed and government restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic are lifted.