Gone But Not Forgotten
Teenage James, struggles to cope with the disappearance of his older brother Sean. Six month on their father, John, lives in denial while James finds some comfort in seeing and talking to visions of Sean. Just when life feels unbearable, is James about to find hope when he least expects it?
Gone But Not Forgotten
Gone But Not Forgotten - BTS Video
Here's a behind the scenes video from the shoot with writer/director Jack and the rest of the senior team.
Principal photography for Gone But Not Forgotten was shot back in early October, however due to some unforeseen circumstances that included a thunderstorm destroying our rain cover, we had to go back for a pick-up shoot day. This has unfortunately eaten into the post-production budget and so we're looking to raise the funds to carry us through the reshoots + post-production.
I initially wrote the feature film screenplay to explore the lives of a family torn apart when one of them goes missing. The feature film is a race against time to uncover the truth of this disappearance while discovering love and hope in the darkest of times.
Our short film brings the first part of this journey to life. It introduces our key characters whist exploring complex family dynamics as well as first love. Families are complicated; they’re messy and fascinating, frustrating and comforting. We all have our own experiences of family but few of us really, truly understand the importance of the role they play in our lives.
Gone But Not Forgotten shines a light on one family, already affected by the loss of a mother and wife and explores how we cope when life gets difficult. I hope you will be able to support us in this exciting and challenging project and fall in love with our characters and accompany them on their journey.
Gone But Not Forgotten follows James, 15, who is still processing his brother Sean's disappearance 6 months prior. James still interacts with Sean in his mind as if his brother and best friend is still there with him, guiding him along with his difficult decisions in life.
The boys' father, John, is similarly struggling to overcome the loss of his eldest son and this has caused their house to become cold and fragmented.
Through a school project assignment, James begins chatting to a boy in his class, Danny, whom he's always liked but never had the courage to speak to. Together as their romance begins to blossom, they begin to start working out what actually happened to Sean and is there something more sinister afoot?
The film highlights how families are torn apart when someone goes missing, how they can’t move on and can’t get closure, stuck in (some cases) permanent limbo.
We are talking to a number of missing persons charities about how we can best use the film to raise awareness and drive support. At the moment we are intending to include a contact number and website link as well as statistics at the end of the film.
As the family in the film is all male we are also talking to the Boys Get Sad Too brand who are supporters of CALM (The Campaign Against Living Miserably) charity. We have reached out to them directly as well.
Finally the younger brother finds comfort in a new LGBTQ relationship which is central to the film. We have a very core LGBTQ team behind the film including myself so we are also looking at ways that we can support and raise awareness of LGBTQ+ issues.
We’ll be entering the film into festivals around its core messages (UK, youth, LGBTQ) as well as wider film festivals. The long term goal of the project is to develop it into a feature film to tell the full story.
The wonderful cast that are bringing the characters to life in Gone But Not Forgotten include a range of experienced actors as well as young up-and-comers.
James - Samson Oliver
James is a quiet teenager who has lost his best friend in his older brother Sean. He always looked up to his older brother now feels completely lost and trapped in a cycle of isolation, becoming increasingly insular and building walls around him to shield him from the daily pain. A lover of the 1980s, James also finds escape in films from the decade, his favourite being The Goonies.
Sean - Toby Oliver (Black Mirror, The Split)
Sean has been missing for 6 months. We see him through the eyes of his younger brother James and his father who refuses to accept he is missing. Sean is a confident and popular teenager, well liked and outgoing. He loves winding up his little brother with his dry sense of humour but is at the same time fiercely protective of him.
Danny - Alex Bree
Danny is a popular classmate of James’. He is outgoing, confident, kind and always wears his heart on his sleeve. As his new relationship with James grows he begins to understand the pain in James’ life and wants to protect him. However Danny knows that for things to improve he must push James to confront his father.
John - Howard Davey (Poldark)
John is a single father to James and Sean, following the death of his wife 10 years ago. John works as a project manager for a local authority where he is well liked and diligent, priding himself on his work ethic and attention to detail. John is unable to process Sean’s disappearance and lives in denial but this is causing him to distance himself from his youngest son.
Charlotte - Carolina Lopes (The Crown)
Charlotte is a colleague and friend of John’s. She is concerned about John’s seeming inability to address his son’s disappearance and worries that he isn’t putting himself or his family ahead of his work. She genuinely cares about John and won’t let him push her away when she knows that he needs her.
Lindsay - Polly Coombes
Lindsay is the girlfriend of missing Sean. Energetic and caring, she doesn’t mince her words and is very protective of her friends. Coming to terms with Sean’s disappearance in her own way she knows she has a role to play in helping to look after James.
In addition to the stellar cast we are blessed to have a great crew for this project too, not just the heads of department but the entire team. Key crew members include Academy Award winner Ali Farahani who has brought his fantastic eye for shot composition to the screen on this project.
We have also worked with the Elstree Screen Arts Academy for this production and had a number of their students on board as trainees as a part of their course for the principal photography.
HOW TO HELP
Although this is a low-budget project it is important to us that the cast and crew are paid for the work they do. Putting the budget into the people, the production design and the kit allows the money to be seen on screen and results in the fantastic production value that we have so far. We were very fortunate to get some fantastic locations and props as donations in kind which have really elevated the production value as well.
We are aiming to raise £4,000 to successfully complete this film.
Here's a breakdown of where the costs will be going: