Em and Ly, two friends living in a near future, meet in a home which is not their own, trying to escape their reality. When they get trapped, their identities, their choices and the environment they live in, are called into question.
OWN HOME? is a short piece of neorealism with a dystopian, sci-fi, thriller twist and a touch of dark comedy.
THE STORY / THE WORLD
In a dystopian near future, Em and Ly, two best friends, are in a stunning ex-council home which is not their own. As young women and friends they’ve not really addressed the extremities of the new world they are in. When this brushes up against their different ideas for a fun night and their futures, their friendship and their identities are called into question.
In the dystopian future of OWN HOME? global geo-political problems we face today have accelerated and forced the ‘powers that be’ to make decisions as to how to control people. Property ownership and living within means of actual hard money in the bank rather than with the support of mortgages, loans or state support is privileged. People have been divided into those who own property outright and those who don’t – the Holders and the Hiders. Em and Ly were Holders at the time of the ‘transition’ but they just as easily could have been Hiders. This is a world in which decisions to divide and control people have been made along rudimentary lines – it’s not that deep – it’s simply that in the face of global crises like climate change and mass migration, the people in power have had to make decisions, hard and fast, to reduce the population and subjugate people on the pretence of ‘saving’ others. OWN HOME? explores this through honing in on the intimate and funny relationship between two proper city girls therefore approaching these huge existential questions for humanity with a groundedness and levity.
As Em and Ly reach adulthood they are figuring out how and if they want to be part of the new world they live in. What is it all for? What do they stand for?
WHY THIS IS AN IMPORTANT FILM
OWN HOME? is a crucial film to make because it’s about that time in life when you question everything and you wonder how and if you want to be part of the world past generations have built; or if you want to stand for new ideas and ways to think and act.
Climate change, housing crises, gentrification, movements of people (the list goes on), are shaping people’s futures and influencing their choices around the world. Do we want to be an owner? What does ownership mean now? What are we actually able to hold on to? Does ownership grant freedom?
OWN HOME? is a comment on today and what the future could look like through the lens of young women.
THE CREATIVE APPROACH
OWN HOME? brings together a crew made up of majorly women, queer people and people from a wide range of ethnicities and backgrounds. This is hugely important to Bec Evans (writer & director) and is as much to do with reflecting her background and lived experience as it is to do with allowing for an authentic story to be told to the highest standard.
The entire film has been shot with grounding in reality, but also a heightened sense of realism, by the cinematographer Luciana Riso. Shots themselves are handheld, jumping and whipping between the two characters’ point of views in order to achieve the sense of the girls being watched - but also them watching each other at all times. We also play with shots from above, below and extreme close ups to achieve a sense of something being ‘not quite right’ and to draw out moments of humour and surrealism.
The edit will be worked to create the illusion of having as few shots as possible. It will use tricks to move through the space and jump forward and back in time, to emphasise the confines of the home and the world the girls are stuck in.
The colours of the film will be realistic, muted to a degree with a touch of cold, bluey/purpley light in places to allude to sci-fi dystopia. There will be pops of colour and sparkle through some of the details in the house to emphasise the girls longing for what is just out of their reach; a world that is brighter than the one they are currently in and that which they might give up.
Sound is key to this film and a really exciting element which will act as a character or characters. We will be playing with the careful orchestration between the overwhelming sound of industrial machinery, a constant siren, a relentless TV broadcaster and the women themselves, to create peaks and troughs of tension. A homage to Dolly Parton will also be woven throughout as Em fixates on trying to watch the legendary film 9 to 5.
The impact of the overwhelming sound of industrial machinery will drop away to near silence at key moments in the story. But, throughout the film a siren is going off; its volume increases and decreases depending on where the young women are and what is going on in the house. The siren serves as a device to keep the audience slightly on edge despite the observation of a very relatable evening between two young people.
WHERE WE’RE AT AND HOW YOUR MONEY WOULD BE SPENT
This project is relying on private investments at the moment through Armoury production company which represents Bec, but this has only got us so far.
We have completed a two day shoot in the home that inspired the whole project thanks to the kindness of Bec’s friends gifting the location whilst they were on holiday – this was a substantial saving for the budget.
We have assembled an incredible team of majorly women, who, between them bring a hugely varied mix of expertise and lived experience.
Jo Harris and Stephanie Okoye at Des Hamilton have cast the project and we have the incredible Nina Singh and Thea Gajic as the co-stars.
We have managed, through people’s good will, to shoot the final scenes of the film, between various locations, at the beginning of September. Part of the funds we hope to raise will go to paying our crew. A large proportion of what we raise will be allocated to post; the offline edit, grade, CGI and VFX, composition, sound mix and delivery.
Finally the world that has been built for this project is huge and is scalable in a really exciting way. We want to approach post and marketing/distribution with sight to develop this project as a feature.
We want to bring OWN HOME? to festivals and give it an international career; funds will allow us to pay for festival entries, marketing campaigns at the festivals and possibly transportation to the festivals for some of the team (if the budget can stretch that far).
Fund’s use breakdown:
- VFX and CGI to create Em and Ly’s dystopian world
- Sound Design
- Reimburse location hires
- Top-up pay of cast and crew who worked in kind
Marketing and Distribution:
- Graphic design
- Social media strategy
- Festivals submissions
The writer and director
Bec Evans is a writer and director with particular interest in the beauty and diversity of people's everyday lives – why they are the way they are, and why they choose to do the things they do – gender, class, dance, the environment and tech. She has substantial experience in production having worked in varied roles since doing work experience, at Mentorn Media, at 15, and juggling this with her job at Woolworths. After gaining experience on long form documentary productions, Bec progressed to Head of Video Development at Dazed and Confused Magazine where she also commissioned and worked on the development of ideas and strategy. Since leaving the full time role at Dazed, Bec has been concentrating on her writing and directing, whilst also working in various roles for brands, production companies and institutions. She has gained further experience in the development of documentary, narrative HETV and film, and worked to strategise the development slate for the Emmy Award winning company Little By Little Films. Films Bec has seen into fruition have won accolades, from the Grierson Trust to Raindance, and have featured the likes of Munroe Bergdorf, Kelsey Lu, Rose McGowan and Greta Thunberg. Bec directed a film for Dr Martens last year and had the privilege of collaborating with Oscar winning director Darius Marder, on a project centring her caring responsibilities for her Mum. Bec has a feature script she is working on, as well as a series and a novel, her writing has been published by Dazed and Splash & Grab Magazine, and she has had a play performed at The Bristol Old Vic. Bec has trained as a dancer since she was a child and went to Bristol University, to study Film, Television and Theatre, where she received an award for the highest mark in her year. Her time at Dazed means that she has a high fashion, high art sensibility that informs her creative process and team, whilst deeply understanding narrative authenticity and what it means to bring truly intimate stories to the screen.
Nina is a Scottish, Punjabi actress based in London. She’s been involved in a few crime dramas recently! She’s a series regular in new Scottish TV show ‘The Chemistry of Death’ for Paramount + & ‘Sarah’ in the BBC’s ‘Beyond Paradise’. Most recently she had the honour of playing ‘Em’ in Bec Evans' dystopian film relating to the housing crisis. Look out for her (with v blue hair) in ‘The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry’ with Jim Broadbent & Penelope Wilton in cinemas later this year!
THEA GAJIC is an actress, writer and director born and raised in South London. Thea is currently working on her feature film SURVIVING EARTH, which has been selected as one of the twelve projects in the 2019/20 iFeatures development programme.
Thea’s first short film ‘RUN’ won the New Talent Award at BFI Future Film Fest and was selected as BFI Postroom’s Pick of The Month and Short of The Week where Thea was praised as “showcasing not only astute, rounded female characters but a strong directorial voice”.
Thea’s second short film ‘THE IMPORTANCE OF SKIN’ premiered via Short of The Week and screened at BFI. Her latest film ‘ELI’ was made with Film London on their London Calling 2018 Slate. Thea recently wrote and directed a short film for Stormzy that played during his Wireless Headline Set in London 2018. Thea is also a Sundance Ignite Fellow.
Luciana Riso is a Colombian/Italian cinematographer working across narrative, documentary, music videos, commercial and art films.
After starting her career in Barcelona and Colombia, she now has more than 5 years of experience working in the UK.
Luciana is an alumna from the National Film Television School and has attended Berlin Talents.
Short films and art films have screened across the globe. Awera, co-directed by Simone Jaikiriuma Pateu and Natalia Escobar, was screened in Director’s Fortnight at Cannes 2022 and will be screened at LFF. Ete, directed by Greg Oke, was long listed for a BAFTA IN 2018. White Rocks, by Carmen Mueck was long listed for BIFFA in 2020. Recently “The Future isn’t what it used to be”, directed by Adeyemi Michael and written by Courtia Newland, premiered in a short competition at TIFF 2021 and subsequently was shown in Black Star Fest.
Ear for Eye, her first long form, directed by Debbie Tucker Green and produced by the BBC, Fiona Lamptey, Rose Garnett and executive produced by Barbara Broccoli, premiered in LFF (London Film Festival) 2021 and was broadcasted on BBC2 and iplayer.
In 2021 she also shot her first feature in Colombia and is now in post production and attending WIP in San Sebastián film festival.
Luciana won best short experimental cinematography in the prestigious Zigmud Cinematography Film Festival in 2020. She is now a new member of the Asociación de Cinematógrafos Colombiana (ADFC).
Des Hamilton – Jo Harris & Stephanie Okoye
Founded in 2001, Des Hamilton Casting’s first project was Lynne Ramsay’s “Morvern Callar” where Kathleen McDermott was discovered in Glasgow city centre. Kathleen, who had never acted previously, went on to star in the film alongside Samantha Morton and won a BAFTA for best newcomer.
The company have continued with great success to cast via a combination of traditional methods (theatrical agents, drama schools etc) and from the street; notably with the casting of Thomas Turgoose in “This is England”, Tom Sweet in “The Childhood of a Leader” and an array of emerging street cast talent in the latest season of “Top Boy” for Netflix.
In the last few years, Des Hamilton Casting has expanded and have a very exciting year ahead.
Matt Hichens : Managing Director and Executive Producer
Matt’s career has allowed him to work across all types of productions and has brought him into collaboration with the likes of Ionos, Ford, Star Alliance, Microsoft, Visa, Honda, Lucozade, Coca Cola and Guinness. Matt also proudly brings to his leadership and production skill set and knowledge an understanding of both agency and production needs having worked in both production company and agency.
Indy Calland : Production Manager