Satisfaction Guaranteed! is a short, feel-good musical comedy inspired by classic Hollywood musicals like Top Hat and 42nd Street. It’s the story of Endi, a young woman struggling to pursue her dreams of West End musical stardom while working in a high-street clothing shop. When a ‘mystery shopper’ visits the store, not only is her day job on the line, but so are her musical hopes and ambitions
There’s no debating that 2020 has been a difficult year for film and theatre. We’re devastated not only to see theatres dark and films not being made, but so many talented creatives out of work. Worse still, the vast majority have not been eligible for any financial support and have struggled with mental health issues and to make ends meet.
We see this as an opportunity to keep the genre alive and keep artists doing what they love, at a time when it is so desperately needed.
Much like the musicals that have inspired us, Satisfaction Guaranteed! - with its catchy tunes and razzle dazzle - is designed to appeal to a broad musical-loving audience. Whether you’re 8 or 80, if you’re missing your regular dose of song and dance, you’ll adore this feast for the eyes and ears.
When it comes to musicals, there’s nothing like the old classics. It’s true, modern musicals have pulled off impressive technical feats and pushed the genre into new territory, but nothing hits the spot quite like an Astaire-Rogers duet, or a big Busby Berkeley finale. We certainly don’t claim to be on the same level as the greats! But we do know that beautiful, inventive dancing, filmed simply, creates a truly captivating cinematic experience.
Satisfaction Guaranteed! will take that classic aesthetic, and interweave it with all the textures and behaviours of a modern clothing store. It’s… (drum roll please)… Top Hat meets Top Shop!
Satisfaction Guaranteed! has been written and will be directed by David Buchanan and Caitlin Shannon.
Caitlin is British-American and has worked on both sides of the Atlantic in TV, film, theatre and radio. She is the Writer/Director of acclaimed web series, Wimpole Street (winner of Best Director and Best Comedy at the Seattle Web Festival). She has also developed screenplays, treatments and television episodes for Ross WW Media, Lightworkers Media, and The History Channel.
Caitlin's first play, Einstein and Mileva ran Off-Broadway, at the Clurman on 42nd Street. Her one-act plays, The Getaway and Non-Essential Personnel were both staged at the Orange Tree Theatre in London, while her play Cladach was staged at the Soho Theatre.
David has written and directed numerous short films and is currently editing his first feature, Laguna Ave. His previous Writer/Director credits include: The Prime Location, A Cat Online and The Last Babacus.
As both a songwriter and a filmmaker, David has always longed to bring the two skills together and make a movie musical. Now with Satisfaction Guaranteed! his chance has finally come.
Producer, Melody Ruiz has worked on award-winning series such as: The Real Marigold Hotel (BBC), The Secret Life of 4 Year Olds (Channel 4) and four Stacey Dooley documentaries. She is no stranger to the demands of producing short film either. Over the past 15 years she has worked on several projects that have hinged on her ability to set up, coordinate and run shoots, her responsibilities including everything from scheduling to creating risk assessments to ensuring health and safety protocols on location are to the highest standard. Prior to getting into television, Melody trained in Musical Theatre at The BRIT School and she couldn’t be more excited to whip the jazz hands and sparkly shoes back out for this project! Melody was named as one of Edinburgh TV Festival's Ones to Watch 2020-21.
Catherine Goldschmidt, DoP, is an avid fan of musicals and has a wealth of experience shooting both comedy and dance. Recent credits include Doctor Who (BBC), The Honor List (Lionsgate) and Emmy-nominated, Dummy (Quibi), starring Anna Kendrick. Catherine’s pioneering approach for framing the dual-aspect ratio, Dummy was featured in both American Cinematographer and British Cinematographer Magazine.
Choreographer, Jenny Legg, is an accomplished West End triple threat, having starred in high-profile, awarding-winning and nominated musicals such as 42nd Street (Theatre Royal, Drury Lane), Top Hat (West End & UK Tour), Singin' in the Rain (UK, Ireland & Tokyo Tour) and Mack & Mabel (Chichester Theatre & UK Tour). Her recent role in 9 to 5 The Musical (The Savoy Theatre) saw her playing Missy as well as 1st cover Violet, Roz and Margaret. Jenny was due to play Bombalurina in the international tour of Cats this year but it was sadly cancelled due to COVID.
Jenny also has a breadth of experience as a dance captain, dance teacher and choreographer. This combined with her background featuring in 1930s-style musicals makes her the perfect fit to choreograph this film. Jenny trained at the world-renowned Bird College Conservatoire for Dance & Musical Theatre and is represented by Russell Smith Associates.
Composer, Candida Caldicot has an impressive track record of working as a Musical Director, Composer and Arranger in London’s West End, on Broadway and around the UK. Her MD credits include The Lehman Trilogy (National Theatre, West End & Broadway), The Wizard of Oz (Musical Supervisor, Leeds Playhouse), Peter Pan (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Queen Anne (Theatre Royal, Haymarket). As composer, Candida’s credits include: multiple musicals for Iris Theatre including: Alice in Wonderland and Treasure Island, Zeraffa Giraffa (Little Angel & Omnibus) and Buckets (Orange Tree). She has released two albums for new musicals for NYMT - Prodigy and The Battle of Boat.
Casting Director, Brendan Matthew, is the Artistic Director of Cr8tract Theatre Company and has an impressive track record of beginning the careers of many stars of stage and screen. He has cast and directed many musicals, including: My Land’s Shore (world premiere), The Hired Man (Union Theatre) and Howard Goodall’s The Kissing Dance, nominated for seven off-West End awards including Best Director. Brendan was also Assistant Director on the West End production of Singin’ in the Rain (The Adelphi Theatre). Brendan’s Casting Director credits include music videos and Cr8tract’s 2019 production of new musical, Cleopatra, which he also directed.
Brendan is also part of international singing group, GREGORIAN and has toured all over the world with artists such as Sarah Brightman, Narcis Iustin Ianău, Fernando Varela and Amelia Brightman. He has worked with such stars as Bette Midler, Joanna Lumley, Peter O'Toole, Paul O'Grady, Johnny Depp, Cilla Black and Elton John, to name a few. Brendan trained at Bird College Conservatoire for Dance & Musical Theatre and The BRIT School.
We are absolutely delighted to announce that Amit Shah is attached to play one of our lead roles. Amit’s credits include The Hundred-Foot Journey (in which he starred alongside Helen Mirren and Om Puri), Last Christmas (alongside Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding), The Witcher (Netflix), Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Bombay Dreams (Apollo Theatre) and several other films, TV series and plays at The Royal National Theatre. He is a graduate of the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.
We are passionate about ensuring that cast and crew are fairly compensated for their time on this project. It’s not the kind of short film that can be made with one camera and a couple of actors, which means that we're having to raise twice as much money as other short films might need, but we have kept the amount of people involved as minimal as possible.
A film like this really relies on its aesthetic, but we have figured out ways to keep the prop, set and costume costs to a minimum. We have also planned to shoot the film in a theatre or performance space that is currently dark due to COVID. This perfectly fits the movie musical style that we are going for whilst also ensuring that any money raised is funnelled back into the theatre – the place where so many films were first conceived, an artform that inspired us all from such a young age, and one that is currently in grave financial crisis.
There’s no denying that this is an ambitious project to pull off, especially right now, at the end of 2020. But with your help, we can prove that astounding feats are still possible, even when times are hard. If together we can create something beautiful and joyous, right in the middle of a global pandemic, it will be a victory for all of us. We want you to be a part of that.
It is absolutely vital that we make this musical safely and do not put any of our cast or crew at risk. Melody has already managed several shoots this year, during the period between lockdowns, and is acutely aware of the precautions that need to be in place in order to make this shoot COVID-secure.
The script has already been adjusted to allow for a skeleton cast and crew. If you’re aware of the Busby Berkley style, you will know that it relies upon visually-engaging formations created by large amounts of dancers. However, Caitlin, David, Jenny and Catherine are up for the creative challenge of making this film work on a much smaller scale than is desirable!
All crew will be required to complete the ScreenSkills “Coronavirus basic awareness on production training” online course and thorough risk assessments will be conducted with the conclusions implemented on the shoot. This means that we will require approximately £500 more than we would have under normal circumstances for provisions such as visors, santiser, disinfectant for props, and a COVID-trained medic.
If you are visiting this part of the page, it might be because you saw our note in the rewards section about doing so. If that's the case, thank you for considering donating £100 to our project. We really appreciate it! There wasn't the room in the rewards section to detail this particular reward, but we wanted to give you a bit more information on your options. If you are one of the first 25 people to pledge £100, you get to choose between:
Learning to dance like Fred Astaire with Jenny Legg: Join Jenny's 60 minute beginner level QuaranTap class and learn to dance like the stars! Or if you have a bit of tap dancing experience, you might even want to give the intermediate/advanced class a bash! You can join live any Thursday lunchtime, or if you can't make that, Jenny can send you a recording of one of her classes so you can take part at your leisure instead!
A 30 minute Casting Surgery with Brendan Matthew: Always wanted to know what a director is thinking during those nail-biting self-tape and audition stages? Brendan's here to give you all his top tips on audition "dos" and "don'ts," how to use Spotlight, what to put on your CV, how you should approach headshots and answer any other questions you might have! He'll fix a time to stream this live, but if you can't make it, he'll send you the recording to watch at your leisure instead.
A 30 minute masterclass in producing film & TV with Melody Ruiz: Melody will take you through everything from how to find a great story anywhere in the world, how to pitch it, how to get a shoot up and running and answer all your questions about the rest of the behind-the-scenes process. She will stream this talk live and send you an exclusive link to the recording if you can't make it. If you can't make the live talk and your most burning question isn't answered, she will be more than happy for you to get in touch to ask!
A 30 minute masterclass in writing and directing for film & TV with Caitlin Shannon: Ever wanted to know how an idea gets from script to screen? Caitlin will talk you through the writing process, followed by how she then storyboards the idea and ultimately gets it on screen! She'll give you all her top tips for directing for camera and answer any questions you have too. Caitlin will stream the talk live and send an exclusive recorded copy to anyone who can't make it.