A short film developed by Secret Garden Pictures. Written and directed by Serena Chloe Gardner.
Summer's world turns upside down after the sudden death of her brother. A punk rocker and art student by day, her work begins to suffer from continual nightmares as PTSD plagues her life. Summer tries to overcome her grief with the help of her friends by throwing a house party.
Hi, we are Serena & Nas from Secret Garden Pictures. We’re very glad that you landed on our page, welcome to our campaign for our short film Summer.
Summer's world turns upside down after the sudden death of her brother Steven. A self-proclaimed punk rocker and art student by day. Her work begins to suffer from continual nightmares as PTSD plagues her life both awake and asleep. Summer tries to overcome her grief with the help of her friends by throwing a house party.
Who are Secret Garden Pictures?
We are a film production company based in the UK, run by Writer/Director Serena Chloe Gardner and Producer Nasreen Cullen. We like to make films that highlight underrepresented members of society who wouldn't normally get a voice on screen to provide inclusivity to our audiences. Our current slate of films showcase mental health, young carers and drug addiction, all of which have had great responses from audiences at film festivals across the world. We want to make films that make a difference in the world and get people talking.
Why this story now? / Directors Statement
When someone you care deeply about dies, you live in a suspended state of the past, constantly dwelling there, trying to understand anything that will help fill the missing part of the puzzle.
This story is based on my life growing up in South London and losing my brother unexpectedly back in 2003. Going through this at such a pivotal time in my young adulthood shaped my future life and my struggles with anxiety and PTSD. In short, I missed him a lot!
This isn’t just my story though, depression and suicide rates are the highest causes of death in young men below the age of 45 in the UK so this is now everyone’s story. Most people have been touched by this in some way through their own personal experiences or those of a close friend. I believe the more we can highlight these topics and bring awareness to them, the more we can help make it easier for men to talk about their feelings and recognise when they themselves need help, decreasing any stigma attached to asking.
I’d like this film to explore the effects of depression and suicide those who are left behind, in this case through the eyes of our lead Summer.
Originally an excerpt from our feature film called Six Weeks of Summer, which we have been developing with Directors UK and Fizz & Ginger Films for the past 18 months. We wanted to create this short to showcase our story and hopefully one day expand into the full length version.
My inspiration for this film is Lynne Ramsey and Andrea Arnold.
Key creative team
Writer/Director - Serena Chloe Gardner
Producer - Nasreen Cullen
Director of Photography - Jason Weidner
Editor - Will Honeyball
Casting Director - Leah Lawry-Johns
Serena Chloe Gardner - Writer/Director
Serena is an award-winning writer/director of BFI Network/Film London backed short film Blackout which screened in the UK and Internationally (including the Oscar qualifying Rhode Island International Film Festival), winning eleven awards. Her most recent film Chasing the Vein, a short documentary on one woman's life with addiction, has recently finished a successful festival run.
She completed the Directors UK Inspire mentoring scheme in 2020, where she teamed up with Fizz & Ginger Films to develop her first feature projects Six Weeks of Summer and Black Annis.
She is a current member of Directors UK, BAFTA Scotland, BAFTA Crew 2021 as well as a panel member of Exit 6 Film Festival.
Nasreen Cullen - Producer
Having worked on award-winning films with Secret Garden Pictures over the last five years including 2019’s Chasing the Vein and again on the hugely successful 2017 Blackout, Nasreen has joined the Secret Garden Pictures team as producer on an ongoing basis.
Nasreen’s background is in business operations, having worked within a London based digital marketing agency for a number of years heading up everything from process design and implementation to procurement and contract management.
Nasreen is process driven, working within given guidelines and requirements but believes in the importance of having a strong team to help drive her vision forward. This was demonstrated with the team and crew behind award winning Blackout, some of whom will be rejoining for her features Six Weeks of Summer and Black Annis.
Nasreen is a member of BAFTA Crew 2021.
Jason Weidner - Director of Photography
Jason has been working in the film and TV industry for over fifteen years. Beginning his career as a camera assistant and gradually working his way up to become an award winning DOP. His credits for TV include: Kingdom of Plants (BBC), Siubhlachan (BBC Alba), CBBC Official Chart Show (BBC). Short film credits: The Factory, Blackout, The Things We Do, Chasing the Vein and Mara: The Seal Wife. He has also directed Scottish BAFTA nominated music videos; most notably for the band Desperate Journalist which he has gained critical acclaim for and over 72k views on YouTube.
Em Bristow - Summer
Em is an actor, artist, musician and alternative model from London. They recently graduated from Canterbury University with a BA in Fine Art.
What has Secret Garden Pictures done before?
We are very pleased to say that all of our short films have won multiple awards, screened at film festivals across the world and are available on AMAZON.
Our short film Blackout about a young carer struggling with her mum’s mental illness, was funded through BFI Network / Film London in 2017. It screened at both Oscar and BAFTA affiliated festivals including: Flickers Rhode Island International Film Festival and British Urban Film Festival winning 11 awards with 13 nominations including Best Short Film at both Southampton International Film Festival and Birmingham Film Festival. Our recent documentary short Chasing the Vein about one woman’s life with heroin addiction, won Best Editing at The Short Film Awards in New York in 2019.
Why are we fundraising?
Summer is in really good hands. We have our script, cast, crew and everyone is willing to dedicate many hours of time to the project because they have a huge amount of faith in it.
Everyone in our crew are talented filmmakers in their own right and we have a vast array of personal and professional contacts allowing us to have access to high end digital cinema cameras and post production facilities. With a talented editor on board we have the ability to finish the project by december 2021.
The only thing left is to shoot it and that’s where we need your help!
What can you do to help us?
This is where you come in. At Secret Garden Pictures we want to run a safe and fair film set with high quality cast and crew and all the bits in between.
The devil is in the detail and we want to make this picture perfect and your contribution will go directly into creating a safe Covid-19 free space, equipment hire, insurances, set dressing, locations, costumes, props, make-up, transportation, accommodation and food.
How is the money being spent?
Making a film isn’t easy even with a small budget, it all adds up rather quickly. Here’s how we are hoping to allocate costs raised through Greenlit.
If I donate, what’s in it for me?
We have a number of exciting rewards for you, please take a look at what we have on offer and remember you also get the feel-good factor of making dreams come true and supporting independent film!
What happens if you don’t reach your target?
If we don’t reach our target, we don’t get to make the film. That’s why we need you...and your family and friends! So, please, even if you can’t afford to donate, help us by spreading the word on Twitter, Facebook and word of mouth.
What happens if you go over your target?
Then we are over the moon!
Greenlit also take a small chunk of funds raised through the campaign so any over-spill will help us to cover the excess and give us more money to add into the film, making it even better quality for you.
When we are aiming to film:
We are hoping to shoot our film over two days in November 2021 in Canterbury, Kent. All being well, this will then go into Post Production and be ready for film festivals by the new year 2022.
Risks and Challenges:
We are aware that the presence of Covid-19 may cause risks towards our production so this is why we are carefully planning our shoot having the safety of everyone in mind.
Other risks include turning the film around by December 2021. Although we feel its a realistic date, quite often schedules change due to weather, cast/crew not being available for certain dates so even though we are aiming for a new year 2022 completion date, this may slip by a month or two. Similarly, depending on demand, delivery times for rewards may be affected. We will obviously deliver each and every reward as quickly as we can and will keep you informed of any changes. Your patience is much appreciated.