The Year Dot
A heartwarming short film about loneliness and isolation...
Dot is planning an end-of-life party. When lockdown begins and her plans are postponed, her family sends teddies to comfort her. The teddies gradually come to life, if only in Dot’s mind.
The Year Dot
Where we're at: post-production time!
We here at The Year Dot wanted to post an update on how the project is going, and how we are putting your generous donations to good use; the most important thing is that we have now officially filmed!
We shot for three days in November, plus one day in December for pickups. Now that it's all in the can we're turning our attention to post-production, which is what we're currently seeking further funding for.
The money we have raised so far has gone to production costs, and we're paying our cast & crew for their hard work on set. However, editing a film costs money too. We have Joseph as our picture editor and Julian as our sound editor, along with Aaron, our composer. We want these three areas to be as amazing as possible, and to be able to do that we need to raise more funds.
If you've donated before, please consider doing so again, as we are so close to being able to fully realise this amazing film. If you've thought about donating but haven't yet, now is the perfect time to do so. And if you're new to the page, please give what you can. We know times are tough, but every little helps.
In return for your contribution, we have some fantastic perks, which we hope you’ll enjoy!
We are extremely grateful to everyone who has backed The Year Dot so far, please continue to invest in us and we shall produce a powerful and heartwarming short film.
A word from the writer/director
The Year Dot was inspired by my grandma. I cared for her in her last year and became brutally aware of issues I had no pre-conceptions of. I hope that having an elderly protagonist can become a conversation starter for how we consider the elderly in our community. Dot's character is emphasised by the music she loves, her outfits and her growing surreal relationships with her stuffed toys (a metaphorical expression of her state of mind).
Setting this film during the time of the pandemic, increases the feeling of isolation and gives us two important themes which are constantly competing. The fear of the unknown makes Dot’s quest for validation even more difficult. We will all be Dot eventually, we just have to hope that the society we live in will be more accommodating.
Our fabulous cast (Clockwise from top left):
Lesley-Anne Webb - Kate Danbury https://www.spotlight.com/3330-1204-7887
Moya Allen - Liv Bergeron and Liv-the-bear https://www.spotlight.com/profile/9737-0192-6244
Blair Plant - Miles Parsons and Miles-the-dog https://www.spotlight.com/9296-0166-8471
Shaila Alvarez - Hanna Cortez https://www.spotlight.com/profile/6819-8970-816
Carrie Cohen - Ethel https://www.spotlight.com/3330-1209-8985
Jean Cameron - Bobbie Bergeron https://www.spotlight.com/3577-6725-2861
Kayley Rainton - Mary Danbury and Mini-Mary https://www.spotlight.com/5814-1208-4196
Mark Tournoff - George-the-bear https://www.mandy.com/uk/v/mark-tournoff
And in the centre is our brilliant: Verity Joy as Dot (Dorothy Parsons)
Meet the team bringing Dot to life:
Writer, Director & Producer
Eva Wilshere is a multi-disciplinary creative who is transitioning from factual television into fictional storytelling. Graduating with a distinction in her scriptwriting MA at Falmouth University, Eva is passionate about making her multi-award winning script The Year Dot into a short film. Eva had the chance to work with Ben Pohlman from Pinewoods Studios on this script and meet the wonderful Verity Joy who will take on the role of Dot.
Eva has worked in the East Sussex media scene for over a decade. She wrote, produced and directed her first short film Local Girl in 2014 (winner of multiple awards, including Best Director at DreamzCatcher Film Festival) with help from Katherine Shannon as assistant director. Eva also worked as 1st AD on Daniel Grasskamp’s first feature film Cat Skin.
Eva has always been politically minded and uses her creativity to promote social causes. Eva’s full-length documentary Homeless By-The-Sea was appreciated so much by Bill Smith at Latest TV that she was offered her own talk show Eva’s World. Eva is passionate about telling stories featuring relatable, quirky and diverse characters, she wants her work to help others relate to life in a way that film helped her to navigate the world as a neuro-diverse individual.
Director credits - Eva’s World, Homeless-by-the-Sea and Local Girl
Producer & Editor
Since moving to Brighton at the beginning of 2020, Joseph has been working as a multi-award winning filmmaker, working with clients including YMCA Right Here, Odd Content and BIMM Brighton, as well as local music and poetry artists. They have also begun to expand their work into American productions. Joseph is currently editing a feature film - The Captain, starring Patrick Bergin.
A jack of all trades, Joseph has worked on various productions as a writer, director, producer, editor, sound editor, director of photography, and has even done some VFX work. Even the pandemic couldn’t stifle their creativity, as they wrote and directed a short comedy film, with remote filming in both the UK and Germany. They have worked with brands including Twitch, IKEA, AudioActive, BIMM, Made to Order Movies, Odd Content, and more.
Director of Photography
Oscar Freemantle studied Filmmaking as an MA at Sussex University in 2018. He shot several short films during this time, winning awards at film festivals including a gold medal in the Londom seasonal Short Film Festival. Oscar's passion project, Stepan's Game (Freemantle, 2016), an action/thriller, heavily inspired by Drive (Refn, 2011) and its “faux-80s” style and soundtrack, won awards including official selection at the London International Short Film Festival. There had been issues with the original shoot during his under-grad but Oscar persevered with the project after his final submission. Oscar spent the next 3 years shooting as many films as he could, upgrading his camera again in 2017.
Oscar started making films when he was 14 having saved up for over a year to buy his first camcorder. Over the next couple of years he roped in his family, friends and neighbours to act in his films (thoroughly annoying everyone in the process!).Originally hired as 3rd AD on Brighton Wok (Howard, 2008) his hard work, flexibility and eagerness over the 2 years of production and post-production, meant that his camerawork was used throughout the film. Oscar became fascinated by optical lenses, buying dozens of old lenses from Ebay and modifying them while also growing his collection of Contax SLR lenses from the 70s and 80s. He still shoots with these beautiful lenses today.
An audio producer based in Brighton working out of his Church Road Studios. Julian has worked in music production since the early 1990s, branching out into film work and location sound since 2010. He has provided sound on documentaries and commercial videos, mixed the film Connected and dialogue mixed the film Decrypted, as well as producing many music recordings, podcasts, and audiobooks. He also makes music as part of the duo Insides.
Julian is organising the sound recordings on The Year Dot - recording the dialogue and sound on set during the shoot days (with help from Paul Pascoe his co-engineer at the studio) and hopefully mixing the film sound later. "It’s wonderful to be part of a small passionate team making this film, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience on set so far." - Julian.
Born in Lancashire, Andrew studied design at Chelsea School of Art and on graduating worked for four major publishing houses for sixteen years and designed literally thousands of book covers. From there he moved into publicity design and stage design, then into magazines. Most recently he has become a published author of fiction and drama and works in local television as a producer, presenter and art director. His great loves are theatre and cooking, he creates artwork as a means of staying relatively sane.
Siwan Hill trained in make-up at Greasepaint college in 2010. She spent the next decade putting make-up on people. Notable victims include; Alan Titchfield, Tamsin Greg and Paul Kaye. She has also worked for various well known brands such as Jaguar, Santander and Barclays. In addition to this she has also worked in the art department and costume, including working as the head of department for low budget features.
Siwan lives in London, she enjoys making things, she doesn't really enjoy talking about herself!
Aaron started composing during his time at University, he has scored several student short films and worked as a sync music composer for RedCat Creative and London Sync. He previously enjoyed success working with Eva on her powerful documentary Homeless by the Sea in 2018. Alongside his passion for orchestral scores, Aaron also produces house music tracks and relishes experimenting with electronic textures.
Having gathered musical influences from a range of TV and movie composers including Murray Gold, Christophe Beck and Thomas Newman, he is aiming to channel their methods to help bring the complexity of Dot to life musically and cannot wait to be a part of the project.
To minimise our impact on the environment, we used one main location and car sharing.
Catering for the cast and crew was provided using Oddbox- a surplus fruit and vegetable delivery service and was mostly vegetarian (minus a tin of tuna!).
Every time the kettle was boiled, we decanted it into a large flask that kept the water hot. People were able to make hot drinks as and when they needed, without boiling the kettle every time.
There were no single use plastics on set and everything was recycled. We also adhered to the covid guidelines, after taking the Screenskills certificate, to keep everyone safe. Balancing these two aspects was tricky, but we managed it by dividing the food into recycled soup tubs and asking everyone to bring their own cutlery.
Most of the props and costumes were bought from charity shops. The only items that had to be bought new were the teddies Dot is sent for Christmas and we intend to give them away as rewards for people donating to this campaign.
Other ways to support us
Can you help us spread the word? Please consider sharing this campaign with your friends, family and followers on your social channels. Every mention is a big boost and will allow us to reach more people.
Thanks for reading
Huge thanks for taking the time to learn about our film and for considering becoming a part of team Dot. We can't wait for you to join us on our journey to create the film. We appreciate every single one of you.
We've got a wig! It's natural and style-able and will be a huge improvement from the one we used in the teaser. A huge thanks to Aderans and Trendco for donating this wig, we look forward to crediting you, and hosting you at our cast & crew premiere.
Admin queen, all forms of support and accidental bubbleologist, Sienna was bought up in a theatrical environment at West Sussex Theatre Studios in Worthing.
We're lucky to have Rich on board to help us achieve the virtual family Christmas party scene!
Rich is a former cruise ship photographer and lab technician who fell into film through his cabin mate of five months, who invited him to shoot stills on this masters in cinematography.
A big thank you to the guys at The Collaborative City Ltd for coming on board as our first Associate Producer. We're super excited to be that much closer to our goal.