Watch ‘Tell Them of Us’ on Vimeo.

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We are delighted to announce that you can now watch our WW1 film ‘Tell Them of Us’ on Vimeo. It costs as little as £1.00 to view. Click here to go to Vimeo.

Waiting - 1917 (c) Nick Loven

Waiting – 1917 (c) Nick Loven

 

Showing of Tell Them of Us, The National Archives, London

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There will be a special showing of ‘Tell Them of us’ and William’s Story’ at The National Archives, Kew on Friday 15th January 2016.  The films will be screened back-to-back, followed by a panel discussion featuring the director (Nick Loven), cast members and a direct descendant of the Crowder family. Further screenings will be held throughout February and March. Check online for details.

Nick Loven on location filming in 'no-man's-land' for William's Story. Photo (c) Stewart Wall.

Nick Loven on location filming in ‘no-man’s-land’ for William’s Story. Photo (c) Stewart Wall.

The National Archives are also hosting the Centenary Stitches exhibition This display of clothing from the film tells the story of how an international army of knitters was created almost by accident, not only to help costume the film, but also to reveal the extraordinary range of knitted items produced back home for men in the trenches.

Charity Premiere of WW1 Film

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Charity Premiere of the drama-documentary ‘William’s Story’ sequel to the film ‘Tell Them of Us’ which told the WWI story of Crowder brothers.

Tickets now on sale.

All proceeds to the Thimbleby St. Margaret’s Church Restoration Fund.

Poster

 

The Trenches 1918

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Two weeks ago we filmed the first part of William Crowder’s first hand account of the German Spring Offensive. On duty in a front line trench and in charge of communications, William was awarded the DSO for his courage in keeping the line open.

Here are some of the screen captures from filming by cinematographer and director, Nick Loven.

Adam Fox as William Crowder

Screen Short (c) Nick Loven

Adam Fox as William Crowder

Adam Fox as William Crowder Screenshot (c) Nick Loven

(c) Nick Loven

Adam Fox, Connah Lilleyman and Tom Lewin (c) Nick Loven

(c) Nick Loven

Adam Fox as William Crowder (c) Nick Loven

CHRIS GORDON Composer-Producer-Musician

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We were very fortunate to have the extremely talented and versatile musician/composer Chris Gordon as composer for ‘TELL THEM OF US’. Here is a little more about him and the process of writing for our film:

‘Chris is a musician, composer and producer from Glasgow.  As a recording artist he has held record deals with East West, Atlantic, Reprise, Dreamworks and EMI enjoying success with several different groups (as a singer, guitar player and latterly programmer/producer).

His interest in composing for Film and Television stemmed from the many synchs he achieved as an artist, his music having been used in such programmes as Grey’s Anatomy, The Vampire Diaries, Smallville and Friends among many others.  Turning initially to the world of advertising as a way to learn the craft Chris has had work commissioned on over thirty major campaigns in the last few years.  Among these there have been many longer, more cinematic pieces which served as an ideal preparation for his goal.

In 2014 he wrote and performed the score for his first film, the WW1 drama “Tell Them Of Us”.  The music has been widely praised as an essential ingredient to the films emotional tone and a Soundtrack Album of the recordings will be available in 2015.

Equally at home in the world of cutting edge electronic music (in part due to his time spent working with Oscar winner Atticus Ross) or with more traditional orchestral arrangements, Chris’ real passion lies in finding and enhancing the emotional core of any given the scene.’

Chris, with his daughter, on location in Thimbleby.

Chris, with his daughter, on location in Thimbleby.

Chris Gordon writes about how he got involved with the project and the process of writing a score:

‘Over cake and coffee in Woodhall Spa, one Sunday in Spring 2014, I asked Pauline (Loven) if she had any plans for music for the film that her and her son Nick were working on.  I had heard chatter of it the previous evening and was struck by the ambition they were showing in making a feature length film.  Having long harboured a desire to score music for films I found myself always too busy with other projects to seriously seek out any opportunities.  Here was one falling in my lap, at least if they could be persuaded it was a good idea.  There was very little money in it, they said, but as I was fully prepared to do it for free I counted “very little” as a big bonus.

In due course, Nick sent me the teaser trailer he had put together from the first few scenes that had been filmed.  He had used some period appropriate orchestral music (I think it was a piece by Vaughan Williams) and he felt that it suited the mood quite well.  I set about replacing this with some new music that attempted to bring a little more depth to the emotion contained in the images.  We had spoken of the overall feel Nick was looking for, albeit briefly, and in keeping with the meticulous research, costume design and attention to detail, he wanted the music to feel like it belonged to the period.  I was comfortable with this but also felt that if need be I would stray a little from traditional instrumentation and employ some modern production techniques to get the music sitting well with the pictures and dialogue.  In this first piece of music I did however stick to the brief, employing some classical guitar to go with the sampled strings and woodwinds that provided the tracks base.  Nick seemed happy with the result and after that scenes arrived at a steady pace for the next four months or so.

 We were both aware that in an ideal world I would have a near final cut of the film to start work with, however this was just not possible given the filming schedule and the deadline for the premiere.  So we proceded on a scene by scene basis on the understanding that I would spend time tying scenes together when the final cut was ready.   I would compose for each scene until I felt it worthy of a listen then send it to Nick for feedback.  I recall the words “splendid” and “marvelous” being used often in his replies and fueled by this praise and a growing passion for the work at hand I spent many happy hours tinkering on my keyboards and guitars, and shifting things around on my computer screen, trying to find the right tone for each scene.

 In the weeks leading up to the premiere the work became a little more intense.  I had a near final cut now and could see how the film was taking shape.  There was gaps to fill and scenes that needed to bleed into one another musically in order that the film flowed easily.  At other points I simplified music I had already composed after the arrangements seemed a little dense in context.  During the process I had put together a few pieces and a few different soundbeds without any particular scene in mind.  Again it was the constraints of time that had brought about this strange way of working.  Nick used them on some scenes and they seemed to work but I would often feel the need to go back and tinker further to make sure that they really bedded in well. 

As the work progressed I felt confident that the music was making a positive difference to the feel and emotion of the film and one scene in particular exemplified this for me.  “The account of Robert’s death” where a letter is read, and then a scene imagined from the words, captures for me the films essence of personal loss and the lonely and futile deaths that were the fate of so many young men in WW1.’

Chris Gordon

 

21st March 1918 The Spring Offensive

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Today, March the 21st, is the 97th anniversary of the most critical twenty four hours in William Crowder’s life as he is caught up in the German Spring Offensive, Kaiserschlacht. Follow our Kickstarter campaign for updates.

Adam Fox as William Crowder

Adam Fox as William Crowder

Part One: The Battle Commences

Part Two: 21st March 1918, Spring Offensive begins

Part Three: 21st March 1918, Spring Offensive

Part Four: 21st March 1918 ‘They’re Coming over in Their Thousands’

The Kickstarter campaign is to create a drama-documentary of William’s story. Please donate to help us tell this story – we have more than half the target sum so we might make it!

Violet’s Story, VAD Nurse, WWI

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We also hope to make a mini-documentary on Horncastle’s Red Cross Hospital during WWI based largely on Nurse Violet Pearson’s album of mementoes (below) and reports from the Horncastle News: here is the link to our crowdfunding campaign: Violet’s Story.

Violet Crowder's album on display at the Centenary Stitches exhibition.

Violet Crowder’s album on display at the Centenary Stitches exhibition.

R to L: Violet Pearson (Tiffany Haynes) talking to Grace Crowder (Victoria Rigby).

Violet Pearson (Tiffany Haynes) talking to Grace Crowder (Victoria Rigby).

This will be a companion documentary to the main drama-doc on William Crowder.

William’s Story – Spring 1918

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Our 2014 WWI film ‘Tell Them of Us’, is the true story of one Lincolnshire family, made to commemorate the outbreak of WWI. Their story was told from the home front and the perspective of those left behind. It is now available on DVD.

One story remained untold however; what happened to William Crowder at the front which resulted in him receiving the Distinguished Service Order. The DSO was awarded to an officer for acts of gallantry under attack; so what exactly happened to William? Fortunately we have an account of his experience of the Kaiserschlacht and it is one of the most arresting and visually compelling WWI narratives I have read.

We are planning a documentary with some dramatised scenes. William was attached to the 51st Highland Division and his three telephonists were all Scottish. We are still casting for these roles – especially that of Bombardier Baillie below.

Here is the link to the crowdfunding campaign, William’s Story – please help support us if you can.

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