This is my first ever blog on behalf of Double M Films so I should introduce myself; I’m the company’s Development Executive (and bringer of biscuits) and alongside Marcus I develop a mix of film projects, and original TV series, with a range of writers both new and established. I met Marcus when working with him as a Script Editor and we’ve stayed friends since. We both care about making positive, uplifting, thought-provoking drama that reflects the Britain we live in today. We are unashamedly liberal in outlook and would like to both entertain and move audiences.
While 2016 has seen Marcus take Double M Films in a new ambitious direction it has not been without setbacks, and this is both the nature of life, and the reality of filmmaking. This year the UK voted to leave the EU and both Marcus and myself, lovers of Europe and multi-cultural London, were left heart-broken. After the vote I can honestly say I was in a state of disbelief and grief. It was our sudden realisation that our home country was not what we thought it was, that has made us even more committed to making drama that shows what is really important in modern life; family, friendship, unity and acceptance. In the past few months, we have been made to really think about why we love drama and what we can learn from this period of confusion. We’ve learnt that we have no choice but to keep going and to try and find the light in the dark. We want to use comedy and drama to bring out our own, and others’ humanity and to promote positivity.
The film that we are currently casting, Crazy Blue, is about an unconventional family unit and beginning life again, it’s set in London and is a warm and playful depiction of good people trying their best and finding each other. I genuinely believe that it’s the kind of film that everyone should be watching right now. But casting isn’t an easy process and unfortunately the success of a film hinges on the right level actor taking a risk on a project, and the independent market has never been more tough, and the top talent never in higher demand. But as we plough on Marcus has been realising his strengths as a director and what he has to offer his actors and crew that is unique. The way Marcus makes his films reflects his life view; that a journey worth taking is a journey shared. Marcus is a truly collaborative filmmaker who is inventive and imaginative and doesn’t just repeat industry norms and practices for the sake of it – he is passionate about getting his projects made and bringing the best out of everyone involved. You can check out his vlog here (and below) for an insider guide into how to get great performances from your actors, and how things often work out for the best. I think that in a period of history where everything is changing it has never been more important to stand up for what you believe in and to think outside the box.
In other development news Tumble is moving along fabulously, and our weekly highlight is meeting with the talented and lovely Stephen Laughton in our lodge for hours of story plotting (my job is to try and keep the ideas from growing too outlandish while keeping the chaotic energy that is at the heart of the project). Tumble is a sci-fi comedy drama about four millennials struggling to make a difference and find their way. Set in a launderette, and in parallel worlds, we’re really excited about where we can take this – the possibilities are endless and it’s just so much fun. Working with two positive and kind-hearted men reminds me of what can be achieved when decent people come together and I am looking forward to developing even more creative partnerships in 2017. We’re just at the beginning of Double M’s growth as a company but I see good things for next year and can’t wait to get going. I'm also sure the right cast for Crazy Blue will present themselves and we can make a brilliant British film for all audiences by the end of the year.
We’ll write again in January but in the meantime, have a truly joyous Christmas break with all your favourite people. Let’s make sure we all value what we have when others have lost everything, and when we don’t know what the future brings.
All the very best, Sophie (and Marcus)
P.S) I insisted that this blog needed a Christmas selfie (apologies for that).