A character-driven drama about commitment and friendships falling apart. On the road. With a dog.
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Also, check out our second promo video introducing Fergus, the namesake and canine star of our film!
Mike and Will, twenty-somethings and childhood friends, have just ended a seasonal stint working as fishermen and are yet again jobless. They decide to follow Will’s whim and embark on a road trip cross-country to jump into another temporary job.
However, things are complicated when a stray dog, Fergus, enters their lives, choosing Mike as his new significant other. With no apparent long-term plan for the animal, the two men take the dog along for the ride.
As they travel through the desolate countryside of southern England, the tensions between Mike and Will become increasingly apparent. In the search for something solid in his life, Mike gradually distances himself from Will’s inconsistency and no-ties lifestyle. Will’s charm and dominance is a barrier the more introverted Mike struggles to overcome.
The chaotic nature of the dog proves to be an increasing strain on their struggling relationship – the two men unprepared for the responsibility Fergus entails.
Eventually, the dog is seriously injured in a hit and run. Will wants to take matters in his own hands and put the dog down himself, but having shifted his sympathies more and more towards the dog, Mike finally stands up for himself. As the last dying embers of their friendship are extinguished, Mike chooses Fergus over Will and allows the dog into his life.
The two friends split off in separate directions. Will continues pursuing his inconsistent lifestyle. Mike, having taken a first step towards commitment and responsibility, brings Fergus home as he reconsiders where his life should be heading next.
Fergus is a third-year graduation film being produced at The Arts University of Bournemouth. Once completed, the film will premiere at the British Film Institute and potentially be screened at film festivals nationally and abroad.
The finished film will be around 15 minutes in length. It will be shot entirely on location in Dorset and East Devon, using industry standard equipment and facilities, such as the Arri Alexa camera, professional sound equipment and all the bells and whistles one would expect from a regular film shoot. Post-production will take place in Avid and ProTools editing suites.
Working from an original script by writer/director Lars Skare, we aim to make an engaging contemporary drama with an emphasis on realism. The dissolving relationship between two old friends who have grown in separate directions is key to the film – the hurt and abuse of two people who are no longer compatible.
Despite essentially being a “break-up” film, the fact that a dog is one of the main characters will introduce some natural comedy and charm to the struggles of his human companions. With a focus on strong characterisation, subtle performances and atmospheric cinematography, we want to portray a bittersweet tale about the real struggles of human relationships, life without purpose on the road, and animal companionship.
WHO ARE WE?
We are a highly specialised student crew, having worked together in different capacities over the last three years. The writer/director Lars Skare and producers Jake Stubbs and Kevin Wolf have collaborated on several projects, establishing a great partnership. Lee Thomas will be the Director of Photography, commanding a camera/lighting crew of around 15 people. Lottie Smith will be the head of the sound department, both on set and during post-production. Henry Heffer, the production designer, will make sure the world in front of the camera is believable, together with costume designers Vanessa Preuss and Sarah Bennie. Thorbjorn Munter will spend weeks in a dark room editing, while Calum Green will crack the whip on set as 1st AD. In addition to this, we have numerous other crew members; a location manager, casting director, script supervisor, a big production team, art director, and so forth.
But just as important as the devotion of this excellent crew, we need YOUR help to make this film happen. Through a small donation, spreading the word on Facebook or simply by staying informed, you are an integral part of the realisation of this ambitious project!
WHAT DO WE NEED?
Even though we are fortunate to have access to some fantastic equipment through the university, the film will entail a number of extra costs, and we desperately need your help to make this film happen!
Your kind donations will go towards:
We are using a camera rig for some of the car scenes, which will involve hiring the rig itself as well as an external professional grip. In addition, other camera and sound equipment, such as wireless monitors and microphones, as well as gripping equipment might be hired – all of which incur a high cost.
As this is a character-driven film, casting great actors is key. We are currently holding casting sessions and rehearsals in London, which incur costs for rehearsal spaces as well as travel expenses. Once the film is cast, we will need to pay for accommodation and travel for the actors, as well as any fees needed to get the best cast possible attached to the film.
Locations and transport
Being a road movie, there are a large number of locations in the film. First of all, location fees will be significant, allowing us to secure them for the production. As we have to travel all around Dorset to shoot at these locations, the transport costs will be immense.
Production design and costume
Even though ‘Fergus’ is a realistic, contemporary drama, there will still be significant costs in terms of production design – props, location dressing, etc. – and costumes.
And much more, such as…
Dog crackers for Fergus himself, the animal star of our film.
And maybe a cup of coffee for the crew to help us cope with long shooting days.
Thank you for any donations or support you can give us!
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