Filmmakers land iconic actor Brian Blessed
A film-making team partly based in the borough is appealing to culture fans to make a movie starring a legend of cinema into a reality.
Envelope Films is crowd-funding for new production Eric and the Barbarian, a wild and zany comic fantasy with none other than Brian Blessed of Flash Gordon fame in the role of Odin.
The film, which is being produced by Judith Chan from Ashton with her mum Christine as associate producer, tells the story of the nerdy Eric whose life of bullying and misery in his job at a debt collecting agency is changed when Odin looks down from above and is moved to pity.
He sends his son Thannuth Warwolf, the barbarian of the title, to assist and much mayhem ensues as the medieval world and the 21st century collide head-on.
Judith and the rest of her team, including director Ben Mottershead, have already completed Brian’s scenes as Odin as they travelled to Surrey to record the famous actor at his local studio.
Judith said: “We spent ages working on the script because when you’re trying to get Brian Blessed it’s got to be as good as it can be. We also made a huge pitch package for him because we had no-one else in mind to play Odin.
“He was lovely, an absolute gentleman. He’s really warm and a larger-than-life character who’s just full of energy, passion and enthusiasm.
“We sat around having a cup of tea while he told us loads of stories and then he would say: ‘Shall we go for a take? Are you ready?’
“The barbarian in the film is from a different time, he’s slaying demons and dragons and has a sword while Eric is photocopying at work. These two worlds clash and collide and it’s a fun-filled comedy fantasy.
“The barbarian is also like an imaginary friend because only Eric can see him.”
The team will launch a Kickstarter bid on March 20 to raise the £15,000 they need to finish the film, which will last around 15 minutes.
Envelope Films is also searching for suitable locations including an empty office and a bedroom big enough to take cameras and lighting.
Judith said: “Film-making is expensive, particularly as this is in the fantasy genre so we’ve got prosthetics and make up to do shadow demons and things.”
Judith studied at Futureworks Media School where she met business partner and boyfriend Sam, the duo setting up Envelope Films in 2012 to produce a wide range of fiction and non-fiction films.