DERBY Square could be the setting for a film noir if enough financial backing is found to get the venture off the ground.
The new production is the inspiration of actress Elizabeth Arends and boyfriend Richard Sanderson who have performed together extensively in a number of productions, including open air Shakespeare in the island.
Elizabeth, who lives in Southport but whose parents live on Douglas seafront, said the film, provisionally called Longtails, would give them a chance to tap into Manx talent by filming over here.
‘We have an old house in Derby Square and the story has been written around that setting,’ she said.
The screenplay is by up-and-coming writer, 25-year-old Alex Hamilton, who is already a published author.
‘We told him what sort of thing we wanted and he wrote the story around that.
‘The Isle of Man made an ideal setting for this type of film because of the traditions of mythology and superstition.’
She added the screenplay, about a gang of criminals taking refuge in the house made optimum use of the brooding and atmospheric setting.
‘The characters are thrown together by circumstances. There’s a hostage taking and lots of twists and turns so you soon realise no-one is quite who you thought they were at the beginning,’ she said.
‘You could almost say it’s Reservoir Dogs meets Panic Room.’
Experienced director Pip Short, whose previous credits include Coronation Street and Holby City and who has visited the island to conduct acting workshops with Elizabeth in the past, is in line to direct the film.
‘We have friends in the Isle of Man already wanting to be involved and it could be a fantastic springboard for other things to come.’
As for finance, Elizabeth said a film of this type with official agency backing would probably cost around £75,000 to make but to take the informal route would mean the cost came in at far less.
‘The least it could be done for, covering essentials like insurance, costumes, that sort of thing, would be about £12,000. Not an awful lot of money overall - but still a big enough sum. So far I think we are about 17 per cent funded so there is a way to go yet,’ she said.
To raise the money the film is featured on kickstarter.com – a film-fundraiser website. This allows people to log on, see some details about the proposed film and pledge money to help finance it. Minimum pledges are around £1 and for higher amounts benefactors get certain rewards, for instance in exchange for a £10 pledge, you get a download of the completed film and for £750 you can be an extra.
The team have until December 3 to achieve their target amount and if it fails everyone gets their money back.
If it succeeds, they hope to have an island launch at the Villa Marina.
To find out more and make a pledge, log on to www.kickstarter.com and search for Longtails or Elizabeth Arends. Click on the name ‘Longtails’.