HONEYTRAP: Layla's Story
Set in Brixton and inspired by true events, HONEYTRAP is an urban drama seen from a girl's point of view.
Yearning for love and status, fifteen-year-old Layla is swept into a whirlwind romance with self-styled gang leader/rapper Troy - and then spat out the other side. Desperate to win Troy back, Layla offers to set up the boy who's in love with her to be killed…
When the forces she sets in motion start to collide, Layla must choose: between two boys, between desire and friendship, between power and connection to another human being.
We have not seen a character like Layla take centre stage before and it is time her story was told.
HONEYTRAP is brought to you by:
Rebecca Johnson – Writer/Director
Rebecca has been making short films with young people in Brixton for the last ten years through her not-for-profit company Fierce Productions http://fierceproductions.co.uk. She uses drama workshops to generate material and to achieve her trademark: incredible performances from young, untrained actors. Many young people have been working with Rebecca and feeding their stories and experience into the writing of HONEYTRAP.
In 2009, Rebecca’s short film "Top Girl" screened at over 30 film festivals including Berlin, Rotterdam, Clermont-Ferrand and Los Angeles, winning numerous prizes and awards and selling to Canal+ and other broadcasters. You can watch "Top Girl" here:
HONEYTRAP is set in the same world as "Top Girl" and takes the same theme - a young girl's quest for love and status in a man's world - into extreme territory with the highest possible stakes.
Rebecca was featured as one of Screen International’s ‘Stars of Tomorrow’ and selected for the prestigious ‘Guiding Lights’ programme, where she was mentored by Bourne Ultimatum director Paul Greengrass. Paul and his Oscar-winning editor Chris Rouse continue to play mentoring roles in Rebecca’s writing work and career.
In 2010, Rebecca was awarded development funding from the UK Film Council (now British Film Institute) to write the script for HONEYTRAP. Rebecca is represented by Laura Rourke at Independent Talent. http://www.independenttalent.com
Sarah Sulick – Producer
Sarah began her career in film as an Acquistions executive with Renaissance Films and then moved into Development and Production, working on films including Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and The Mother. She has developed a strong network of industry contacts, including - crucially - film buyers.
Sarah is experienced in producing, delivering and selling low budget features. Through her company Bright Pictures http://www.brightpictures.co.uk, she produced Roger Goldby’s The Waiting Room, which premiered at the Edinburgh International Film Festival in 2007. Sarah secured sales to Lions Gate for the film’s UK theatrical release in 2008, as well as IFC Films (US). E1 International distributed the film in 15 other territories worldwide.
HONEYTRAP will be a co-production between Bright Pictures and Fierce Productions, drawing on both companies’ networks and expertise.
Aided and abetted by our fantastically talented PRODUCTION TEAM
We’re very excited to be working with long-time collaborators on HONEYTRAP.
Our Director of Photography is David Raedeker, whose work on Sally El Hosaini’s debut feature My Brother the Devil garnered him the Best Cinematography Award (World Drama) at Sundance 2012.
Our Editor Tracy Granger has more thirty years of experience working with budding auteurs but is best known for her work on Kimberly Peirce’s Oscar-winning Boys Don’t Cry.
Casting Director Amanda Tabak specialises in ‘street casting’ – discovering raw talent – and her feature film credits include British urban indie hit Kidulthood and arthouse award-winner She a Chinese. She also cast Andrea Arnold’s Oscar-winning short Wasp.
Music is integral to the world of HONEYTRAP. Troy is a rapper and this plays a big part in creating his street celebrity status - and the reason Layla falls for him so hard.
Rebecca has developed relationships with a range of South London artists and we will extend this network by working with our contacts at RWD, the UK’s biggest urban music magazine.
In addition to Skwilla - who scored 'Top Girl", artists on board so far include critically acclaimed grime MC Killa P (ex Roll Deep) and new Polydor signing Russo – who all hail from Brixton. Check out Russo's debut single here:
What makes HONEYTRAP a different sort of animal
Each film Rebecca makes through Fierce Productions is also a Training and Mentoring project, where young people work alongside a professional film crew.
Previous Fierce Trainees have gone on to paid work in production, to be cast in BBC dramas and to make their own films. Fierce Productions has been awarded £20,000 towards HONEYTRAP's Training and Mentoring Programme from South London trust the Walcot Foundation. http://www.walcotfoundation.org.uk
HONEYTRAP will provide a unique opportunity for young people to be part of making a feature film in their community. As well as helping some get a foot in the door of the film industry, working as part of a production team develops important transferable skills: scheduling and planning, time management, team-work and proactive thinking - as well as endurance!
Some of the young people Fierce work with have fallen through social safety nets. Getting involved with HONEYTRAP will be a way to help them to get their lives back on track. You can see some testimonials from young people who have been part of previous Fierce projects - and will also be part of HONEYTRAP - here: https://vimeo.com/60610928
How this process feeds into the product
Young people are not only trained and mentored throughout production, they are integral members of the team. They give feedback on every aspect of the film and feel a strong sense of ownership over it – something we will harness to give HONEYTRAP credibility and help the film reach its audience.
Rebecca has developed a way of making truly authentic films which makes it possible for us to create magic on a tiny budget. The passion and support she has behind her, combined with her unique directorial talent, will make HONEYTRAP an excitingly original film.
What your money will go towards
Our approach to funding HONEYTRAP is multi-pronged. In addition to crowdfunding, we are raising finance through a combination of sources, including grants from foundations, equity from the British Film Institute and other UK film funders as well as the automatic UK film tax relief.
But the bottom line is that the film is being made on a microbudget and we'll shoot it with whatever we raise by June 2013. Yep that's right. By hook or by crook, and on minimal budgets, Rebecca and Sarah have both made films that have gone on to international distribution, prestigious festivals and to win awards - and that's what we're going to do with HONEYTRAP. More is better but less is still possible and we will make it work with what we've got.
We are helped by having great people people with us on our team, and by the fact that leading industry suppliers like Deluxe and Panavision are offering to cut us amazing deals. But there is no getting away from the fact that we need to pay our crew and we need to feed them! We also need to pay for other stuff like stock, transfers, transport, art department and make up (we are talking teenage girls remember!)
Your contribution will help us with all this and everything you give us will end up on the screen. When you watch the finished film, you will have the reward of knowing the set design, the special effects, the career-launching performance of a young actor - all were made possible through your efforts along with ours.
Crowdfunding is crucial to our overall plan because:
We know HONEYTRAP is a contentious story. It not only tackles difficult issues without easy solutions but it is very different from other recent UK films set in gang culture. HONEYTRAP will feel more like independent US films such as Sin Nombre, Monster or Boys Don’t Cry. It will be cinematic and beautiful, capturing the yearning and obsessive fantasies that drive the story.
We want to retain a truly indie approach. The more independent finance we raise, the more independent creative control we retain – and the more exciting and original HONEYTRAP can be.
We will be in a stronger position vis-a-vis industry financiers once we have raised a significant chunk of money through crowdfunding. It not only makes film financiers feel they are taking less of a risk, it also shows them how much support we have - and that audiences are interested in seeing this story on the screen.
We want to make it now. HONEYTRAP is a story with contemporary resonance that needs to be made and seen NOW! After three years of writing, we now have a story that is tight, heart-wrenching and extremely powerful. We are ready and we don’t want to wait!
So, in a nutshell – we need your support and we’d love for you to be a part of bringing this project to fruition. It will be a challenging but amazing journey - come on it with us.
Thanking you from the bottom of our hearts!