A bit about me, Raine McCormack, the writer/director of 'Brian the Blessed'...
I love movies and the whole process that goes into making them. I started out in the 'biz' as an actor, something that I still actively do. I've done some TV, some film. My current high point as an actor is pretending to be a 60 foot giant in Bryan Singers' 'Jack the Giant Slayer' dressed in lycra and acting to a puppet on a stick. Needless to say his performance was a little wooden!
My acting career, though something I feel passionate about, doesn't always pay the bills so I have a video/photography business, Reel King, which also stretches my creative limbs.
I wrote 'Brian the Blessed' after the death of my father from cancer. It was during that very challenging time that I realised how extremely short life is and that we owe it not only to ourselves but to others to share our abilities.
This film is resolution to a very turbulent time in my life.
My first short that I wrote, directed and edited is called 'He's Gone' - you can view it below. It was the start of a journey that has been slowly unfolding ever since. I have received much praise for the film, notably for the fact that within five minutes so much emotional content is expressed.
I know that Brian the Blessed will be a mesmerising roller-coaster; an emotional journey into the deepest parts of our nightmares. A true cinematic, far-reaching movie that will stay with the viewer for years to come.
Brian, a stuttering recluse and devout church-goer in his forties finds peace in helping the homeless. Teased and belittled by most of his family, especially cousin Keith, his world changes irrevocably when his beloved Auntie Jean dies. Outside her funeral he meets the Vicar's daughter Kathy, who shows him compassion and care. Kathy, herself haunted by childhood memories of loss, finds in Brian a kindred vulnerable soul. An unusual romance starts to blossom between them.
After only a month, Kathy is shocked but accepting of Brian's surprise proposal of marriage. Brian also excites Kathy with the news that Jean has left him a large property and a sizeable amount of cash to realise his dream of setting up a permanent shelter for the homeless. The besotted lovers quickly move into the derelict building...
One evening, Brian spots a wandering homeless man with a broken trolley and offers to fix it over a cup of tea. Brian finds his innocent generosity abused as the man attempts to rape Kathy. Hearing her cries, Brian runs to her aid and the man attacks him leaving him concussed on the floor. Kathy, enveloped in rage, stabs the delirious attacker to death. Brian agrees with his desperate but persuasive fiancee not to tell the police. With a mounting loss of faith and unable to fit the man into Brian's tiny car Kathy decides to cook him and serve him to the homeless.
The situation spirals as a series of unfortunate murders ensue in a distorted attempt by the couple to hold onto their new found love.
Further more, when Auntie Jean's will only leaves small items to direct family members, suspicion mounts as to the source of Brian's new found wealth. Acting on information from a private detective, jealous cousin Keith decides to pay a visit to contest the will.
In the bloodied chaos, Kathy is determined to stay together 'at all cost'. Driven by an obsessive desire for wedlock she goes ahead with a very jarring and deranged 'wedding' indeed.
'I’ve always been a fan of dark and twisted movies having been freaked out by The Omen at a young age so the project immediately appealed to me.'
Many will recognise Ewen as 'Keith' from 'The Office', Ricky Gervais' hugely successful comedy series. Ewen has gone on to star in, amongst others, 'Navelgazing Presents' and 'Wake Up England! The Day that Morning was Broken' and we are excited to have him onboard as 'Brian'.
'Kathy is a pretty dark character, and I found her fascinating. I’m very interested in playing people who are a bit perverse, especially those who are driven to doing things that most of us would think are crazy. Kathy is someone who has a very big heart, and I think she views most of the “bad” things she does as acts of love or kindness. Her past is filled with so much pain, and when I first read the script I could not help but to be completely on her side. I feel so much love and empathy for her, and even though she does the most horrifying things, they seem to be the only course of action when you look at them through her eyes.'
Natasha is a very talented young actress who comes from a family of very successful, well-known actors and directors. Currently based in New York, and having already starred in well-received shorts such as 'Dance', we're delighted that she's to play the lead role as 'Kathy', Brian's other half.
'When I read the script, I knew I had to do this. Old Ted – the role I was offered – is an enigmatic character; intelligent, a natural leader, what was his story? How did he end up homeless? His place in Brian’s story is primordial and as such an interesting role to play.'
Colin David Reese is an accomplished actor having appeared in and directed numerous plays. It doesn't stop there with Colin though, as well as being no stranger to the stage he is a fantastic screen actor having recently appeared in 'October 1' and '8th Wonderland' to name but a few.
'The script is intriguing on all levels. I love the narratives. With proper finance Brian the Blessed could easily be a classic. I got involved not only for the script but because of He's Gone. I know Raine and the way he works the decision was simple really.'
Sidney has a long list of impressive credits to his name. A force to be reckoned with, he has recently appeared in Channel Four's 'The Fear' as 'Milton'.
'I had seen director Raine McCormack’s first short film, “He’s Gone” and was VERY impressed with his work. The visual aspects as well as the excellent sound/music choices and the excellent acting sold me. Then I worked with him on a short scene in Brighton in November last year called, “Red Widow” which had me playing a sort of femme fatal role which was new for me. It turned out great. I am really looking forward to doing the role of “Mary” in Brian the Blessed not only for the chance to work with Raine again but also with some great colleagues!'
Kathleen is a US actress based currently in Germany who has a dynamic screen presence. Along with Kathleen's extremely successful one woman stage show and numerous voice overs she has appeared in Benni Diez's new feature 'Stung'.
'What excites me about Brian the Blessed and why I have been attracted to the project is the fact that it is underpinned by a genuine, if not dysfunctional, love story and explores what can happen when two damaged personalities are dangerously attracted to one another, giving the film true psychological depth.'
Strong characterisation is one of many skills to Robert's acting. Robert's short film which he penned and appeared in, titled 'Storming Out', has achieved many festival selections. Robert also recently appeared in a commercial for McDonalds taking his clothes off. (Another one of his many talents)
...plus many more cast - please see the main website briantheblessed.com
So we need £10,000. This money is to go towards paying for props, locations and importantly the talent who will bring this story to life on screen. Coming from an acting background, I know how important it is to compensate the talent involved.
No one is being paid large amounts of the budget in fees. Everyone will receive exactly the same amount per day plus their travel and accommodation.
There is no need for us to incur large hire fees as I already have the Ultra HD cameras, lighting and sound recording rig. The main location has already been donated.
Four cool badges to collect...
Exclusive Brian the Blessed 'Butcher' t-shirt.
*Due to the nature of crowd funding there will be a small delay on delivery of pin badges and t-shirts after purchase. We will endeavour to get these perks to you asap and no later than the end of the campaign.
We know that money is tight for many at the moment however there are other ways you can help Brian...
You can become a part of our street team, canvassing leaflets around the streets of a city/town near you. You'll get an exclusive t-shirt and a premiere/after party invite.
Getting the word out about 'Brian the Blessed' doesn't just have to involve social media......you can spread the word about the film on your Twitter and Facebook accounts that would be fantastic. Muchas Gracias!
If you know someone in the press who could get 'Brian the Blessed' some exposure and you're willing to help us then please get in contact and we'll send on a press kit and oodles of love.
Myself and the team all feel passionate about making this film. With your help we can deliver a wonderful piece of cinema for everyone to enjoy. Will you join us on this journey? Can we do this? You bet we can! Together we can do anything ;)