Actors and film-makers in Berwickshire are leading the way in changing how stories are funded and brought to both the big screen and online.
The Affairs of Men, a new film, follows four ex-street gang members as they are all lured back into a life of crime for one last job – to rob a gangster – by a mysterious woman called Eve.
Writer, producer and actor Dechlan Donnell said: “I believe that this will be the first project of its kind to be edited as a film, entered into festivals such as the Berwick Film Festival and Edinburgh International Film Festival, then edited as a web series to be viewed online in episodic format.
“Berwickshire itself will act as one of the key locations as its incredible landscapes and scenery lend itself to our cinematography.”
Dechlan hopes to start filming in Berwickshire, North Berwick and West Lothian in late August, but that will depend on how well the group’s crowdfunding campaign goes,a funding source becoming more and more popular with film makers.
“We’re about to start our crowdfunding and will be looking for possible investors to come on board as executive producers,” added Dechlan.
“Then it’s just a case of getting stuck into filming and releasing it as soon as we can.”
Audiences of Duns Operatic Society and Duns Players productions will be familiar with four of the cast members – Ben Foreman, Holly Thomas, Dougal Affleck and John McEwen – but the other cast members are Edinburgh-based.
“The Affairs of Men will act as a season one, and the story has been written as a three-season arc,” explained Dechlan.
“We plan to film all three seasons almost immediately after one another.”
“The story for the film mirrors a lot of Biblical stories such as Lucifer tempting Eve with the forbidden apple of Eden, and the characters are based on the seven sins and rivalries between brothers.”
The ex-gang members – Danny Moretti, (Dechlan Donnell Reilly) Natalie, (Annabel Logan) Daryl, (Ben Foreman) and Tommy (Calum Verrecchia) – plan to rob the city’s most dangerous criminal boss, Oliver Cain (John McEwen).
However, they soon realise that whatever can go wrong will go wrong, and they are forced to face their past as they go on the run.
At the same time, the story follows their target Cain and his employees – James Moretti, Danny’s brother (Calum Douglas Barbour), and Trevor (Dougal Affleck), Oliver’s right-hand man, who views torture as an art form as they work towards paying off debts.
“Each character has a rich history and all of that will be explored as the series goes on,” said Dechlan.
“The film’s title is based on a quote from William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, in which Brutus says ‘there is a tide in the affairs of men’.
“They are two brothers on opposite sides of morality, one chasing a lead the other covering them up, and neither is certain of the other’s involvement.”