If you look at the current movie production marketplace, it is saturated by companies which still hold archaic and outdated outlooks on how the industry should function. They are tied to a set of traditional principles which simply do not reflect the world we live in. The truth is, film has been slow to adapt to the cultural changes that are so prevalent in our progressive society.
Earlier this year, Ben and I established Blantyre House Pictures as a platform to give unique and untold narratives the opportunity of becoming cinematic pieces, whilst also acting as a foundation for future projects. Our belief in BHP is that by our very nature we represent this new wave of thinking. It is clear the younger generation is reacting to the wrongs of the past and is looking to address it- that is what we aim to do through the power of the moving image.
Untied laces centres around Lily Coleridge, a 21-year-old who is struggling with addiction, a result of both her abusive boyfriend and dysfunctional family life. Her journey is a brutal example of what mental illness can manifest into if neglected, it discusses the often-tragic by-product of trauma and the pressures of simply being human.
I speak from experience. Soon after starting my first year at the University of Liverpool, I found myself thrust into an environment which demanded a lot from me. University is a rare landscape where you must re-establish yourself in a social setting, you are suddenly defined by things you never were- your clothes, your music, your drug intake. Without realising it I had manifested a version of myself that best fit all these factors and lost myself in the process. This drove me into a deep depression and forced me to return home. For months I was overprescribed medicine and under-prescribed therapy, it tore both me and my family apart- a side of my life nobody at University ever saw; it was like I was living two lives.
It was this tragic duality which led me to write Untied laces. Sitting around a Uni flat partaking in whatever drug was of choice that evening, I realised that behind the intoxication there is the reality of people’s lives- which often tells a much different story to their social exterior. I wrote the film as a way of expressing this dangerous illusion which is quite unique to University territory.
The second draft of the script is complete, and I am awaiting some much-needed feedback from friends and industry professionals. After this, we will look for funding- a task which is always fraught with difficulty. The fact is, if someone gives you money, they want twice as much back- and with big-budget action frenzies being the financial flavour of the month, our small budget indie film will have to fight for every pound. Once our funding is in place, it is a matter of gathering a cast and crew, and ultimately, going into production.
Our goal is to gain acceptance into the major film festivals and seek distribution from there. There is no doubt that it is a tall ask for our first venture into this crazy business, but like any noble pursuit it demands an undying optimism.
Our motto is ‘Voicing the Voiceless’. We hope with Blantyre House Pictures and Untied laces, we can fulfil this mantra. For things to change you must sit with an unflinching eye and face its true nature- no matter how ugly or difficult- this is what great cinema should be. The world is changing, and we should not fear it, we should embrace the shift in power to people who have previously been rendered silent. That is everything we are about; it is everything we stand for.
By Matteo Addis