Chichester Festival Youth Theatre members past and present have joined forces for 18-year-old Isaac H Madge’s debut feature film.
Called Do You Remember? it has already enjoyed a screening at Chichester Cineworld. Isaac, who lives in Barnham, is now looking at ways of distributing it more widely.
Isaac has been involved in a number of Chichester Festival Youth Theatre shows, but always behind the scenes where his true interest lies.
“Going to the Youth Theatre was a great opportunity to meet people from the creative world, and I started doing films, asking my friends from the Youth Theatre to help out, starring in them and making them. I started when I was 15 or 16.
“I was doing my own projects, but I put them on Facebook and Youtube; friends of friends noticed, and I got asked to do a few music videos. Things grew from there. I have also been asked to do small promotional videos for companies.”
Now comes the big one, 85 minutes long.
“It’s a thriller. It’s basically about a young girl who is washed up on the British shoreline. She can’t remember who she is or where she came from.”
As she staggers onto dry land, she discovers a body lying dead on the shores. It is that of a young girl. Burying it, she heads inland. Along the way she meets others, but none of them seem to fully know what happened. The more she learns about the devastating event, the more she’s able to remember her past.
It’s about her trying to find her way back home without knowing who she is.
“As the film goes on, it gets a lot darker and a lot more sinister. She is forced to decide who to trust in the group, and the group starts to divide...”
“I wrote it roughly when I was 16 and finished it on my 17th birthday. We shot it last year, split into two shoots. We had a four-day shoot in the middle of the summer and then a 14-day shoot in August/September.
“We shot some parts in Barnham. Most of the film is set in outdoor locations. We went to Petworth and Amberley and Birling Gap and Beachy Head.
“The editing took me six or seven months. I was lucky enough to work with a very talented musician called Jack Northeast. He did all the music for me, and I put the film together, doing the special effects and so on.
“Now we are in the process of submitting it to festivals, some in Canada and some in the UK. We are also looking at a few young people’s film festivals. All the cast and people involved in this film were under the age of 20. After that we are looking at distribution, maybe as a DVD, maybe on iTunes or Netflix.”
Isaac admits that he can’t simply watch the film for the enjoyment. Inevitably he remains far too close to it.
“But I do watch it for other people’s enjoyment. But I am a bit of a perfectionist. When I look at it, I am always thinking what I could have done differently, and you are always remembering the fun and laughter that happened off-screen.”
The lead role is taken by fellow Chichester Festival Youth Theatre member Twyla Doone: “She is very good. She is just incredibly passionate and up for anything. She is always wanting to improve, and she is just incredibly talented.
“Most of the other things she has done have been theatre, and she has enjoyed doing film which is obviously much more naturalistic. Theatre acting is a lot more over the top, a lot more accentuated at times.”