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Feature film born and bred at the University of Bristol

Misha Vertkin receiving his award from the British Film Institute

Misha Vertkin receiving his award from the British Film Institute

Press release issued: 13 April 2012

Two Bristol University undergraduates are hoping to hit the big time with an ambitious feature film project which they’ve launched with the backing of industry professionals. Drama students Misha Vertkin and Jennifer O’Leary have established their own production company called Third Eye Productions and, with a host of awards already under their belt, are embarking on a mission to find 100 cast and crew members to make their latest film a reality.

Drama students Misha Vertkin and Jennifer O’Leary have established their own production company called Third Eye Productions and, with a host of awards already under their belt, are embarking on a mission to find 100 cast and crew members to make their latest film a reality.

Brief Intermission is set in an Orwellian dystopia where a great leader is adored and revered. The film will take a look behind-the-scenes of a massive musical glorifying this oppressive leader, which is sabotaged in the opening scene. The same 30 minutes prior to this moment is then witnessed from 3 different perspectives: the stage manager, the theatre technician and the female lead.

The University of Bristol’s Department of Drama: Theatre, Film Television has helped the film get off the ground thanks to a development grant for £8,000.

The project has received endorsement and support from Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, National Youth Theatre and Aardman Animations, amongst others. All proceeds from the film will go towards Creative Youth, a charity which enables young people to realise their potential through the arts.

Support has also come from industry professionals, all keen to lend their skills to the project and help to educate filmmakers of the future. They will be working within a 'buddy system', allowing less-experienced crew to gain valuable on-set experience.

Among this award-winning team is Alys Rowe, who helped film The Lord of the Rings trilogy and King Kong; Simon Farrell, who is a set dresser for Aardman and make-up artist Michelle Webb who has Finding Neverland, X-Men and leading the make-up team at the MOBOs in her repertoire.

The team has also secured the use of a RED Epic camera, a £70,000 piece of equipment capable of capturing blockbuster-quality footage and is being used by acclaimed director Peter Jackson to shoot The Hobbit.

Jennifer O’Leary, 23 and the film’s producer, said: “We’ve received tremendous support so far and it’s exciting to be working on our first feature film. We’ve made short films and done commercial work in the past so this is by far our biggest project.

“The plan is to launch the film on the festival circuit once it’s complete, while also giving people an invaluable professional experience and perhaps the career break they’ve been waiting for.”

Now, the race is on to compile a committed cast and crew ahead of shooting, which begins on 1 July and is based in the Department of Drama: Theatre, Film Television on Cantocks Close throughout the entire month.

Misha Vertkin, 20, who established Third Eye Productions last year with Jennifer, has already won awards for his directing skills, and has been named by The Guardian as one of five film-makers to watch in the future.

He was recently accepted into the Director's Guild of Great Britain, having won awards from the British Film Institute and at the Encounters Film Festival for his work. Misha has been writing and directing films, as well as working on a freelance basis including for the BBC, for the past four years.

Further information

AUDITIONS

The Bristol musical auditions will be taking place on Wednesday, 25 April in the University's Students’ Union, now called The Richmond Building, on Queens Road. The acting auditions will be taking place on 28 and 29 April, also in the Students’ Union. For further details on all auditions, including anyone interested in helping to crew the film, please email jennifer@third-eye-productions.co.uk

Brief Intermission explores the intimate lives of a creative team, established amongst a colossal context. The film is set in an Orwellian dystopia where a Great Leader is adored and revered. It explores behind-the-scenes of a glorifying musical, which is sabotaged in the opening scene. The same 30 minutes prior to this moment is then witnessed from 3 different perspectives: the stage manager, the theatre technician and the female lead.

For more information on the film, visit www.briefintermission.com.