Filming 'Veins' and our higher production value.

We started the production of Veins back in 2017 but it was originally written by Charlie Waters Anderson in 2016. Starting as a college project it progressed into an MTN Films project a year later. Through months of planning the team molded the original script into what we now know as ‘Veins’. The story is based around Jay (Oliver Mascarenhas), a drug addict battling his vulnerability in pursuit to be a father to his unborn child. The victim of all this is Jay’s girlfriend Alice (Claudia Falzon). Dealing with the pregnancy is enough stress for her already but having to cope with Jay is another.

In development of the ‘Veins’ we centered our attention on films of a similar nature such as ‘Trainspotting’. We were knowledgeable that the most common genre young filmmakers tackle is drugs, so we were prepared to add a unique touch to ours by focusing the attention on the fracturing love between Alice and Jay. Introducing green screen to our cinematic intros and hiring out large scale locations, Veins was certainly the beginning of a long journey.

After casting all the actors, we began negotiating with venues nearby. We knew that our previous production ‘Hackett’ was simplistic with locations, so a step up was required to get more recognition from film festivals. Also, high production value was a crucial aspect in showing funding bodies and other videography companies that we are capable of handling finance in an efficient way. By the end of the production we were able to hire out 2 locations of high value in Wimbledon, that being Waitrose on Alexandra road and Sacred heart hall on edge hill. Where we stand now with production value is very different to where we were, so we stress that patience and consistency is key to filmmaking.

Furthermore, the production took a total of 3 weeks to complete. Immediately we started submitting on Film freeway and received a few official selections in return. The team were very pleased with the final project however we believed that there was much room for improvement and therefore didn’t rest after ‘Veins’. We formed meetings and discussed what equipment and strategy was needed to make our films a step closer to television level. We concluded that a new camera and audio equipment was going to be vital for us to move forward in our filmmaking journey. At MTN films we try to be as versatile as possible without going over the top. After every film we complete we analyze all performances from cinematography to acting and negotiate how we can improve hence why we produced the web series ‘Rhythm for the lost’. Both projects share common themes around drugs and relationship, but the uniqueness comes in the Rock and roll music in ‘Rhythm for the lost’. However, producing a web series of such style wouldn’t be possible if ‘Veins’ didn’t follow through. We believe that every film we produce sparks an idea in our minds to keep the journey progressing.

To truly captivate the relentless struggle of Jay and his strained girlfriend Alice we would highly appreciate if you watched ‘Veins’. Tell us what you think and most importantly how you feel towards Jay’s decisions. Thank you!

There will come a point where you will have to choose between the drugs or me
— Alice

Our first days of filming - 'Hackett' topic and themes.

Our Journey began in 2016 through the last days of our sixth form/brit school days. The script for ‘Hackett’ was written, all we needed to do was regroup the team and get the film produced. Prior MTN Films, the team had already worked on a high school project called ‘Reality’ which focused on the life of a student being constantly bullied. This film gained recognition and praise from a well-known poet, Benjamin Zephaniah. From this, the team were able to trust each other to work professionally on higher budget projects. Making your first film is always a big step in all areas of life, from confidence to responsibility, especially when you’re in high school.  

In 2016, Brandon Novis (Company Co-director) reconnected with the team and proposed the idea of making another short film but this time with full freedom over the script and no school supervising us. Pre-Production started immediately and by the time it reached 25th March 2017 the script was fully written and ready to be produced. Joshua Idusohan (Company Co-director) was called back into the team and we started production. The collaboration of great cinematography, engaging writing and intense acting brought to us what we call ‘Hackett’. A short film based around a young man named ‘Joe Hackett’ returning from prison to rekindle his relationship with his brother ‘Ewan’ and begin fresh with a new approach to life . Things start of a bit edgy as Ewan has mixed emotions about Joe’s return, he states that Joe ‘must find a job’ and get things operating safely. With Joe’s promise, Ewan accepts his apology and allows his troubled brother to stay with him.

On Joe’s return, others felt threatened by his bad reputation. Ewan’s girlfriend ‘Chelsea’ demanded that he should neglect Joe as he’s nothing but trouble. We wanted to specifically highlight Chelsea’s frustrations here as she was clearly put in a vulnerable position that she wasn’t prepared for. She knew that Ewan wasn’t going to abandon his only sibling but felt that she had to say something to waken Ewan’s sympathetic heart before problems arise.  Both arguments were valid, so we wanted to leave it up to you guys to pick a side. The team argued that Joe deserved a chance whilst others argued that a leopard never changes its spots.

As the story progressed, we gained much insight into Joe’s strained mind. Although he tried to change his ways and reconnect with his friends, nothing moved forward. We explored the conflicts Joe was experiencing in each scene and how his presence was a threat. All the pitch points in the story added enough conflict to emotionally and mentally fuel Joe in a negative way causing him to do something he would deeply regret for the rest of his life.

This subject matter sparks a rise in debates about whether imprisonment functions as it’s supposed to. Although some prisoners reform and go on to lead much more positive lives after being punished others tend to reoffend. In fact, according to recent findings 1 in 12 prisoners reoffend after 15 days of being released. This shows that reformative techniques such as counselling may work for some but not for all. In relation to our film ‘Hackett’ it seems that Joe was that 1 in 12 people. This doesn’t always have to be the case, effective strategies such as educational and vocational training could be put in place to help these incarcerated youth.

However, to get a full glimpse of the problem we must research the homes of these young offenders. In Joe’s case, his mother passed away when him and Ewan were young causing heartache among the family, perhaps more in Joe than others. This is one problem, there could be cases of child abuse, drug use and unloving parenting that trigger psychological symptoms of aggression. As we move into a generation of media and independence parents must be very careful with what they expose to their children. The littlest of things can have a huge impact on a child’s future personality so its best if we consider checking on our children every now and then to prevent such results.

Joe Hackett could have been a victim of one of the many inadequate socializations. Where did it all go wrong? Was it in school? Was it at home? Or was it through exposure to violent material. The research goes on.

We hope that this gives you a good idea of the motivations behind our film ‘Hackett’ and the topics we chose to tackle. To watch the full film simply press the button below. Hope you enjoy!

'An Odd Two' and reverse chronology

‘An Odd Two’ can be described as “A reverse chronological short film about a couple; Layla and Robert, dealing with an 'ODD' situation, that ties into their strange addiction” said ‘Addiction’ being the craving for feasting upon human flesh. The director and writer of the short Joshua Idusohan has cited two films as being influences on the style and topic of the film. These being; “Irréversible” - Gaspar Noé and “Raw” - Julia Ducournau.

Pairing the reversed chronology of the former and the topic of the later, Idusohan set out to tell his own story in under 25 minutes! An Odd Two was released to Youtube on July 6th 2018 and as of now has been entered into many festivals in and out of the country. The film stars Francesca Dell as “Layla” the leading lady and Connor Finn hot off of ‘Lungs of London’ as “Robert” Layla’s reluctant boyfriend. Alongside them are Lili Hartlep as Layla’s sadistic friend and Brandon Novis as a trainee therapist looking to treat Robert and Layla of their disturbing addictions.

You can watch “An Odd Two” on our Vimeo page!

Rhythm for The Lost: A Summary

On October 28 2018 we released the first episode of our third and final web series, the titular tale of a delinquent, aggressive and lost musician simply named Angus (Played by Brandon Novis). Throughout the series we follow Angus’s journey as he attempts to set his life back on track for his girlfriend (Played by Justine Pope) and their unborn child (Played by Aiden) whilst simultaneously taking the lead as vocalist for his rag tag, up and coming band ‘The Andervis’.

Unfortunately for Angus his peers are not exactly of great help, discouraging his attempts at sobriety and shunning his girlfriend from their group. In one final attempt to change for her he turns to the second vocalist of the band Nicholas (Played by Charlie Waters-Anderson) who introduces him to a dangerous and secretive drug colorfully titled ‘The Satanic Panic’ but not to Angus’s amusement; the drug is the real deal. This plunges him into a hallucinogenic drug trip in which he fights off his inner demons.

Will Angus defeat his demons or will he succumb to his bad ailments?

You can find out by watching the entirety of ‘Rhythm for The Lost’ on our Vimeo page!

Feed me, feed me, I’m the devil in disguise, I’m the angel in your eyes, searched many years to find a stable peace of mind.
— Angus