We were pleased to welcome around 40 guests during the two hours of the opening and Erik Knudsen signed a number of books. So far reaction has been very positive. If you have a chance and are in central Manchester, why not pop in and have a look. If you can’t make it, you can always buy the book and watch the film.
On the 11th November 2017, we were able to show the completed feature film by Erik Knudsen, Cleft Lip, to cast, crew and a few friends. The film stars Reece Douglas, supported by Miranda Benjamin and Keith French. Sponsored by Leica Store Manchester, the screening took place at the Vue Cinema at Salford Quays, Manchester. We were so excited to have the members of the team watch the film for the first time and reactions were overwhelming. The film looked and sounded great on the big screen, and for many of the cast this was the first time they had seen themselves on a big cinema screen. The screening was followed by a wine reception.
The film is now being entered into prominent festivals around the world and we expect a host of screenings at some of these festivals during the first 7 or 8 months during 2018, before the film is then released later in the year. More news on this later.
Since the release of the award winning feature film, The Raven On The Jetty, in 2015, Erik Knudsen has been working on a number of projects: his short iPhone documentary, In Waiting; writing and executive producing Mark Duggan’s The Rabbit; and working on his photographic/film project, Doubt, which is still in production and due for release later in 2016. In addition to these projects, he has also started work on a new fiction feature film project, Cleft Lip, which now has a screenplay sufficiently developed to start the casting process.
Cleft Lip is an emotionally evocative urban tragedy set in the very near future. It is the story of a supreme sacrifice only love can offer, set in the context of a fractured society increasingly challenged by consequences brought about by the commodification of fertility.
We are currently casting the leading parts in the film and are interested to hear from anyone who feels that they may fit the key characteristics we are looking for. In line with Erik Knudsen’s philosophy around casting, we are not looking for performers, but people. People who have the potential to bring the presence of their being to the screen, whose natural personality and looks have the potential to bring the character alive or allow us to build a character from their real personality. Sometimes we don’t quite know what we want until we see the person in front of us and it suddenly becomes immediately apparent. Sometimes we are surprised and change direction because of the presence of a person we meet. We are therefore interested in both professional and non-professional actors and would like to meet a number of people as part of the process of discovering characters for the film.
We are initially looking for the lead actor:
- Mixed Race Man between 25 and 30 years old. He should preferably be a mix of Black African/Caribbean heritage and White European. This person will play the leading part in the film.
Once we have cast the leading actor in the film, we will then put out calls for further parts. It is anticipated that shooting will commence in late 2016 or early 2017. Shooting will primarily take place in the North West of England and the film will be made on a very low budget.
For anyone interested, please contact Janet at email@example.com with brief CV and a single photograph.
I’m very pleased to announce that on the 1st July 2016, I will be joining the School of Film, Media and Performance in the College of Culture and Creative Industries at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston, United Kingdom, as a Professor of Media Practice. This is an exciting new opportunity for me to be part of shaping an ambitious aspiration within the College to grow and develop creative practice research and I look forward to playing a leading role in these developments. I will be working closely with the Dean, Dr Andrew Ireland, the Director of Research for the College, Professor Paul Egglestone, and the Head of the School of Film, Media and Performance, John Holloway, and will be based in The Media Factory, which houses and impressive range of programmes in the creative and cultural industries. I will be joining a large team of colleagues working across a range of creative practices covering film, media, screenwriting, animation, performance, fine art, journalism and more. I am also looking forward to rooting my own practice within a developing practice focused research culture and working in an institution based in the North West of England, home to some of the most vibrant creative communities in the UK.
Working in the Media Department in Bournemouth University as a Professor of Visual and Digital Culture has been a wonderful experience and I have met some very friendly, supportive and dedicated people, academics and creative practitioners. I shall be sorry to say goodbye to colleagues, but I know that I will continue to have close links with many of the colleagues I have had the privilege of working with in the Faculty of Media and Communications.
The Mark Duggan produced and directed film, The Rabbit, for One Day Films, written and executive produced by Erik Knudsen, is due to be released soon. There is a cast and crew preview screening on the 4th October 2015 and shortly after that, you’ll be able to view it here at One Day Films. The Rabbit is a 15 minute film about how a young couple on their way home from visiting one of their parents discover, through a graphic and disturbingly prophetic incident on the road home, that their lives and aspirations have been drifting apart and that the future they thought they might have together is viewed very differently by the two of them. It is an evocative short road movie about the painful dissolution of a relationship.
In the final Vlog about the making of the film, Erik and Mark reflect on the journey of their collaboration:
The Rabbit is coming soon!
Erik Knudsen’s new book, Cuba in Waiting: A Photographic Essay, has just been published and is available in a number of online outlets, such as Amazon. This photographic essay is the result of endless wanderings around Havana province in Cuba between 2009 and 2013.
‘I was first invited to Cuba by a well known British film producer who thought I should experience Cuba before Fidel Castro died. This invitation was extended to me in 1998. Some 15 years later, Fidel Castro is very much still alive, even if he has passed power to his slightly younger brother, Raul, and Cuba remains almost as it was when I first went. After my first few visits, I started to feel a sadness. A sadness for a repressed people; a sadness for a people whose creativity and ingenuity was being denied expression; a sadness for a people who have so many natural and human resources yet are shockingly poor, despite being one of the most highly educated people in the world. Everyone is waiting for change. Though there is genuine reverence for the king-like figure of Fidel Castro and his revolutionary achievements, everyone is nevertheless waiting…
‘This collection of photographs is part of a series of photographs which has emerged from my looking at this ‘Cuba In Waiting’ over the past 3 or 4 years. Taken mainly in Havana Province, I have waited for moments and fragments of stories to present themselves to me and have tried to capture these moments as a reflection of my feelings about Cuba.’
A selection of prints from Erik Knudsen’s photographic essay, Cuba In Waiting, will be exhibited at the group show Conexiones: New Photography from Spain and Latin America to be held at the Cervantes Institute in Manchester, UK. The exhibition runs from 23 March 2013 to the 15 May 2013. This show has been curated by the Cervantes Institute, Manchester, and the Redeye Photographic Network.
The book, Creative Documentary: Theory and Practice, which I co-authored with Wilma de Jong and Jerry Rothwell has finally been published by Pearson Education through their imprint, Longman. This is a very comprehensive and thought-provoking book about the practice of making documentary films and I hope that anyone interested in making documentaries, or simply interested in the making of documentaries, will find it useful. It’s available now through good bookshops like Amazon.
“A wide-ranging, illuminating and comprehensive book. Simultaneously both very practical and deeply thought-provoking , it is an indispensable guide for people wanting to make their own documentaries.” – Dr Tony Dowmunt, Goldsmiths, University of London
” … with an informed awareness of the implications of digital developments, this is an important pragmatic and conceptual guide for new documentary makers, especially those aspiring to a critical and reflexive engagement with the genre” – Dr Cahal McLaughlin, University of Ulster
“A brilliantly useful and comprehensive book that takes you through the A to Z of documentary filming. Read it, digest it, take what is useful and go and make a brilliant film!” – Nick Broomfield, documentary filmmaker
I thought I would share a few brief thoughts on the silence in my film, The Silent Accomplice. Silence is here not thought of as silent film, where the scenes and actions would naturally have dialogue but that these are not heard, but silence here means natural moments in the narrative where dialogue would be absent. Nor does silence mean an absence of sound, for the film has a rich sound track designed by John Wood.
Silence in The Silent Accomplice relates more to an approach where I have sought to tell a story using what I call the negative elements of a narrative, rather than the positive elements. A painter might seek to give form to a shape by painting the thing itself – the positive image – or may decide to show a form by showing us what is not inherently in the form – the negative space. For me, we are surrounded by the positive elements of narratives which predominantly tell us stories by showing us the positive elements themselves: the actual moments of decision for a character, the actions and reactions they carry out as a direct consequence of events, including what is being said to them. The construct of the narratives are usually to follow these actions and for the composition of the film to show them. I suppose our lives are dominated by these positive actions and dialogue is a central part of that.
In contrast, I was interested in the negative elements of the stories of my characters. The shaping of narratives where one may not show moments of decision, but show the consequence of a decision, for example, or where it is not the positive action one is interested in, but the consequence of the action or reaction, or the prelude to that action, or the peripheral events that surround the key events themselves. This idea of negative narrative also has an effect on things such as composition of images, where one may not necessarily be following the main action, but may be concentrating on the spaces around the actions, or the spaces previous to, or immediately following, the main action (I may look at this idea in the imagery and sound in a separate blog).
In so doing, I thought that the bestes online casino for me to begin was to focus on the situations and events of my characters that did not involve dialogue. As most of our daily lives are built around direct actions which heavily involve dialogue, reflected in almost every film we watch, by focusing on telling my story through moments where dialogue would naturally not occur, I was introduced to elements of narrative moments that presented me with interesting inroads into the stories of these people’s lives. I was able to focus on the negative elements of the narrative spaces, to peek in at bigger stories through mainly reflective and silent moments. My silent and ubiquitous character, water, was able to float in and out of these moments and reveal a different angle on contemporary British life.
My hope is that through these cracks in the dominant forms of engaging with cinematic narratives, I could reveal something not normally seen; as Leonard Cohen sings in one of his songs, ‘there is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in’. And for me, we are surrounded by noise, abundance and complexity. To see clearly, I seek a Cinema of Poverty: one element of that is the silence that will allow me to see more clearly. And I hope that my approach will help those who are interested in seeing a world they are used ton seeing in a different light so that they may discover and feel afresh.
Enjoy The Silent Accomplice.