Directors Statement and New Poster

As we come closer to the production and crowdfunding campaign for ‘Canary’ we are now developing our campaign further. My masters is helping me to develop the crowdfunding 15400464_1194374583987415_4225401658624313188_naspect of the project and prepare for the the campaign. To start the new year off we have a brand new poster.

Using a simple format while we have no confirmed cast and moving away from the previously marketed material. The name change is also made more official. It also confirms our director: Jamie Weston.

His current statement outlines the film perfectly and the themes we want to get across to the audience. Have a read below:

Having spent years making documentaries before my first feature, I’ve always been drawn to stories with a strong sense of truth. Stories filled with relatable characters that have a heart and soul. Canary is a film which reaches out and grabs you by the collar within the first page and drags you through the emotional and physical turmoil which my parents generations went through in The North during the mid-1980’s. Influenced by John Steinbeck’s ‘Of Mice and Men’, a writer famed for also dealing with social and economic issues, Canary feels equally verbatim, with current films such as “Billy Elliot”, “This is England” and most recently “I Daniel Blake” drawing on similar themes of poverty and anti-establishment motives against a conservative era government.

At its centre, it is a drama about human relationships, a friendship between cousins; Joseph and Ernest who work at the local mine. Ernest suffers from learning disabilities and struggles to understand the bigger choices that have to be made. The story hits hard as these were real events with bleak consequences which resulted in a formidable future unknown to them at the time. This has been only something we can truly look on now with in hindsight. The hardship these characters’ face highlights the true nature of human spirit with the entire community banding together and helping each other in times of trouble.

This story also defines how the desperate lack of income divided the communities and branded those who had no choice but to feed their families through any means. Something which many who were not familiar with the Miner strikes will be able to relate to at present, with the Syrian refugee migration and the lack of government funding for the low income families. This has resulted in higher numbers of food banks and a record high in homelessness.

This story has a great potential to render the jeopardy each of the miners faced on a daily basis, the sheer perfidy and betrayal they felt Margret Thatcher had done to them and the bond between men. On one side each of them are dealing with the hardship associated with willingly giving up their only source of income, while on the other hand they are uniting to stand against the loss of their occupation as a Miner, as well as hundreds of others like them across the North Visually, I intend to utilise a natural light look, depicting the realistic colours and flavours of the time by shooting in real locations and using real people native to the affected areas. I want to cover the scenes with the widest scopes to the tightest, while discovering new ideas on set when workshopping the scenes with the actors to create most visceral honest performances.

I feel that this is a very important film to be making right now, as the issues brought up in the film are still relevant today with many businesses going bust and the gap between the rich and poor ever growing. It’s a story which portrays how against all, odds the most important thing we have are family and loved ones around us. In an age where uncertainty is rife and education is becoming once again elitist, it’s important to bring to our attention previous events, so we can draw parallels between history and history in the making.”

Jamie Weston, January 2017


Show your support today by following us on twitter @theminesfilm and on facebook @canaryfeaturefilm

Our campaign will be announced shortly and we appreciate any support and help to share our material and get the word out.


Creating Scribbles and Scrawls Webpage

As part of my work this year I will be carrying on my business from the previous year. The previous year was a success with the business earning a small profit. Although there wasn’t much activity due to study commitments the business has remained up and running with bright things planned for the future.

The main project is the completion of the feature film ‘Carney’ set during the 1980’s British mining strikes. The feature film has been scripted by myself and along with two other Staffordshire University master students, we hope to have the film released by Winter 2017. There’s a lot of work to do including designing a webpage to display all information about the business and ongoing projects.

I chose WordPress due to the ability to link the site with my own blog and allow easy access. It also meant that I had a good sense of how to use it…or so I thought. WordPress is fortunate enough to have a team of developers constantly updating and improving the service, this however meant that I was a little out of touch with it’s use.

The service also allows you to buy your own domain and URL for instance instead of I could use I intend to pay for this service at a later date however while the site is under construction I would prefer the page to be harder to find until its complete.

I started with the basics by choosing a theme. This initially took a few tries before I was satisfied on a design that matched any previous artwork created and easily accessible by a user. I finally settle on ‘Suits’ as it gave the site a professional look.

scribs webpage.png

Changing details of areas and widgets was simple so I started with simple descriptions that can be changed at a later date if necessary. The front page I kept very plain while finishing the layout of the site with the intention of updating content further on.

The next biggest challenge was working out how to add/adjust pages and update the menu bar. This took more figuring out than I’d like to admit but after reading a quick how-to-guide I slowly managed to get the hang of it. This allowed me to have key page areas such as a ‘Home’ page, ‘Feature Film’ Section and ‘About’ page etc. which would then divert users to other sections including the feature film Carney.

scribs webpage menu.png

This design makes it easier to add any later projects to the webpage without deleting old projects and keeps the layout simple and easy to navigate. On every page the user is also able to access social media sites to follow and gather more information.


This function is great and keeps the audience connected with the work.

From a marketing perspective this can also work backwards with specialised deals advertised on a particular platform or a code to a discount.

Crowdfunding opportunities can be easily linked and found. I believe it is important to connect everything together for the ease of the user.

This bar can be easily adjusted or updated so current news updates about the business or projects. It can also be used to advertise any information and direct users to new areas keeping the site interactive for those who want to know more.

WordPress users can also easily follow the site and mark it as there favourites.

Now that the layout is complete I am able to focus on the content for users to read. This will be complied using a number of sources. Focus will be given to a clear ‘Services’ page and updating the feature film information. It will be important to keep up-to-date. Especially with blog information as users will expect consistency.

Once the site is functioning for a user I will be able to advertise it on social media platforms, email replies, film and services forums and to any other interested parties. The webpage will be designed to hold any and all information about ‘Scribbles and Scrawls’ and the projects it is undertaking so keep your eyes posted!

‘The Mines’ – Coming Soon

As part of my dissertation project I focused on creating a distribution and marketing campaign for the feature film ‘The Mines’. The film is set in 1980’s England during the mining strikes and follows Joseph Cole and Ernest Mills, two miners struggling to survive the impact of the strikes. The story is a powerful tale with a number of characters reacting to the situation they now find themselves in.

As part of the campaign I had to create a series of posters and a trailers that were then reviewed by the public. It is hoped that the film will be made in 2017 as part of a Master’s project.

The Posters:

The posters were designed by investigating a number of other films within the same era or style of project and reproducing them.


It was important that the posters reflected the style of the film and gave enough information away for an audience to want to view the film and find out more information. Research identified important areas that must be included on a poster such as Title, Director, Actors, Release date, Production company. Audience members had different opinions on what had to be included. A survey of 51 people showed that 45% looked at the images of a movie poster first. 56% were more interested in the story shown in the trailer and 74% would look fro the trailer 1st when trying to find more information about a film.


The Trailer:

View the trailer here.

The trailer was designed from achieve footage of the time and present day production footage of the characters. The present day footage was shot at Apedale Heritage center in Newcastle-under-lyme which has a real working mine and museum.

The trailer was accepted well and circulated on social media as a teaser trailer for the actual film so audience members can view the style and story.

More information can be found on the twitter page @theminesfilm