Posts Tagged ‘Gallaudet’

Our British thriller movie SILENT FEAR, to be shot in London in 2015, features this week in IF Magazine, the Down Under film industry chronicle. It highlights the recent attachment of Australian director Antony J. Bowman to helm the production.

Antony J. Bowman's primary photo

Director Antony J. Bowman

The article, by IF Magazine columnist Don Groves, follows (unabridged):

 

Aussie director attached to London-set thriller

[Fri 18/07/2014 4:32 PM]

By Don Groves

Antony J. Bowman is attached to direct Silent Fear, a London-set thriller which will star Kevin Sorbo.

It’s the first feature from New Zealand producers Ronel Schodt, managing director of Shotz Productions, and Brent Macpherson of Stretch Productions, through their Stretch Motion Pictures.

In an unusual twist, the female protagonist is fluent in sign language, and Macpherson is a Deaf director.

The plot revolves around Valerie Crowther (yet to be cast), a Scotland Yard detective whose mother was Deaf. Valerie is assigned to investigate the murder of a student at London’s Wandsworth University, a learning institution for the Deaf.

Sorbo will play Detective Chief Superintendent Mark Bennett, who is her ex-husband, meaning they have a difficult working relationship. Valerie’s arrival at Wandsworth University coincides with the death of a student from a deadly flu virus as the government closes the borders to prevent the entry of the virus which has caused tens of thousands of deaths elsewhere.

The screenplay is by Kiwi-born, Sydney-based writer/actor James Morcan and his father Lance Morcan. James Morcan suggested the producers hire Bowman, who directed Paperback Hero and now works in the US and UK.

His most recent feature was Almost Broadway, a drama about a group of struggling actors in New York who capitalise on their friend’s unexpected possession of an incriminating sex tape, which starred Cameron Daddo, Ella Bowman, Bernard Curry, Taryn Manning, Dov Davidoff and Currie Graham.

“Brent and I have been working together now for over a year producing promotional and commercials for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities,” said Schodt, who has two short films, Dog on Duty and Pigeons, screening at the New Zealand Festival.

“I believe that with the insight of having a Deaf director working with Ant Bowman in creating our claustrophobic world when the University for the Deaf is cut off from the rest of the world through the killer virus, we will have a unique film.

“I read up about Ant, had a couple of Skype calls and really made a connection. Brent went over to LA to meet him and also connected, hence his attachment.”

Script editor Tanya Wheeler is giving the screenplay a polish, and the producers hope to put the finance package together in the next six months.

“We would like to be filming end of 2015 in London. However there is always a possibility to shoot the film in New Zealand, now that we have our own attractive tax incentives,” she says.

“Once our script is finalised then we are 100% in search of Valerie, which will have to be an experienced lead actress to fill Valerie’s shoes, as well as learning sign language.”

Sorbo has worked steadily since his breakthrough in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. One of his recent films, low-budget, faith-based drama God’s Not Dead, has grossed more than $60 million in the US.

 

The SILENT FEAR screenplay was inspired by the murders of two deaf students at America’s prestigious Gallaudet University for the Deaf, in Washington. A report on the original crimes is detailed in our earlier blog at: https://morcanbooksandfilms.com/2013/08/27/silent-fear-feature-film-inspired-by-murders-at-gallaudet-university-for-the-deaf/

Gallaudet University (above). Gallaudet students sign in class (below).

And here’s our teaser trailer for SILENT FEAR: http://youtu.be/Ll9O9dedd44

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Our British thriller feature film SILENT FEAR was inspired by the murders of two deaf students at America’s prestigious Gallaudet University for the Deaf, in Washington, some 13 years ago.

Gallaudet University

It was a case that gripped America from the time of the first murder, in September 2000, until an arrest was made following the second murder some five months later. Washington Metropolitan Police didn’t know if it was an ‘inside job’ and for a time nearly everyone connected to Gallaudet was under suspicion.

Signing in class at Gallaudet

A copy of a 2001 CNN report on the murder investigation follows:

Suspect arrested in Gallaudet murders

February 13, 2001

WASHINGTON (CNN) — A suspect has been arrested in connection with the murders of two students at Gallaudet University, police said Tuesday.

Washington Metropolitan Police Chief Charles Ramsey said 20-year old Joseph Mesa, a freshman at the university for the deaf, was charged with two counts of felony murder for the deaths of Benjamin Varner, 19, whose body was found February 3, and Eric Plunkett, also 19, who was killed in September.

Ramsey said the motive for the murders was robbery.

“We have sufficient evidence to charge him with two counts of felony murder,” Ramsey said.

Mesa will be arraigned Wednesday in District of Columbia Superior Court.

Varner, of San Antonio, Texas, died of multiple stab wounds to his face and body. Plunkett, of Burnsville, Minnesota, was beaten to death. He suffered from cerebral palsy.

Dr. I. King Jordan, president of Gallaudet, said there is a sense of relief that the suspected killer has been caught.

“At the same time, there’s a real sense of sadness that the individual who is said to be responsible for this is from our community,” Jordan said.

Both students were killed in Cogswell Hall, which will remain closed for the remainder of the semester, university officials said. Mesa lived in the dorm next to Cogswell Hall.

Another killing occurred at Gallaudet in 1981, when a male student stabbed his boyfriend to death after a heated argument. The murderer was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Gallaudet, was founded partly by President Abraham Lincoln nearly 140 years ago.

When first heard about the murders, it inspired us to write the SILENT FEAR screenplay. We found the idea of a serial killer at large in a university for the Deaf chilling and we immediately recognized it was high concept and tailor-made for gripping cinematic viewing.

While SILENT FEAR could be set just about anywhere in the civilized world, we’ve chosen to set it in London. In the London borough of South Kensington to be exact. We believe the thriller genre suits London and this story has a very British feel to it. That said, we are confident it will appeal to audiences worldwide – both normal hearing and Deaf audiences.

Here’s the SILENT FEAR premise in brief:

Scotland Yard detective Valerie Crowther is assigned to investigate the murder of a student at London’s Wandsworth University for the Deaf. Her investigation coincides with a student contracting a deadly flu virus, which results in the university being sealed off from the outside world. When more deaf students are murdered, it’s clearly the work of a serial killer. The stakes rise when Valerie becomes the killer’s next target and the deadly virus claims more lives.

Here’s our teaser trailer for SILENT FEAR: http://youtu.be/Ll9O9dedd44

New Zealand producers Brent Macpherson, of Stretch Productions, and Ronel Schodt, of Shotz Productions, aim to shoot SILENT FEAR on location in London as a likely 3D production in 2014. They welcome expressions of interest from experienced British producers interested in collaborating on this highly commercial feature film project as well as from A-List directors interested in helming it.

http://pro.imdb.com/title/tt1935228/

http://stretchproductions.co.nz/

www.shotzproductions.co.nz

 

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Here’s our teaser trailer for SILENT FEAR: http://youtu.be/Ll9O9dedd44

When you can’t hear……death comes silently.

Scotland Yard detective Valerie Crowther is assigned to investigate the murder of a student at London’s Wandsworth University for the Deaf. Her investigation coincides with a student contracting a deadly flu virus, which results in the university being sealed off from the outside world. When more deaf students are murdered, it’s clearly the work of a serial killer. The stakes rise when Valerie becomes the killer’s next target and the deadly virus claims more lives.

The video teaser above is a re-enactment of the first brutal murder.

Inspired by the murders of two deaf students at America’s Gallaudet University for the Deaf in the early 2000’s, SILENT FEAR is a chilling, claustrophobic thriller set in London. The screenplay is by Lance & James Morcan, of Morcan Motion Pictures.

New Zealand producers Brent Macpherson, of Stretch Productions, and Ronel Schodt, of Shotz Productions, are aiming to shoot SILENT FEAR on location in London as a likely 3D production in 2014.

The producers welcome expressions of interest from experienced British producers interested in collaborating on this highly commercial feature film project as well as A-List directors.

http://pro.imdb.com/title/tt1935228/

http://stretchproductions.co.nz/

www.shotzproductions.co.nz

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