Magazine article Screen International

Eight Minutes Idle

Magazine article Screen International

Eight Minutes Idle

Article excerpt

The second feature to come out of South West Screen's iFeatures scheme is a romantic comedy set in a Bristol call centre, starring Brit actors of the moment Tom Hughes and Ophelia Lovibond.

Synopsis: When Dan (Hughes) finds himself kicked out of the family home, he's faced no option but to secretly move into the call centre where he works, whilst falling in love with one of his colleagues Teri (Lovibond) at the same time.

Director: Mark Simon Hewis

Writers: Matt Thorne (from his own novel) and Nicholas Blincoe

Producer: Sarah Cox of ArthurCox Productions

Cast: Tom Hughes and Ophelia Lovibond, Montserrat Lombard, Divian Ladwa, Jack Ashton, Antonia Thomas, Pippa Haywood, Paul Kaye

Financing: South West Screen (via the iFeatures scheme), BBC Films, UKFC, Matador, Bristol City Council

Countries Of Production: UK

Filming locations: The Bottle Yard Studios and on location in Bristol

Status: Shooting for four weeks from March 21-April 16

International sales: Content Film

Distribution: BBC has UK TV rights

Eight Minutes Idle is the second film to go into production as part of South West Screen's microbudget iFeatures scheme, following Into The Dark Half, which is currently in post. The third and final feature to come out of the scheme, which has greenlit three Bristol-set features on a budget of $484,000 (£300,000) each, is romantic drama Flying Blind, which will go into pre-production in July.

Based on the novel by Matt Thorne, Eight Minutes Idle is the feature directorial debut of Mark Simon Hewis, who was brought on board by producer/director Sarah Cox. "Originally I thought it might be something I would direct, but then I read the book and instantly thought of Mark because of the dark humour and wryness. I knew he would get it" explains Cox, who runs her own animation company, ArthurCox, in Bristol.

She was introduced to the book by Thorne's friend and fellow novelist Nicholas Blincoe, who she met online via a music sharing club and who liked the look of her animations.The team then decided to pitch it to iFeatures.

With over 550 applications for the scheme, Cox didn't think they stood a chance.

But the iFeatures team, headed up by Chris Moll, saw its potential: "If you try and do an office-based comedy, people think it's going to look like something for TV, but actually, it's incredibly cinematic, and that is something which appealed to us. …

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