“I am what you made me become!” is the tagline of the film, spoken by Mordred.
Mordred is a locally made Devon & Cornwall film project, showcasing the skills of local actors and film makers, with a local non-profit community group from Brixham in Torbay, which has done historical drama for some years and is now moving into film projects in order to be able to showcase local work and local performers from across Devon & Cornwall, as a portfolio project for all those involved, to a wider audience than those who simply visit local theatres.
The film is an Arthurian story, centering on King Arthur’s son Mordred, set in the early 6th Century, working with a lot of early legends and regional history. The full film budget (only possible as we have a lot of re-enactors on board!) is £2,000, raised from carboot sales, crowdfunding, ebay sales, school/ museum talks, and is mainly going on costumes for the non-re-enactors,, and keeping everyone fed and petrol covered, to locations.
Unfortunately, we have been let down over a critical location, and are urgently seeking a place to film in for up to four days, between June 21st and June 26th. This location appears in the film as “Isca”, Dark Ages Exeter. We have the offer to use equipment to create a period encampment, so while it would have been ideal to have a recreated settlement with roundhouse huts, we are also able to look for the use of an area of secluded field or woodland, and create it ourselves. Unfortunately we are finding it very hard to make contact with possible locations. We are able to travel anywhere in Devon or Cornwall. Due to being set in the 6th Century, It needs to not have modern houses etc in the background, and be away from busy main roads (due to sound), and be able to have access to a loo.
We are happy to pay our utility bills for water and electricity for the loo, and more than that, will be running raffles etc with the theatre shows (we have a theatre adaptation of this script in the autumn) , even special screenings, (once edited) etc to fundraise donations for the locations (this one and the others appearing in the film).
We would also be most willing to come back and film a video commercial/ promo for site owners during July/ August, for use online, or do full photoshoot for their website, if relevant. As with everything else, all of what we raise is on an “open book” policy, all anyone needs to do, is ask to see what we have and what is being done with what we have.
Anyone who is able to help, is asked to contact us as quickly as possible on: firstname.lastname@example.org
The film is an Arthurian story, centering on King Arthur’s son Mordred, set in the early 6th Century, working with a lot of early legends and regional history. The full film budget (only possible as we have a lot of re-enactors on board!) is £2,000, mainly going on costumes for the non-re-enactors, and keeping everyone fed and petrol covered, to locations.
Contrary to the usual glamourous medieval settings for many Arthurian adaptations, with knights in gleaming plate armour, and ladies in stunning court dresses; this drama is set within a very different landscape.
Following the departure of the Romans from Britain, the Southwest again became the Celtic kingdom of Dumnonia. At this point in history, the Saxons were raiding along the coast, much as the Vikings did, centuries later. Set against this backdrop, Arthur and his warriors, fight to defend Dumnonia, against invasion.
The timeline for this film came originally from the entry for the year 537AD in the Annales Cambriae;
537 The battle of Camlann, in which Arthur and Medraut fell: and there was plague in Britain and Ireland. (“Medraut” was the name that in later legend, became Mordred. We went with the later name “Mordred” simply so that it would be more recognisable to modern audiences.)
The Southwest is linked to a wide number of legends connected with King Arthur, and as we researched, we found yet more old stories, both of Mordred, and and of other, Mordred-like characters who almost never appear in modern adaptations of the legend. Piecing these together, against this dramatic, ever-changing landscape of the Dark Ages, and using peripheral history of the times – for example; as the Saxons began to expand their kingdom of Wessex, Cynric, who was the first king of Wessex, is also an important character in our drama – we created our own version of the legend, with a lot of the backdrop which would have existed in the time it is set.
After months of research, rehearsing and training, the cast are really excited to begin filming at last, and it would be the end of a very committed, strong group, to be unable to make the film due to needing one location!
The group running it, The South Devon Players Theatre & Film Company, from Brixham in South Devon, also founded by Laura Jay, has a proven track record over 10 years of producing historical theatre and film, working from the early days of raising £80 from a carboot sale and using the backroom of a pub for rehearsals.
The large cast ranges from Julie Tetley playing Gitta; Morgan le Fay’s maid and co-conspirator, and thirteen year old newcomer Reece Whitehouse playing King Arthur’s “legitimate” son, Duran, in their first ever major acting roles (in fact the first ever role for Reece), through our more experienced actors Rich Sandford who stars as Mordred, and Guillaume Rivaud, who plays King Arthur, right over to “Iron” Mike Mitchell, who, after holding 5 “Mr World” and 2 “Mr Universe” titles with the World Fitness Federation, went on to the world of acting and has appeared in films such as Gladiator, Braveheart, Skyfall, Apocalypse Z – and the TV soap Emmerdale.
The project is already gathering international interest, with three articles in New York – based arts magazine NY Elite, and Hollywood-based film production magazine Max-It, as well as various online interviews and podcasts.
The South Devon Players have an unusual raison d’etre; exemplified, in this project. The group, which started out as an amateur dramatics theatre group, specialising in historical and mythological drama, are a group of local career-orientated actors and creatives, who are unable, for various life reasons, or lack of resources, to move away to large entertainment hubs such as London, to make careers there.
It was considered very important to make sure that we were not making “just another King Arthur film”, and to find a unique adaptation. While novels have been written from Mordred’s point of view, to our knowledge, this has never been transferred to film. That, coupled with spanning Devon and Cornwall, and delving into earlier and less known legends, has created an all new version of the legend.Follow