Simon Beaufoy, writer of ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, ‘The Full Monty’,’127 Hours’, ‘Salmon Fishing in the Yemen’ and a stack of other Hollywood hits, has now put his name to the York- based feature documentary ‘Folie á Deux – madness made of two’.
Kim Hopkins, the director of ‘Folie á Deux – madness made of two’, sent Simon Beaufoy a cut of the film to gauge his reaction. Simon replied, writing, “It’s hilarious, poignant and painfully reflects life back at us. I think it’s a stunning commentary on the mess we’re in. Really powerful.” Simon has also agreed to become an ‘Executive Producer’ of the film, which is a wonderful endorsement and great boost for the film’s future.
So, why does a fiction writer want to put his name to a documentary?
For the same reason as the movie moguls, the Weinstein brothers are buying into documentaries – documentaries are hot. Usually costing a fraction of a low budget feature and therefore they recoup their money at the box office and go into profit much quicker. It’s business.
According to Simon Beaufoy, ‘documentaries are quickly filling the void, left by low- to medium budget features’,- which are having a hard time getting financed in these stricken times.
The stuff coming out of Hollywood is getting repetitive. Documentary makers are becoming savvier. They’re showing that truth is often more incredible than fiction.
The number of British documentaries released at cinemas in the UK and Ireland has almost doubled over the past five years. Films like ‘Senna’, ‘Marley’, ‘3DTT’, Closer to the Edge’, ‘Exit Through the Gift Shop’, ‘Dreams of a Life’ and currently ‘The Imposter’ are all British documentaries. They are all box office success stories, and prove that documentary makers are not limited to TV, but are hot box office property.
Kim Hopkins hopes that ‘Folie a Deux – madness made of two’ will continue the trend, but is also realistic as to its chances. Kim says “it’s a good film, it’s an important film, but that doesn’t guarantee its success; it must somehow find an audience. To find an audience, people must know it exists; and to get people to know it exists, costs money, lots of money.” Folie a Deux – madness made of two is a self-funded, 5- year labour of love.
What is the film about?
‘Folie a Deux – madness made of two’ is a quintessentially English tale with a universal message. It’s prophetic and surprisingly humorous. The narrative is driven by a tenacious mother of seven, who risks bankruptcy and homelessness to fulfill a dream.
Filmed over five years and set in one of the oldest houses in England, York. This story is an intimate portrayal of a large bohemian family with all the ups and downs of daily life, and an intriguing insight into England’s history and future. This is a nail-biting journey through the economic crash, and life’s biggest gamble. This is the human cost of the banking crisis.
The physical film is just about to get finished, thanks to ‘Herbie’ a local cinefile with a well – tuned critical eye, who watched the film, loved it, and decided to help out. However, the real hard work starts now. With an academy -award winner on board and a little more help from somebody out there, York might just get itself on the filmmaking map.
Kim is determined to keep things local. Audience test screenings were done at 1331. St. John’s students are helping out with production. Post-production is planned for Heslington Studios, using regional technicians, and the York Filmmakers Coalition has been a brilliant hub for local talent and support.
Please take a look at the film’s official trailer below and follow the film’s progress on Facebook here.
And if that’s not enough excitement for now, then watch this space for future announcements, which should excite music fans.