Thursday, 22 September 2011

UK Film Review - The Tapes

Ever wanted to go on Big Brother and find your inner celebrity? If you lived in a town like Whitstable, Kent, where would you deem an excitable place to film your audition tape? That is the question which led Gemma, her boyfriend Danny and his film student friend Nathan down to a derelict farm in hope to film a party of swingers.
The Tapes is a feature length horror which evolved from idea to creation in just 6 weeks. Completed on an extremely low budget of £17,000 and filmed in just 6 days, what has been achieved is remarkable! Originally planning to film over just 4 days, 2 additional days had to be added to the shoot. Post production also took a lengthy and testing 20 months for the team to complete. But these weren't the only challenges encountered by the team; a favourable cameo role was spooked out of participating and Scott Bates (Producer/Co-Writer/Director) found himself skidding down a steep hill during snowfall en route to rehearsal with members of the cast, the day before filming was due to commence.   

Undeterred by the events of the previous day and being snowed in overnight, the shoot went ahead, battling through the snow. Turning negative to positive, the team saw it as a free special effect, adding an extra edge to the feature. Actors Jason Maza (Danny), Arnold Oceng (Nathan) and Natasha Sparkes (Gemma) improvised lines throughout, with clear direction of where the storyline needed to end. Together they spent lots of time developing their characters to give the film it's natural feel. A devil worshipper was also consulted and taken on board as an adviser, adding to the film's unnerving realistic edge.

Having already found familiar feet in various acting roles, Jason Maza and Arnold Oceng play their characters of a wide boy wheeler dealer and intelligent, peace-maker friend very well. But an extraordinary talent has been found in Natasha Sparkes, who made her acting debut within The Tapes, but went on to be casted in another feature length soon to be released 'Victim', premiering at the Raindance Film Festival on 2nd October. Natasha's talent shines as one deserving of the big screen, her character within The Tapes can have you laughing in one instance and anxiously staring the next, carrying the emotions of the film throughout.

If you think you can withstand the events that took place when a Big Brother hopeful wanted to stand out amongst the masses..... I challenge you to watch The Tapes......

Cinema release: 23rd September 2011
DVD Release: 3rd October 2011
Running Time: 77 mins
Certificate: 15
Facebook: The Tapes
Twitter: @TheTapes2011

Also featured on Break London, UK Choc and Niji Magazine

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