Thursday, April 17, 2014
A darkly comic tale of an increasingly bizarre auction is the latest short from an Exmouth-based film project, which is fast proving to be an internet hit.
Lot 13 is a short film by Meat Bingo, founded by director and Exmouth Community College teacher John Panton, Exmouth illustrator Moose Allain, and top TV writer and former college pupil David Quantick.
The film, shot at East Budleigh’s Salem Chapel, stars TV comedian Simon Evans, and also features actor and comedian Sanjeev Kohli.
After its release two weeks ago, a link to the film was tweeted by comedian Rufus Hound, before a review on the Film School Rejects website was retweeted by Frankie Boyle, and the resulting publicity means the film is proving to be Meat Bingo’s most popular yet.
John said: “It is our most-watched production so far, and fingers crossed it will lead to something even bigger in the future.”
The role of Twitter in the Lot 13 story is much bigger than just publicity, however, as the social networking site also played a vital role in bringing the project together.
The team approached Simon Evans to star in the film after he and Moose became friends online, while Sanjeev Kohli offered to appear after seeing tweets about the project, travelling down from Glasgow to East Budleigh to take part.
Music for the film was provided by TV composer Nick Harvey, again after making contact on Twitter, while special effects were provided by Graham Salisbury, of Melbourne, Australia, via John sending him clips.
Moose said: “The whole Meat Bingo thing came together through Twitter in the first place, and with Twitter you can make real-life friendships with strangers on the other side of the country.
“I think I said to John that at the core of this is keen amateurs, but through the contacts we have got we have managed to assemble around us some fantastic professionals, so the whole is so much more than the parts.
“We are so pleased with this film. It feels like what we wanted it to be and we are pleased by the response.”
The film’s cast also features local performer Joe Hancock, comedy duo Marina O’Shea and Tessa Gaukroger, and John’s fellow teachers Sally Wright, Penny Froggatt and Tom Stanier, while college students Dale Pendlebury and Stuart Smith handled camera work and other production duties.
Discussing his inspiration for the film’s script, David said: “I liked the idea of an auction where the same item kept coming up again and again, and the rest of the story came from that. What would the item be? Why did it keep coming up? And it had to be scary.
“It reminded me for some reason of the famous horror story The Monkey’s Paw. I think because when things come back, it’s never good.”
Regarding the film’s reception, he said: “I knew it was a good film but I didn’t expect such a strong reaction with people tweeting about it and the odd celebrity being nice about it.
“Twitter is such a good tool for a thing like Lot 13, where you have no money to spend on publicity and you rely on other people’s goodwill – and there’s a lot of ‘other people’ out there.
“Meat Bingo is a small organisation with tiny budgets where everyone makes a massive effort for nothing more than the satisfaction of a job well done.
“From cast and directors to art and design, everything is done to a very high standard and the only way we can convey that to a big audience is through something like Twitter.”