Sunday, November 24, 2013

Special Request

from Man B Productions

Starting as far back as the Laurence Olivier helmed Pride and Prejudice (1940) to the upcoming Ralph Fiennes Great Expectations, film history unveils a demand for Victorian fiction adaptation onto the silver screen. Yet, we tend to see the same novels adapted over and over rather than new material from the vast library of Victorian literature. We are MAN B Productions, and we are adapting one of Victorian literature’s hidden gems, Anthony Hope’s “The Philosopher in the Apple Orchard”.

However, we can’t do it alone; we need the help of the Victorian literature community! We will tell you how you can join our team, but first—why Anthony Hope and “The Philosopher in the Apple Orchard”?

We remember Anthony Hope for The Prisoner of Zenda like we remember Conan Doyle for The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Both authors wrote voluminously and brilliantly. Both are, oddly, remembered primarily for only one creation—in neither case necessarily their strongest. We are not interested in whether The White Company is “better” than The Hound of the Baskervilles. What we are interested in is why we forget some works and remember others. Zenda is a great adventure, but it exists firmly in its time and place, making it nearly impossible to be anything but English and the period anything but Victorian. Yet Hope’s work has the ability to bring the Victorian to the modern audience. Therefore, our work begins with Hope!

“The Philosopher in the Apple Orchard” is a charming piece about a woman who loves a man so much, and a man who has not the slightest idea—something anyone who has ever had a crush can certainly relate to. Therefore we updated the tale—sort of! The language has been (mildly) modernized, though Hope made that job easy for us. His late Victorian syntax isn’t wildly different from our own, the biggest changes only being made to streamline a film version and remove a few particular British-isms. As far as setting—the story takes place in a removed area, in Hope’s story, an apple orchard, in ours, a wooded area ringing a pond. There are no signs of modern life, except what our heroes carry on their persons, modern writing implements and composition notebooks. Our costumes hint at both the modern and the Victorian—which conveniently enough follows many of the current fashion trends of today, the women wear corsets with a contemporary flair and the men wear lots and lots of tweed. Finally, the music, the fourth movement of Beethoven’s string quarter in B- Flat Major, a piece that follows all the rules of classical music yet, was ahead of its time with its inclusion of tension filled chords, subtle changing in mood and concise melody. The reason for these updates—as have been discussed in great detail by the writers, director, designers, producers, actors, and staff—is that there are some stories which exist outside of any single time and place. They are stories for the ages, untethered and therefore ideal for film adaptation. This is one of them!

We are nearing the final week of our fundraising, and we need your help to meet our goals! Whether you give up one cup of coffee to donate 10 dollars, or you contribute 1,000 dollars to become an Executive Producer, YOU can drastically shape this project’s success. This is a passion project for us, and therefore all funds go towards the film and nothing else. All cast and crew are working without pay. Funds are being used only to secure the necessary equipment to shoot this at a Hollywood production level. Therefore, the greater our budget, the better the equipment and the better we tell this story! We are shooting during the first weekend of December, and will go through an expedited editing process to set the film’s release at the beginning of the new year. We will provide a personal digital copy to all donors as well as appropriate crediting during the film’s opening and closing credits. As for future marketing, we will campaign this project to all major film festivals including Sundance, Tribeca and Cannes.

To find out more about the project, read the shooting script, see examples of our previous work and contribute funds, please visit our campaign page. To set up a meeting to speak with the Producers, Writers, or Director please send an email to ManBProduction@gmail.com.

We thank you all for your generous support. Together we are keeping a very important Victorian style alive!

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