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Dartford filmmaker broke but still making films

PUBLISHED: 16:00 15 March 2013

Paul Marlon in the Orchard Theatre

Paul Marlon in the Orchard Theatre

Archant

Last month's Oscars might have showcased the glitz and glamour of the film industry but far away from the Hollywood hills is a company making features simply for the love of it.

Paul Marlon as Father Clements in CommunionPaul Marlon as Father Clements in Communion

Paul Marlon, Dartford born and bred, is a founding member of Broke But Making Films, which will see its next release, Communion, out this October.

“People can expect it to be a gritty, cutting-edge British film,” says Paul. “It’s a bit rogue, a bit emotional and deals with a priest, Father Clemence, who has a lot of demons.”

There will be advanced screenings and film festival appearances throughout the spring and summer, with its £15,000 budget financed through independent small-time backers and fans.

After minimal overheads were taken in account, Paul and his crew were left with £9,500 to make the movie.

Paul MarlonPaul Marlon

Paul says: “For big film companies, £9,500 is just the catering bill. But we relied on our contacts to get quality professional people to work for free.

“This included actors of the calibre of Lee Ingleby, who starred in Harry Potter, and Roger Griffiths, who has appeared in EastEnders and Holby City.”

Along with Paul, 34, who acts and writes, Broke But Making Films is made up of producer and actor Becky Finlay-Hall and Greg Hall, who writes and produces.

It has been running for almost ten years and, as the name suggests, making money isn’t the be all and end all.

“We haven’t made a penny out of it so far – we all have other jobs alongside the company,” Paul explains. “I act elsewhere as well being a casual duty manager at the Orchard Theatre.

“We do it because there’s no platform for independent cinema in this country. It’s nice to give people the option of seeing something different rather than Jason Statham always playing the same roles.

“Lots of people in the industry can’t believe what we do for what we do it for – it’s as top-end as it can be on our budget.”

Last year was a real breakthrough year for the company. Short movie Bruised won two awards at the Toronto Bootleg Film Festival, including best actor for Paul, and it will be taking Communion to the same festival this year as well as to similar events in Edinburgh and New York.

Paul, who has appeared in TV shows such as Hollyoaks and A Touch Of Frost, thinks Dartford is the perfect place for him to be based, having lived in the town for most of his life, because it is close enough to the city without actually being in it.

There will also be a week of screenings in London this spring, details of which are yet to be finalised, which will provide an opportunity to thank the investors who made it all possible.

“We’re forever indebted to the backers and we’re also appreciative of the people who gave up their time for nothing.

“Everyone who put money in has been given some sort of credit. If people put in more than £100, they even got to be an extra in the film.”

n For more information on Broke But Making Films, visit brokebutmakingfilms.wordpress.com.

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