ABOUT CROOKED BILLET
CROOKED BILLET is the middle film, of a three film story. It has both a sequel (CROOKED BILLET II – now being filmed expected completion late 2018) and a prequel to it currently in planning. Actors in the film are trained by Northern Film and Drama based in Leeds where it forms part of their unique on set-actor training.
Crooked Billet is a mystery intrigue with a dash of humour about a man who is down on his luck and then finds himself in the middle of a quest involving a secret order, the Catholic Church and a Russian Oligarch. He just wants to get his life back together; however, he quickly becomes obsessed as he follows clue after clue. This story while fictional is built on historic facts. Like other stories of this genre such as “Da Vinchi Code,” “The last Crusade,” and “The Holy Grail,” the target audience would be a wide range, especially those who enjoy mixing mystery and intrigue with historic facts.
3D (Page background is in anaglyph 3D)
In order to take maximum advantage of the stunningly beautiful surroundings and scenery the film was shot in native 3D. It is available in both 2D and 3D formats for distribution. Please see anaglyph 3D trailer version below. (Requires Red and Blue glasses to view in 3D)
I really wanted to create something in a style all of its own! To keep the audience intrigued and always wondering what was going on. To explore and modify some of the older film making techniques such as deep focus and shooting into light. Shooting for example an actor dark silhouette at dusk, showing the beautiful sky much more than the actors. Keeping camera movement as smooth as possible so as never to break the spell of the story; indeed so subtle, that at times you have to look at the sides to see it’s actually moving at all.
Deep focus (as used by Gregg Toland with Orson Welles in Citizen Kane) allows the viewer to see the scene some what how our eyes see the world so allowed us to make it more real which resulted in an unusually bigger than you may be accustomed to DOF for most of the film. Benefit of that being it really allows the size and beauty of the Churches and stunning locations to truly shine through.
In the colouring/grading of the film we countered this slightly at times to avoid characters being lost in the background by making the characters stand out, (more sharp/contrast than normal to make characters almost 3 dimensional at times) and masking the surroundings just a bit. These days it always seems to be shallow DOF to show the audience where to look! We actually wanted the viewer to look around and really appreciate what was there, so less for a few scenes avoided using it as much as possible. Before colour most B/W films were deep focus but with the advent of colour it was moved away from to avoid the background taking away from the character, I would like to think we found a compromise that works.
The aim was to produce a film that you could literally look round and really flowed so at the end of it the audience would think it was much shorter than it really was!
Getting CROOKED BILLET seen
Getting CROOKED BILLET shown round the world is our main aim as this will help to further the careers of the aspiring actors appearing in the film and to show off the very beautiful forgotten historic Churches of Yorkshire. It has already had a private viewing for cast, crew and families, industry professionals in the VUE cinema in Leeds which was very successful achieving significant praise from all who attended. Indeed many couldn’t believe the film was made for so little! So it would be truly wonderful to have it shown in other cinemas around the world. If you can help us to have CROOKED BILLET shown around the world please do get in touch. If you are interested in investing in the prequel or sequel again please do get in touch. We are always looking for volunteers to help with productions either CROOKED BILLET or the other productions we produce so if you live and or can travel to Yorkshire easily then do please drop us a line.
CROOKED BILLET was solely produced and filmed by a husband and wife team Richard Connew and Alyson Connew who are NFD Productions with just a few helpers to hold the boom and assist with some of the more complex scenes.