The Children’s Media Foundation (CMF)

Who killed Nelson Nutmeg?

After all the discussion about how to revitalse children's independent film-making in the UK, a couple of entreprising pals just went ahead and did it for themselves. It's a kids' film, for kids, with kids in the lead roles. And it's been privately and crowd-funded all the way so far...

Danny Stack, one of the film's creators, tells us what it's all about...

It’s about a misfit gang who suspect their summer camp’s mascot has been murdered so they set out to investigate. This isn’t a Hollywood animated movie. It’s a UK live-action comedy adventure, and a fully independent production!You don’t see a lot of films like these nowadays, not since the 70s and 80s really, but Tim Clague and I believe the time is right to invigorate the genre. I’ve been writing in the kids/family genre for a number of years (including the upcoming ‘Thunderbirds Are Go!’ for CiTV), and Tim’s a BAFTA-nominated writer with a long-line of family-friendly credits – and a CMF Patron too! In order to get ‘Nelson Nutmeg’ off the ground we knew we had to do it ourselves. We decided to collaborate, Coen Brothers style, to get the film in the can.January 2014, Tim purchased a Blackmagic 4K (ultra HD) camera, and arranged his studio to accommodate the necessary challenges of coping with the data that we’d shoot. Next was the challenge of the production budget. We set up Nelson Nutmeg Pictures and invested some of our own money, as well as raising some private investment. We then launched a Kickstarter campaign in June, and succeeded in our target. During this time we were writing the script, gathering the crew and spending months on casting the right kids for the roles. It was now August 2014, and we were ready to shoot the film!

We’re based in Dorset, so a big part of our agenda was to use local cast and crew, and the stunning locations that are on our doorstep. We chose Freshwater Beach in Bridport as our main location (where they filmed ‘Broadchurch’!), and we added a bit of magic to the cast when Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley from ‘Harry Potter’) agreed to play the villain! Filming took place over 10 weekends, bookended with a full week of filming (in August and the end of October). It was a blast - a very special experience indeed!

We’re currently in the early days of post-production, and aiming for a summer 2015 release. We’re really keen to ensure that the film has the best chance of getting out there and reaching its target audience (6-9 year-olds). Some industry figures have already been extremely generous with their support. Nigel Cole, director of ‘Calendar Girls’, loved the script so much he’s now a mentor/exec to the film. Lucinda Whiteley, writer/producer of ‘Horrid Henry’, has been a great help with some key guidance, plus we’ve been mopping up sage advice from people at the CMC and Justin Johnson at the BFI.

Now we feel ready to take on more exciting live-action productions, whether they be TV commissions or new feature film ideas; Nelson Nutmeg Pictures is open for business!

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The Children’s Media Foundation (CMF)