My Inspiration: Peter Kane | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Award winning film, The Gamekeeper, shot in various locations around the region (Newcastle, Wallsend, Howdon, Gateshead, Consett, Dursand Quarry and Rowlands Gill) is now available to watch on Youtube. Costing only £3000, the independent production won two film festival awards and Peter Kane, co-managing director of Wandering Kane Productions who produced the film, discusses the inspiration behind his creation.

Growing up I used to love big budget movies and used to regular go to the cinema. It wasn’t until I saw Reservoir Dogs and Clerks that I realised people could make critically acclaimed movies on the cheap. In 2004 my partner, Dionne, found a digital editing course run by Lifelong Learning at Newcastle Library. I did the course and was told the short film I made was one of the best the tutor had seen since teaching those courses. I also did a screenplay course ran by Tyneside Cinema and my tutor gave my script good marks. I was then confident to make my own films. From there I bought a digital camera and editing equipment and made zero budget short documentaries and films.

My short film, El Geordio, was mentioned in Total Film magazine twice. My next short films, The Bathroom and The 2008 Newcastle Beer Festival, often got short film of the week on the new defunct North East Movies website. The Bathroom was also in the jury selection of the 3rd online bablegum film festival – the jury included Sally Potter and Richard Linklater. I then made a zero budget short called, Before the End, between 2012 and 2013. I was then time to make a feature film.

Between September 2013 and March 2015 the production company I co-own, Wandering Kane Productions, made our debut feature film called The Gamekeeper.

The film is about a soldier, Captain Peter James, who returns home to the UK after serving in Afghanistan and finds work as a gamekeeper on the estate of an eccentric landowner. A student called Devan fancies Gemma and is convinced to trespass on the estate to find one of her friends’ who has gone missing. Devan and his friends, Andrew and Woody, tag along with Gemma’s friends. However, unbeknown to them and local community, the gamekeeper is unhinged and has a terrible secret which will change their lives forever. The Gamekeeper sees the students as the enemy and starts to hunt them down. With 2 Military Police officers on his tail will anyone survive the day.

The film was inspired by a trip to the Lambton Estate in Chester Le Street with some old producing partners. If we got funding we wanted to use the estate for 3 or 4 films. The guy showing us about mentioned a gamekeeper was out and about shooting Grouse and to watch ourselves as he could shoot on site. I then though “what would happen if a group of kids trespassed on the estate, was an ex-soldier and he started to shoot?”. I wrote the first draft in February 2010 in two weeks then went back to it over a few years. Over the years I tried to sell it but there was no takers and I had no idea at that point about screenwriting festivals. So in February 2013 Jimmy Hagri, my producing partner, said should make it ourselves so we did.

We got a wonderful cast together and the film was released in North America on 01 December 2015 by www.stackstv.xyx who are now However, as it has now been a few years since the release we decided to give more people a chance to see it by releasing it for nothing on our Youtube page.  The film only cost £3000 to make and we are extremely proud of it and the cast and crew. The film went on to win the Audience Award at the London Digital Film Festival and Best Feature at the Madhouse Film Festival (beating 2013 other films).

If you want to make a movie you don’t need a massive budget. Write a script with a low budget in mind and just go and make it. If we can do it any one can ha ha!!

As well as being inspired by Quentin Tarantino and Kevin Smith I have recently been inspired by a filmmaker called Jim Cummings. He made a short film on a low budget called Thunder Road what won awards and he made a feature film of it which also won awards. If you need advice regarding film making there are plenty of people out there who you can ask advice from and there is a wonderful community out there.

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