Forum spawns production

New Writing Forums alum 'The Holding' sets May shoot

The first film to emerge directly from the Rocliffe New Writing Forum is due to start shooting this May.

“The Holding” is written by James Dormer and helmed by Susan Jacobson. They met when she directed a scene from his script at a Rocliffe event in April 2008.

It’s is a psychodrama set on a farm, where the lives of a woman and her two daughters are disrupted by the arrival of stranger. Kierston Wareing is attached to star. The £1 million budget comes mostly from private investors.

Jacobson, who has directed three shorts, has worked regularly with Rocliffe over the past six years.

“You get to work with actors, you get to play — it’s a lot of fun,” she says. “What’s interesting is that from just 10 to 12 pages, you can see whether a script is working or not. Sometimes you can really see the holes in it. It was clear to me that James is a very talented writer.”

“The Holding” was the third time Dormer had participated in Rocliffe. The first time, he presented a short called “Murder One” about the first murder in heaven; that project was optioned by Working Title to develop as a feature.

“Rocliffe is one of the things that’s kept me going,” Dormer says. “When you’re writing but not actually getting stuff made, it’s so difficult to have any clue about whether what you are doing could possibly work in a real environment, with actors.”

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