ABOUT

THIS SHORT FILM, WAS ORIGINALLY CONCEIVED AS A MUCH LARGER PROJECT CALLED GEORGE, WHICH WAS ABOUT THE INFAMOUS ROMANTIC POET LORD BYRON TRANSPOSED TO THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY. 

A FEATURE-LENGTH VERSION WAS SHOT, FROM WHICH THIS CURRENT SHORT HAS BEEN CURATED. ADDITIONAL SCENES WERE WRITTEN AND SHOT THIS YEAR (2020).  BECAUSE I HAD A VERY LIMITED BUDGET I PLAYED MANY PARTS INCLUDING DIRECTOR - WRITER - PRODUCER AND OCCASIONAL VIDEOGRAPHER AND EVEN CHEF. AND WHEN THE BUDGET WOULD NOT STRETCH TO AN EDITOR,   I LEARNED TO EDIT.

BUT MONEY DRIED UP, AND SOME OF THE ORIGINAL CAST WERE UNABLE TO MAKE THE RESHOOTS TO FINISH IT. IN THE END, I HAD HALF A FILM MADE, AND I HAD NO MONEY TO COMPLETE IT. THE FILM JUST SAT IN VARIOUS HARD DRIVES ON A SHELF. BUT THERE WERE SOME GREAT PERFORMANCES FROM SOME EXTRAORDINARY AND WELL KNOWN ACTORS WHO HAD KINDLY AGREED TO PROVIDE SOME CAMEOS FOR FREE. THESE INCLUDED OSCAR NOMINATED DAME Janet Suzman, SIR Donald Sinden AND THE UNFORGETTABLE Fenella Fielding. 

SOME YEARS WENT BY AND I RESHOT SOME MATERIAL WITH  Fenella, WHO WAS ALREADY INTO HER LATE 80S . WE SHOT A COUPLE OF BYRON'S POEMS INCLUDING DARKNESS AND CREATED SOME NEW FOOTAGE. EVENTUALLY I WAS PERSUADED THIS YEAR TO COMPLETE IT WITH SOME FRESH MATERIAL. MY CO-PRODUCER Carole Ashby, INTRODUCED ME TO HER FRIEND THE SINGER LOLA LO WHO RECORDED A NEW CHARACTER USING BYRON'S ORIGINAL VERSE. THANKS TO SOME SPONSORSHIP FROM CO-EXECUTIVE PRODUCER SASHA HOYNINGEN-HUENE WHO SAVED THE DAY WITH SOME EXTRA FINANCE WE FINALLY HAD A FILM TO PUT OUT. WE NAMED IT AFTER THE CURSE OF MINERVA - A POEM BY BYRON BUT ESSENTIALLY ADAPTED THE NARRATIVE OF HIS CLOSET DRAMA - MANFRED.

IT HAS ITS FLAWS BUT I HOPE YOU ENJOY THIS FUN NOD TO HAMMER HOUSE MOVIES AND 1970S HORROR!

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