YOUNG HUNTERS – THE BEAST OF BEVENDEAN
A Children’s Adventure Film
For some days now the local residents of Paradise Crescent have been hearing strange noises at night in the woods behind the estate. Then one evening something kills old man Harper’s dog and he’s found terrified and babbling near the footpath. Two eleven-year-old boys, Sam and Raffi, have been reading stories about big-game hunting. ‘We catch the thing that killed Harper’s dog, we’ll go from zeros to heroes,’ Sam tells Raffi. ‘We can build a trap. It’s all in this book!’
So out in the woods, not far from the houses, they find a trail of strange footprints leading into the forest beyond. But this is no ordinary beast and they are not the only hunters out in the forest. What started out as a bit of fun becomes a deadly game of hide and seek as the true nature of the animal and its links to the shadowy Bio-Corporation’s local laboratories is gradually revealed.
The themes explored in the story include the dislocation of family values, the importance of friendship, the power of the corporations, the dangers of genetic modification and rites of passage.
The story came from an original idea – initiated from my reaction to a newspaper article… a short story came from that, and then later the screenplay.
This is my debut feature film. I have directed a number of short films including Stiletto (2006) and Stewed (2003). I am a freelance editor who has worked in the industry for eight years. I am the Director of The Kids Film School www.kidsfilmschool.com running film-making courses for children since summer 2007.
I like hearing and telling good stories. I am ready for the challenge of realising a good and filmic story and am excited by the accessibility that digital technology brings to film-makers.
The film is both realistic and expressionistic; The story is told in a matter of fact fashion. We want the audience to believe it all could happen. The film’s visual influences include The Night of The Hunter (1955).
The films of Producer Val Lewton have had an influence in the suspense elements, especially Cat People (1942) – in its dark and playful effect on the imagination – the creature is not seen much, and is all the more frightening for it. Stand by Me (1986) is an influence in respect of the way the boys relate to each other, i.e. their closeness and eagerness for adventure.
Nightmare Hunters is expressionistic, and enchanting as they enter the forest, and darker later on… more claustrophobic when they can’t escape from the dream.