I haven't been on AmeriCymru in ages so I'll introduce myself briefly. I'm a writer & producer based in Bridgend (down South) who regrettably doesn't speak the mam iaith despite being an avid watcher of Pobol y Cwm. I work through my company Seraphim Pictures (Bridgend, Cardiff and thereabouts) which produces short films and documentaries as well as the odd music video.
I'm currently producing a short film called Moore's Code, about Artie Moore - a young Welsh amateur radio enthusiast who in 1912 picked up the distress call from the RMS Titanic from the attic room of his father's Seventeenth Century watermill. It's a story that's been largely forgotten over time (despite, I think, being an important addition to recent Welsh history) and with the centenary of the sinking of the Titanic this April I think it's high time that it came to light.
Moore's Code alternates between Artie's life at Gelligroes Mill and the fateful night of April 14th/15th, and that of Jack Phillips, the wireless operator who was sending the distress calls. Artie had a reputation for being a bit of a tease around the village so people thought that it was some kind of joke - like crying wolf I suppose. Opinions changed when the news broke two days later and he became a local hero/celebrity.
I'm bringing this up here to a) raise awareness of the Artie Moore story (and the film!) but also to promote the film's crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo. I've seen (and run) campaigns before that can be confusing, what with all the levels of rewards - who gets what for paying what - so I've simplified the process. We're taking pre-orders of the DVD to help raise part of the budget. The DVD will contain Moore's Code as well as a making-of documentary and a documentary about the real history behind the film; it'll also be accompanied by promotional materials.
I also want to get some good conversations going about the story and the film so I'm asking you to tweet me at @Daniel_Lyddon and use the hashtag #titanicdrama regardless of whether or not you can donate. These will be featured in Q&A videos for the campaign. The campaign page is at www.indiegogo.com/moorescode and I'd really like you to help make the film by donating and then using the social networking buttons to spread awareness. The campaign takes donations in dollars but I also have campaigns in pounds sterling and euros that'll be going live in the next couple of days.
Please check out www.indiegogo.com/moorescode for more info on the film and tweet me @Daniel_Lyddon. I look forward to speaking to you!
Sounds like it will be a fascinating film!
At the Bushmills Distillery in Northern Ireland, they advise putting absolutely nothing in their whiskey; and ask visitors, 'Why are the Irish are so averse to ice?' The reply? 'Because of the Titanic!'
I wouldn't be surprised if that were true :) I remember some whisky connoisseur saying once about the no ice/no water rule which I always found odd considering most people drink it on the rocks.
I thought it best not to bring up Jack & Coke as a subject...
Daniel: The 'nothing in the whiskey' comment is true - that IS what they say at Bushmills. I was there to hear it myself . . . . . . and, what's more I don't think you'd find any good Irishman adding anything to his whiskey. Why dilute uisce beatgha ( 'the water of life' ) with anything? There's only two things to do - have a bottle (or a 12 ounce glass - a 'meejum' - of Smithwicks for a chaser - or have another shot! That's what my father-in-law always did; and of course, I had to follow suit.
I like the idea of the extra shot
Sounds like a great project ....please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know if there is anything more we can do to help. :)
Thanks Ceri, will do. Thank you for the Facebook & Twitter shout-outs too - that would've been my next request! If there's anything else I can think of I'll give you a bell.
Wow, this sounds totally fascinating! I looked him up on wiki and I'd never heard of this. Please keep blogging on it and telling us what's up with this project and I'm happy to spam it around and promote it - do you have a website?
It's fascinating on the surface and once you get into it it just gets better. Six months or so previous to the Titanic disaster Artie had already made front page news by intercepting the Italian declaration of war that kicked off the Italo-Turkish war.
The company website is www.seraphimpictures.com but you won't find any mention of the film there - we're using that & our company twitter & facebook pages to promote our sci-fi short Nova Initia. I've chosen to promote this one personally so that the two don't get mixed up.
That's a heck of a story, too!
It gets better - if you're following me on Twitter you might've seen me yesterday harping on about how I came to discover the story when I happened to stumble upon Gelligroes Mill when meeting a client for a corporate movie. Perhaps I'll write it here if anyone's interested?
I would love to read that.
In the first years after we formed Seraphim Pictures my business partner and I decided (logically) that we'd diversify into a wide range of productions and production services. I'd had the word "diversification" drummed into me in school learning about Welsh farms having to diversify to survive. It makes sense not to keep your eggs in one basked, but spread yourself too much and you endander yourself of becoming a jack of all trades, master of none (I still see this in the film industry but that's another story entirely).
We initially sold ourselves as producers of short films, documentaries, music videos and corporate movies. We briefly flirted with new media videos but the technology wasn't right at the time (but if we'd stuck with it...). The challenge with corporate movies is that first you have to educate the client as to why they need it, and how they might use it. It's one thing someone approaching you saying they want one, but as far as we were concerned it was ethically wrong to take someone's money and produce a white elephant that they'd never use.
I was referred by one of our business advisers to go and see a candle-making workshop that was looking for videos to post on their website. It was a similar story to most: other companies were doing it, and getting sales out of their views. This was in the days before YouTube monetised viewing figures, which would've sweetened the deal a bit. In the end the company didn't have the money to fund the production that they wanted and there was no point in stringing them along with special offers or payment plans that would never see the production in the black.
What I did get out of it was the introduction to the Artie Moore story: the owner of the candle company happened to own the mill across the road - it goes back to the 1600's and it's been restored into pretty good shape. It's still a working mill in that everything works, but they don't use it to grind corn and sell the flour. The owner wanted to get heritage funding to open it as an attraction/museum but it had been rejected for some reason.
So there's this 17th Century watermill squeezed in between the village and a busy dual carriageway down this leafy green country lane, and upstairs in the attic it's been preserved in memory of Artie, with some equipment and (if I remember rightly) the original desk. There'd have to be some work to it to fully recreate the room as it was...I think that this is a photo of the room taken at the time, but I don't remember the room being big enough to house that set up.
Of course re-creating Artie's room is nothing compared to find a place to film the Marconi Room of the Titanic...