Hi Everyone,

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!

Cheers,

Daniel

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  • Thanks!  One day, some day - it's a tough sell at the moment but we'll find an investor on one or both sides of the Atlantic - we may end up having to film a section in America eventually.

  • Wow, it's a long time since I've posted about Moore's Code - it's currently still in development with plans to pick it up again this year.  I was reminded of it by an S4C documentary called Cymru'r Titanic about the Welsh connections to the Titanic.  The last ten minutes were dedicated to the story of Artie Moore, as detailed in our film.  There's more information about the programme here:

    http://www.s4c.co.uk/ffeithiol/e_cymry_titanic.shtml

    It's a shame that it's not viewable online before because it was a very good doc.  I just thought I'd come on to share the weblink and let people know that Moore's Code is still alive - it's just taking us longer to get round to putting it into pre-production.  At the moment we're focusing on a short film about Welsh rugby culture but Moore's Code is in the back of my mind.

    Hope that everyone is well,

    Daniel

  • 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...

  • I like the idea of the extra shot

  • *Progress update*

    Aside from crowdfunding on IndieGoGo I'm also aiming to raise part of the budget by approaching companies associated with the Titanic and asking for funding.  By this I mean associated with the ship, not the film.

    It's involved a bit of detective work but I've been able to track down the companies that have acquired/merged with/bought out the companies that supplied goods for the ship.  My findings have been as follows:

    Tata Steel
    They bought Corus > who bought British Steel > who bought David Colville and Sons, who provided the steel for the ship builders Harland & Wolff. Interestingly enough, Tata still operates the very steelworks that David Colville used to make the steel.

    Harland & Wolff
    The name should be familiar to any Titanic enthusiast.  I left a message with the company that deals with their memorabila - Garment Graphixs - which you can see at http://www.hwtitanic.com

    Arthur Price
    Arthur Price provided the cutlery for the Titanic and has recreated the design to commemorate the centenary of the disaster.  You can see the cutlery at http://www.arthurprice.com/page/cutlery_titanic

    Royal Crown Derby
    This company provided chinaware for the ship's a la' carte restaurant. They're also reproducing it for the centenary: more info is at http://www.royalcrownderby.co.uk/shop/giftware/titanic-boxed-gift-i...

    Portmeirion
    Portmeirion Group purchase Spode, the company that provided some of the third class china for the Titanic

    Liddell Linens
    Liddell Linens provided...you guessed it...the linen used on board, although I'm not sure whether this would have been for the whole ship.

    Telent
    Telent bought part of Marconi (the rest going to Ericsson) and of course, the Marconi equipment features heavily in the story of Moore's Code

    Cunard
    I contacted Cunard Cruises through its owner Carnival Corporation & Plc. Cunard bought the White Star Line and its ship Carpathia, of course, was the one that picked up the survivors of the tragedy.


    I've contacted these companies and a few more...with varying success...more news on this as and when I get the responses.

    • Cardiff's new flagship, the small 190 person cruiser is looking for a name.  Some of the greats have been mentioned Charlotte Church, Katherine Jenkins etc.  I have asked that Artie Moore be considered as I feel he has more right to the title and it will ensure that he is remembered - at last!  A former sister in law and a great fiend of mine, Jayne Williams had an uncle who lost his life on the Titanic  - he went to become a boxer, I believe he was quite young when he died - she was interviewed for the documentary a few years ago to give some details.

  • 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 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...

  • 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.

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