British Films with a Difference

Over the last three years, we have been working on writing and producing a number of truly independent feature films: Do Something, Jake, Agent Kelly, and Surveilled. These are designed as a ‘showcase’ for our other projects (the screenplays are written) for which we require, and are currently seeking, full production budgets. Despite the no-low budget nature of our showcase projects, they have been produced as commercial entities in their own right, since, historically, audiences respond well to fresh, dynamic work. Furthermore, many Hollywood producers pursue filmmakers who have original ideas and the ability to take calculated risks in order to innovate and break new ground.

Do Something, Jake – Design © 2017 Sean Strong

At Raya Films, we will aggressively market these films over the coming months and years to seek new audiences for our work, and new international business partners.

Our films are not typically ‘British’ – they meld intricate plot lines with dialogue laced with sophistication and humour. This, we believe, opens up many international markets worldwide, and exciting times ahead!

For more details, see:

Our Films

The Business

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No-Budget thrillers and ‘Street Shooting’

James Smith on alternative and ambitious ways to produce features films with no budget!

Obtaining finance for feature films is often a prolonged and fickle process: in Hollywood, trying to attach named talent to give the financiers and producers a warm feeling; in the UK, perhaps trying to tick numerous boxes to placate the gatekeepers of subsided schemes. Neither route is easy, nor guaranteed to deliver saleable films, such is the subjective nature of this business.

Screengrab from Agent Kelly, a no-budget film written, produced, and starring Caroline Spence. The challenging shoot involved 30-40 degree heat, a plague of mosquitoes, and improvised run-and-gun techniques in Spanish cities.

There is, however, another radical approach: shoot with no-budget, out in the street, in private residential properties, with help of friends, family, local businesses, students, and others enthusiastic or daft enough to believe in you. This approach is not for the fainthearted as I can attest: I have shot three no-budget films in as many years and am lining up a fourth. The first was a tough learning experience and is shelved to be re-shot, the second and third pushed me to mental and physical limits that, even now when I reflect, make my eyes water. Despite this, two films are now in post-production and due for release in 2018.

Let’s be clear about ‘no-budget’: this is ZERO. Not £500,000 (the approx. budget of Gareth Edwards‘ excellent Monsters) or $100,000 (the approx. budget of Sean Baker‘s fantastic comedy, crime drama Tangerine shot on an iPhone), but ZILCH.

So why do this? Well, this strategy may not be so daft, since the discipline allows complete creative freedom, thus hopefully fostering original ideas and innovative ways to make films. Furthermore, the intention is to use our no-budget projects as a showcase for our work at Raya Films and a stepping stone for our slate of ‘funded’ films, which will require full production budgets. Oh, and if by chance our no-budget films go on to earn revenue, then all involved will be reimbursed as well as receiving the valuable experience and IMDb credits already attained.

Many cast and crew members (including make-up artist & runner, Rachel Goodger, pictured here) received valuable experience on no-budget film ‘Do Something, Jake’

I am lucky enough to be partnered in these endeavours with Caroline Spence who not only writes all of the material for Raya Films (she has a large portfolio of original screenplays to her name) but also produces, acts, script supervises, and often boom operates when the sound department needs a rest!

Our films Do Something, Jake and Agent Kelly have been massive undertakings with only the support and enthusiasm of the aforementioned people, and yet they are filmed with an extensive cast and crew in locations spanning Leicestershire, London, and even Andalucía in southern Spain. How we (the cast, crew, everyone involved) did this with all of the barriers and obstacles faced, I still struggle to comprehend, but somehow I feel that the story of what we all have collectively achieved will unfold, and potentially set a new pattern for innovation in British film-making.

Last day of the shoot on no-budget film ‘Do Something, Jake’ Photo: David Ward

James Smith
@jsmithwriter

Join the Twitter discussion with the hashtag #StreetShootingFilm

Films in Post-Production and Development

Two of our no-budget feature films produced with real locations, and ‘street shooting’ techniques are now in post-production. Do Something, Jake, a drama-thriller shot in Leicestershire, is an offbeat tale of a social misfit who becomes embroiled with undesirable mafia-style criminals, whilst Agent Kelly is a female-driven smouldering thriller set in London and Spain.

Update: Thriller Surveilled is now in pre-production. This will be the last of a trio of three innovative no-budget feature films produced by Raya Films.

Agent Kelly – Copyright © 2017 Raya Films

While these innovative UK productions near release, we are seeking finance for our larger scale projects detailed on the Raya Films Slate

Cannes Report 2017

Once again, Cannes proved itself to be a great opportunity for us to catch up with the latest action in the film business and also to make new contacts. Indeed, we are now forging strong co-production relationships to push our international slate forward.

Sales agents, financiers, distributors – if you wish to meet Raya Films at future markets and events, please contact us to book an appointment.

@RayaFilms

Filming with Chris Sanders

This week, we had the pleasure to work with British actor, Chris Sanders, on action and dialogue scenes for a feature film thriller [name to be announced]. An exciting addition to our slate, the scenes required dynamic filming techniques and a fair degree of improvisation from the small team of actors.

Photo © James Smith

Chris comes from a PR and writing background and is also working on a short film of his own soon to be released.

The Team @RayaFilms

Filming with Eddie Gállego

This week, we had the pleasure to work with Madrid-based Spanish actor, Eddie Gállego, on action scenes for a feature film thriller [name to be announced]. An exciting addition to our slate, the scenes required dynamic filming techniques and a fair degree of improvisation from the small team of actors.

Photo © James Smith

Eddie comes from a theatre background and brought fine movement and pace to the scenes. He is planning to further his acting studies in London next year, and we certainly hope to work with this upcoming talent again in the near future.

The Team @RayaFilms

Raya Films’ 2017 Feature Films

A busy start to the year has seen great progress being made with a number of our feature film projects.

Set in London and Andalucía, The Finca, has undergone a rewrite to increase the budget scale and transform the genre to suspense-thriller. World-class named actors and crew are now interested or attached. Filming dates to be announced.

Málaga Film Festival | Photo © James Smith

Another thriller, Escape the Confines, is also being cast for named talent in key roles. This fast-paced genre film has a sophisticated plot, a fair degree of physicality, and complex characters – presenting challenging and tantalising roles for actors.

Do Something, Jake is set for release this summer with a première and follow-up screenings. Do not miss an opportunity to be involved in this outrageous and unique no-budget feature film project. How on earth did anyone shoot a film with multiple locations, large international cast, on no budget in just three weeks? Well, we did, and it’s out this year! To find out more, please subscribe for updates and join the social media buzz on the Official Website

Cannes 2017

We are attending Festival de Cannes 2017. If you are an established sales agent/distributor or producer and would like to arrange a meeting to discuss the above films, or those on our Slate, please Contact Us

Finally…

We’re shooting a feature film in April … More news in June 2017!

Thank you for checking by,
The Team @RayaFilms

Screener for ‘Do Something, Jake’ complete

A year ago, on a cold, misty morning in an English village, a group of film actors and enthusiasts came together to begin production on ‘Do Something, Jake’, an innovative ‘no budget’ feature film. Unlike most low or no-budget projects, this film was extremely challenging and ambitious, with multiple locations, a large cast, and complex story line.

Design © 2016 Sean Strong

Design © 2016 Sean Strong

Fortunately, many local businesses, individuals, and organisations within the locality of Loughborough, Quorn, Coalville, and Leicestershire embraced the project wholeheartedly and made the intense three-week shoot possible.

screenshot-2016-11-02-at-12-27-00-edited-1

As with many film projects, the post-production phase has presented (and continues to present) even bigger challenges, however, a core team of people located across the U.K. has offered their time to persevere on this unique project. Now we have a solid trailer and full screener to present to the world.

Let’s see how far ‘Do Something, Jake’ can go!

This film is now seeking sales representation and distribution, please click here for more details.

Follow the project on Twitter and Facebook

The Team @RayaFilms

Raya Films on Tour

During the coming weeks, we are visiting London and Manchester (UK), Málaga and Almería (Spain), and Cannes (France) to develop, promote, and sell the full-length feature films on our slate

Producers, sales agents, distributors, and investors, please contact us to arrange a meeting and we will be delighted to run through our projects with you.

We look forward to meeting you!

The Team at Raya Films