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DARK RIFT FILMS is a feature film production company focused on producing big ideas on small budgets. Comprising of director/producer Stewart Sparke and writer/producer Paul Butler this emerging company has found international success with their first low budget film The Creature Below. The film is a lovecraftian creature feature boasting impressive practical effects, bucket loads of gore and a sinister tone. The film premiered at FRIGHTFEST London in 2016 and has since secured distribution deals at CANNES and AFM in ten territories. The first DVD release was in the USA in February 2017 and a UK release will take place in June 2017. Self financed by Stewart and Paul with a budget of only £12,000 and shot over just fourteen days, the film has proven critically and commercially successful.

In this panel Stewart and Paul will outline the process they went through to take an ambitious idea through scripting, casting, production and marketing. With such a tiny budget and limited shooting time the pair had to think creatively about every element of the film to ensure they could achieve their goals. This experience has given the team a unique understanding of the stages, pitfalls and opportunities associated with independent filmmaking.

During their talk Stewart and Paul will cover the areas they feel are key to achieving success with a low budget genre film:

Scripting – A solid script is the foundation to any successful film, in this section ideas will be given about how to develop a dramatic script that keeps within the restrictions of the budget.

Casting – Regardless of budget a good film needs a great cast so it’s important the independent filmmaker understands how to entice and connect with great actors when your budget isn’t the largest.

Production – The hardest part of the filmmaking process is the production itself. This section will offer advice on the necessity of planning, the benefits of collaboration and the tricks to running a productive shoot.

Marketing – The most important element which is always overlooked in low budget independent filmmaking is marketing. Yet if you can understand how to connect with your potential fan base, how to punch above your weight and how best to utilize the unique elements of your film you will have the best potential for success.









This panel focuses on giving practical advice to other would be first-time filmmakers to help them realise their vision and gain commercial success with a genre movie. This is a rare opportunity to hear from up and coming filmmakers working in the UK horror scene and learn from their experiences and processes. There will be opportunity to ask questions during the panel and talk directly with the filmmakers after the panel finishes.

Find out more about Dark Rift Films at

London Schedules May 2017

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