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Laugh Along with the Magical, Nostalgia-Fueled Puppetry of ‘The Truthful Phone’

Laugh Along with the Magical, Nostalgia-Fueled Puppetry of 'The Truthful Phone'

[Editors Note: Project of the Day is presented in partnership with Blackmagic Design, one of the world’s leading innovators and manufacturers of creative video technology.]

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The Truthful Phone

Logline: Imagine a Welsh Gremlins with shades of Guillermo del Toro. Based on a short story by Monty Python’s Terry Jones, “The Truthful Phone” is an homage to eighties films like “Labyrinth,” “The Goonies” and “ET.”

Elevator Pitch: 
The magic of “Labyrinth” meets the sumptuous fantasy of Guillermo Del Toro in this dark comedy about nasty old Mae Morris, who unleashes a gypsy curse that exposes her secrets to the very townsfolk she lives to torment. Children of the eighties, fantasy and sci-fi fans will love this film, particularly as it features creatures made and puppeteered by Andy Heath, who has worked on “Star Wars” and “The Muppets.”

Production Team:
Carl Rock – Writer / Director
BAFTA-nominated director Carl Rock was born and raised in the steel-working town of Port Talbot, South Wales. Carl’s first short film, “No Playground for Little Cowboys,” was nominated in the short form category for the 2013 BAFTA CYMRU AWARDS. It also won the UK Category in the AMD Visionary Young Directors Award being selected as the top five in Europe. And was won Best Comedy at the 2012 Smalls Film Festival.

Andy Heath – Puppet Creator Performer, Talk to the Hand co-founder
Andy Heath is a Gold British Arrow award winning puppeteer, designer and fabricator. He has performed with The Muppets on “Muppets Most Wanted” (2014); Robbie Williams in his 2014 Holiday Special on BBC1; “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” (2004); “Tales of the Riverbank” (2008); “Harry Hill – The Movie” (2013) and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” (2015). Through 2009-2011, he co designed, built and operated the puppets for BBC3’s adult sitcom Mongrels with his business partner, Iestyn Evans. Together, they run Talk to the Hand Puppets. Sky 1 hit, Yonderland, also feature a large cast of characters built and performed by Andy and Iestyn.

Petra Korner – Award Winning Cinematographer
Petra Korner has shot not one, but two Sundance Audience Choice Award winning films; “The Wackness” (2008) and “Umrika” (2015). She was also Director of Photography on Wes Craven’s 2010 thriller “My Soul to Take,” where Petra painted a dark, misty palette that will influence the work of “The Truthful Phone.” Petra was also the recipient of the Kodak Vision Award for Cinematography at the Women in Film’s annual Crystal + Lucy Awards in 2009.

Katie Pow – Co-writer and Producer
Katie is a London based producer who has worked with clients such as BMW, Sony, Omega, adidas, Barclays Premiere League and Huawei with Arsenal Football Club. Starting her career in Canadian television with the CBC, Katie produced a daily national comedy show segment for two seasons along with season specials for national broadcaster Much Music. Moving to the Netherlands, Katie co-wrote, edited and co-shot the feature documentary “Mr Rakowski” which premiered at IDFA and screened at Sheffield Doc/Fest, Munich Doc Fest, Zurich Doc Fest, New York Jewish Film Festival and Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival. Katie has been residing in the UK for five years. In that time she has written, directed and produced short films which have had screened at festivals including Cannes, London Short Film Festival and Aesthetica.

About the Film:
“The Truthful Phone” is a feel good, fast paced, high-concept comedy with Jim Henson-esque creatures wreaking havoc in a craggy, remote village. Carl Rock, the Director, wanted to make this film as an homage to the eighties fantasy films he loved growing up. A dark fantasy comedy set in his home town of Colwyn Bay in Wales, it takes inspiration from mythic Welsh folklore and the tradition of surreal British comedy, mixing it up with creatures made and animated by one of the best puppeteers in the world, Andy Heath, who has worked on “Star Wars” and “The Muppets.”

Current Status: We are currently fundraising on Kickstarter to get this short film made.

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Project of the Month: Blackmagic Design will award Indiewire’s Project of the Month winners (November, December, January) with one (1) Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve 12 License each. DaVinci Resolve 12 combines professional non-linear video editing with the world’s most advanced color corrector so now you can edit, color correct, finish and deliver all from one system. 

Project of the Year: Blackmagic Design will award Indiewire’s Project of the Year winner (announced in January) with one (1) Blackmagic URSA Mini 4k, the world’s first high end digital film camera designed to revolutionize workflow on set. 

For more information about Blackmagic please visit: https://www.blackmagicdesign.com

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