Helen Pankhurst backs film for 100-yr anniversary of first equal pay strike

Saturday, August 25th marks the end of the 100 year anniversary of the earliest known equal pay strike.

For years this strike has been overlooked until Charly Burridge-Jones (actor and producer) uncovered the story and shared it with Elizabeth Dixon (filmmaker) and Kate Baxter (actor, filmmaker, Five Fifty Five) who are now producing POUND FOR POUND. Scottish Suffragist Mary MacArthur of the strike said in 1918 that it was a “landmark for women's movement and for trade unionism”.

August 1918, London’s cost of living was rising. A group of women from Willesden Bus garage went on strike after being excluded from a 5 shilling a week war bonus given to their male colleagues. POUND FOR POUND is a short film with a feature-length script attached, set in the first 24 hours of the strike. It is written and directed by award-winning writer and director, Elizabeth Dixon.

Helen Pankhurst said: “More than a century ago, suffrage campaigners were very aware of the problem of pay differences and also campaigned on the matter. For example, Emmeline Pankhurst wrote an open letter to the then Chancellor, published in the newspapers in 1915, demanding equal pay for equal work. Many women also took up the battle directly. One of the first recorded strikes in the UK that I came across in my research, and one of the most amazing ones, is the 1918 women bus conductors of Willesden depo. I am delighted that their story will be brought to life in POUND FOR POUND – This will be a chance to share their amazing story and to pay tribute to some of those who took a stand for a struggle that, 100 years later, we are still waging.”

The team are delighted to have also partnered with CARE International, who put women and girls in the centre of their focus believing you can’t overcome poverty until all people have equal rights and opportunities, “it felt like the perfect fit” said Elizabeth Dixon. Film proceeds will go to CARE's causes to improve working conditions for women, and the March4Women.

Elizabeth Dixon, Writer/Director:
“This is a story that is largely absent from our history books. By making this film I want to rectify that and support the current fight for equality we are having today. As we bring their stories out of obscurity they bolster our fight and continue to show us that actions do create change.”

Kate Baxter, Actor/Producer:
“We are thrilled to be a part of this project and are grateful for the team of historians and activists like Helen Pankhurst, as well as the cast and crew that are on board. We find that great content always attracts great creatives, which POUND FOR POUND has.”

Jesse Quinones, Producer:
“This film has the fighting spirit at its core, and that's what is so exciting about it. It embodies the spirit of not sitting back and accepting what you are given. The spirit of fighting for what you believe in. The spirit of equality. Both in its storytelling, and in the manner in which it is made. The story depicts a diverse Britain, the team behind this project does too. With a largely female and minority crew, and with key HOD roles filled by BAME filmmakers, this film proudly announces itself as an example of what celebrating diversity and equality looks and feels like. I'm honoured to be one of the producers on this film and can't wait for you to see it."

Charly Burridge-Jones, Actor/ Producer:
"Over 18000 women went on strike in 1918, and somehow this is still relatively unknown. It’s now 100 years on and there’s still a massive problem with the gender pay gap, and female equality, and so to be able to share these stories now, at this time, feels really important.”

Photo credit: Simon King and Emily Garthwaite

Whirlpool premieres in New York

In New York and want to see Whirlpool, our short about Helen Keller? You've got two chances this weekend! we have the following slots-see screening times below.

Both events will be followed by a Q&A with co-writers and -directors Kate Baxter and Elizabeth Dixon

Our team has been incredibly pleased to participate at the Athena Film Festival this weekend, and look forward to seeing any friends of Whirlpool at the event at Athena or the Roxy Cinema

 Kate Baxter stands with Gloria Steinem after screening Whirlpool short film, about Helen Keller

Kate Baxter stands with Gloria Steinem after screening Whirlpool short film, about Helen Keller

London Premiere of King Cowboy Rufus

Five Fifty Five are thrilled to put our expertise in filming theatre to good use by collaborating with Director and Designer of KING COWBOY RUFUS RULES THE UNIVERSE, Patrick J Kennedy, to create a promotional film for the London Premiere of the production. 

King Rufus Cowboy Rules the Universe is what TimeOut calls an "outlandishly named [musical]...layered with political satire." This surreal comedy by Richard Foreman was originally inspired by George Bush, but with another buffoonish President in the White house it may be just as relevant. Compositions by Kieran Stallard as well accompaniment by Mr Stallard and Nathan Harding.

CAST
Stewart Briggs as King Rufus Cowboy
Kate Baxter as Baron Herman De Voto
Madelaine Nicole Jennings as Suzie Sitwell
Jessica Foden as Rhoda
Dev Joshi as Sophia

PROMOTIONAL TRAILER CREDITS
Five Fifty Five Productions
Director/DP: Alex Harrison
Producer: Kate Baxter
Music: Kieran Stallard
Recording/Mixing: Kieran Stallard
Edit/Colour: Alex Harrison
Assistant Director: Edel Gardner
Production Manager: Hollie Murten

Women's March on London 2017 in Photos

Our team at five-fifty-five productions joined the women's march on London with pride in our hearts and on our signs! We happily circled our sign round London-town, which you can see here.

While at the rally, we were informed the crowd exceeded expected numbers from 20,000 to 100,000 people! expected. We were asked to end the rally early as we shut down the majority of London with our solidarity. It was a proud moment, to say the least.

Thanks to the Housewife film project on the day, we also got to hear the public's hopes for film. Turns out theres a large market for films with diverse stories and diverse characters!

Expand your production's audience with Closed Captioning

 

 

Five Fifty Five Productions was founded upon the goal to promote messaging and productions that provide marginalised groups a greater voice. With work on short and feature films surrounding characters from these groups, we're working to make our films actually accessible by marginalised groups. #CaptionsMatter, and adding them is one simple way that we're making our films more accessible and reaching a wider audience.

If you've not added Closed Captioning (CC) to your own YouTube videos, there is a very simple 5 step process you will find below.

Courtesy of Google Support:

 

Additionally, you can also add CC to Vimeo videos, although they have not made it very effortless, and their method is not as straightforward as YouTube's. We encourage you to add your voice to ours and write to Vimeo requesting a more easy-to-use method to add CC to Vimeo videos. In fact, please feel free to share our letter to Vimeo, or write your own.

Check out our YouTube videos with CC here. Good luck with your own videos!

 

London Design Festival: Creating design team for Deaf & Blind on Feature Film

Event Announcement: five-fifty-five productions for London Design Festival in coordination with Dyson School of Design Engineering

For those unable to come to the event for whatever reason, it does not limit your opportunity to be involved on the design team. We will come to you! Contact us with the info below and we can arrange a separate meeting.

At five-fifty-five productions, we are thrilled to announce our work on a feature film exploring deaf and blind experiences. In coordination with this weekend's Design Festival here in London, we are hosting an opportunity for those who are deaf and/or blind to become involved in one or both of our two design teams for this film. The first opportunity is to support in designing a way to help audiences experience what it is like to be deaf and/or blind through film, while the other opportunity is to support in making this particular film, and potentially films in general, more accessible to those who are deaf and/or blind.

We will be discussing both projects this weekend, with further information below. Please ensure you RSVP for catering purposes, as well as including specification of any deaf and/or blindness for support purposes. You may RSVP on Eventbrite or contact us directly.

Location: Dyson School of Design Engineering
Imperial College London
10 Princes Gardens
South Kensington
London
SW7 1NA

Date: Saturday, 24 September 2016

Time: 12:00 Noon - 14:00 pm, with refreshment provided

Our design team includes designers from the Dyson School of Design Engineering at Imperial College, and other professionals, and we're looking to bring on board more people with actual experience being deaf and/or blind. Whether or not you're interested in future involvement, you will be credited in the film (if you're happy to be) for supporting in this first stage of design development. Furthermore, by attending this event, you will also support a more accurate portrayal of deaf and/or blind experience in film.

If you have an interest in creative projects, film, activism for deaf and blind, and are deaf and/or blind yourself, please contact Jerome or Kate to come along. We look forward to hearing from you!

Please remember to RSVP for catering and other purposes: Jerome is reachable at info@fivefiftyfiveproductions.com, alternatively, you may contact Kate on +44 (0) 7913312793.

A taste of HOTEL FOR CRIMINALS isn't nearly enough...

With consistent 4 and 5-star reviews, and composer Stanley Silverman's statement that Patrick Kennedy's London premiere is "equal to Richard Foreman's original [production]," HOTEL FOR CRIMINALS is the must-see show in London this fall. A trailer lasts forever, but the show only continues until this Saturday, 29 October at New Wimbledon Studio, so get your tickets!

When Five Fifty Five Productions was presented the opportunity by the talented director Patrick Kennedy and Wanderlust Theatre Productions to produce the trailer and extended trailer for the UK's premiere production of Hotel for Criminals, we were thrilled to participate. Shortly following the release of the trailers, London Live premiered the trailer on air prior to Luke Blackall's interview with composer Stanley Silverman.

 

 

 

Hotel For Criminals is a brilliantly sophisticated and funny reworking of Louis Feuillade’s silent film phantasmagoria that chronicles the foul deeds and the mysterious powers of Fantomas, Irma Vep, and a scheming vampire gang by Richard Foreman. The operetta's composition by Obie Award winning and Grammy Award nominated composer Stanley Silverman, provides a smorgasbord of styles from pre-WWI Russian and French music to classical and jazz.

Co-directors Kiri Cragin-Folwell and Kate Baxter sought to manifest the avant-garde and jolting scenes from Richard Foreman's libretto taking their visiual inspiration for the trailers from Maya Deren's work, as well as from one of their favourite silent films: Metropolis by Fritz Lang. DOP Dagmar Scheibenreif beautifully captured portions of Patrick Kennedy's brilliant staging, design and choreography from his London production to the backdrop of possibly the best of the show's Hero songs: 'Do Not Enter.'

In the London production, as in the trailers, the music is performed by Kate Baxter playing Irma Vep (an anagram for 'Vampire') and her gang of criminals including: Ben Rawlings (Julot), Nick Brittain (Gaston), Louis Rayneau (Duchamp), and Tom Whalley (Lacloche). The trailers exhibit the other principals in the cast including Niccolò Curradi (Fantomas), Alistair Frederick (Max) and Maddie Nicole Jennings (Helene), with a cameo from the director as a gang member. Full credits can be found in the description of the trailers.

With consistent 4 and 5-star reviews, and composer Stanley Silverman's statement that Patrick Kennedy's London premiere is "equal to Richard Foreman's original [production]," Hotel for Criminals is the must-see show in London this fall. A trailer lasts forever, but the show only continues until this Saturday, 29 October at New Wimbledon Studio, so get your tickets!