Hawk Valley Productions
 

production news


In this section you should be able to find reasonably up-to-date information on our current projects which are those in in pre-production, production, or post production. In the following sections you’ll be able to read about the productions we’ve already released, with information right back through the archives.

Currently there is one production in early post stages (under the working title of ‘Grove Rake’), shooting with George Cooper concluded in September at the ex-flourspar mine workings in county durham. Some production photos are available in the 'Image Galleries'.

PAST PRODUCTIONS


Below you can find a comprehensive list of all our past productions, from the group founding in 2009 right up to the present day. They encompass a large range of themes, including (but no limited to): apocalyptic, supernatural, drama, and comedy, sci-fi, and dystopian. As well as the synopsis (and references) preserved here for posterity, some production previews and trailers are also available on this page, though there are more over on our YouTube channel. While watching prior to 2012 please don’t always expect top quality especially from the tail end of the archives, we were all young once! Furthermore, if you do enjoy watching any of the productions (or even laughing at them) half as much as we did making them, then that’s really all this is about!

Production Timeline

2017

The House on Newtown Street: A suspenseful short... Strange goings-on in a terraced house in Cumbria. Produced as our entry to the 2017 Røde Microphones 'MyRødeReel' short film competition.

Watch Online


Production Credits: Jem Freiesleben, Kevin MacLeod (Music)

2016

Produced as our second 2016 Entry to Røde Microphones 'RødeReel' short film contest, this wired-for-sound was shot on location in the North Pennines (North East England), featuring Lawrence Freiesleben's 1962 Triumph TR4.

Production Credits: Jem Freiesleben, Lawrence Freiesleben

Disturbed early in the morning by the doorbell and an unexpected parcel delivery, this film follows the ensuring developments... Shot in collaboration with Kit Freiesleben as our first 2016 entry to Røde Microphones RødeReel contest. Filming took place on location in Newcastle Upon Tyne, and sound for was mainly captured with the Røde NTG-2 (and blimp) and the Videomic Pro.

Production Credits: Jem Freiesleben, Kit Freiesleben

2015

Grove Rake is the working title for a short shot with George Cooper shot in September. This production is currently in postproduction. The first production with George since 2011’s ‘Lost Dead’, it was shot on a Red One George was able to borrow. More news soon!

Production Credits: Jem Freiesleben, Crispin Agar, George Cooper

Shot in one day and edited in another, ‘Left Luggage’ was the groups entry to the MyRødeReel international short film competition for 2015. The story revolves around Crispin who finds a laptop bag left in the railway station. At first he tries to return it to it’s owner, but unable to find him and discovering lost luggage is shut he keeps hold of it. The longer he has it he becomes paranoid that it may be an explosive device, his imagination not helped by the bag starting to tick… The production utilised a time-lapse sequence which depicted the background accelerating but the main character, Crispin, in slow motion. Since this was shot without green screen it was quite tricky to achieve!While not shortlisted Røde provided a new microphone, the VideoMicro, and a Carbon Fibre microboompole to all entrants.

Production Credits: Jem Freiesleben: Actor, Editor, Director, Writer; Crispin Agar: Actor, Co-Director; Kevin MacLeod: Music (incompetech.com)

2014

Filmed on the same day as final editing for our first entry (Step Back), ‘Overtime’ was also produced for the RødeReel short film contest. Again in a supernatural theme, the plot revolves around one day and one forgotten day of the lead character (Crispin Agar), who seems to be suffering from amnesia. Completely unaware that the day doe not exist, he spends May the 32nd searching for answers… While neither of the entries were shortlisted, Røde provided all entries with their newly released SmartLav+ lavaliere microphone, which has proved incredibly useful in all productions since.

Production Credits: Crispin Agar: Actor, Co-Director, Camera; Jem Freiesleben: Actor, Director, Editor, Camera; Kevin MacLeod: Music (incompetech.com)

Step Back: A film about life or death. Produced for the MyRødeReel Film competition (2014) this film was based on both a supernatural element and an actual scientific principle, the many worlds interpretation in quantum mechanics. These themes provide the basis for the story centred around the outcomes of a key decision to be made by the main character, and the direct effect of this decision, the many worlds interpretation letting the audience see the result of choices. This film was shot during university term time, on location near York. Music was provided royalty free from Kevin MacLeod’s website, “incompetech.com”

Production Credits: Jem Freiesleben: Actor, Director, Editor Writer; Crispin Agar: Actor, Co-Director; Kevin MacLeod: Music (incompetech.com)

2013

Intended as our third entry to the Co-Operative Film festival back at Bradford for 2013, ‘Ghost Wood’ was created by the same team as the previous two Co-Op entries. A group of friends make their way to a ‘haunted’ wood, two of them (Crispin Agar and Jem Freiesleben) intending to prank the third (Elliott Wallis). Once they arrive it becomes evident to Elliott (sceptical of the ‘ghosts’) that something isn’t quite right… He loses sight of Crispin and Jem, and scared leaves the wood, where he makes a terrible discovery…In the end this film wasn’t screened in the festival, the entry selection had been widened to include university students and the selection criteria were stronger than previous years. This production was also notorious for the ‘Camera Incident’, while shooting the tripod blew over into a road – surprisingly damage was minimal, but the sound input port was damaged prompting upgrade to the 700d.

Production Credits: Jem Freiesleben: Actor, Camera, Editor, Writer; Crispin Agar: Actor, Camera; Elliott Wallis: Actor

2012

The last production of the year, this was another solo school project by Jem Freiesleben, or A-Level chemistry. T explains the structural makeup of Benzene, the history of the discovery, and covers one of it’s uses: Trinitrotoluene, more often known as the explosive, TNT. 

Production Credits: Jem Freiesleben

A solo project by Jem for his extended project qualification, the topic of the Essay and accompanying media was an investigation of how the tone of a piece of film can be affected by elements within the frame such as colour. In order to demonstrate these techniques, he created a short film (with no real plot to influence the tone), and then made two different colour balanced versions. With the only alteration within the frame being colour balance, the contribution this has to the overall mood of the piece becomes apparent.

Production Credits: Jem Freiesleben

After the previous year’s success in the Port of Tyne awards Jem made two shorts for this year’s competition: ‘Echoes of Tyne’ and ‘Waters of the Tyne’, both consisted of a collection of locations down the River Tyne until it meets the sea at Tynemouth. ‘Echoes’ was set to flute music by Lawrence Freiesleben, and ‘Waters’ also had a voiceover narrated by Jem.

Production Credits: Jem Freiesleben: Camera, Editing; Lawrence Freiesleben: Music

The Røde Rockumentary was an international short film competition hosted by Røde Microphones in 2012, to which Jem Freiesleben submitted an entry ‘Images of Sound’, a short which showed various interesting antique objects and the sounds associated with them (phones, radios, clockwork, etc.). While the film wasn’t shortlisted, Røde provided the Videomic Pro to all entrants for the high overall standard of the competition, a Mic we still use for video work to this day.

Production Credits: Jem Freiesleben

Again joining forces with Elliott Wallis, ‘Scarecrow’ was an original idea from Crispin, shot as our entry to the Co-Operative Film Festival 2012. The film depicts Elliott who’s home alone when the sinister Scarecrow in the back garden comes to life and enters the house… Elliott composed the music score for this short tailored specifically to the edit. The film was screened at the AMC Cinema in Manchester as part of the film festival.

Production Credits: Jem Freiesleben: Director, Camera, Editor; Crispin Agar: Actor (The Scarecrow), Writer; Elliott Wallis, Actor, Music

Parodying the BBC television series ‘Wonders of the Universe’, this project for A-Level Physics offers an explanation to the Kinetic Model of solids liquids and gasses, complete with Crispin split-screen interviewing himself as Brian Cox. Using various scenes from the Allen Valley to represent parts of the globe (the ‘real’ TV series visits lots of global locations), the film demonstrates with analogies such as popcorn flying about for random motion of Gas Particles. Available to watch on YouTube.

Production Credits: Jem Freiesleben and Crispin Agar: Actor, Camera, Co-director, Co-writer

This was a short school project designed to show off the sixth form to year 11 who were thinking of joining for AS and A2. Included interviews with the current sixth form committee, and various school clubs.

Production Credits: Jem Freiesleben, Crispin Agar

2011

Crispin and Jem’s last project of 2011, ‘Heavy Traffic’ started production from an original script in December on a backdrop of heavy snow in the north East. Taking inspiration from the filmic style of Chris Marker’s La Jetée, it was to be shot on a stills camera and composed entirely of still photos with voiceover, this was also due in part to Jem’s newly ordered Canon 550d becoming lost in transit (not to arrive until February of 2012). The plot followed two characters portrayed by Crispin and Jem, who become mixed up in organised crime by distributing ‘packages’ which are revealed to be details of contract killings. Despite more than 1400 photos being taken, the snow vanished before the full plot was recorded, condemning the project to the archives. Some themes from this script also return in ‘Broken Glass’.

Production Credits: Jem Freiesleben: Director, Writer, Photography; Crispin Agar: Actor, Photography, Co-director

As individuals both Crispin and Jem entered a short film and photos into the 2011 Port of Tyne awards, on the theme “The River and what it means to me”. Crispin’s short about kayaking on the Tyne came first place in the Youth Film category, and while Jem’s film didn’t receive an award he was awarded runner up in photography, with a picture from the West Allen Valley. Jem’s sister, Celeste, was also a runner up in the film category. The winning films and photos were shown in a ceremony in the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Newcastle and then displayed at venues throughout the North East for the following 12 months.

Awards: Crispin Agar: First Place in Youth Film; Jem Freiesleben: Runner Up in Photography, Celeste Freiesleben: Runner Up in Youth Film.

A short film produced as a school project on the topic of energy saving with the Science Committee (mainly consisting of people from AS Physics, Chemistry, and Biology), for showing in assembly. Mainly consisted of turning off lights, and detailing features of the newly built Eco Centre. Also features rare footage of Josh Brown ‘planking’ in the background… If anyone can remember why, please let me know!

Production Credits: Jem Freiesleben: Editor, Camera, Actor, Director; Crispin Agar: Director, Actor, Camera; Patrick Styles, Actor; Josh Brown, Actor (Appearence)

‘Lost Dead’ was a two-person collaboration between Jem Freiesleben and George Cooper, filmed in August and Completed in October. Jem took up both roles: Robert Wright, a man who receives repeated invitation cards to his own death, and Death himself… from whose predictions there is no escape! This film was shot in a single day on location in Haydon Bridge using George’s Canon 550d. Despite several planned projects, time limitations mostly imposed by A-Levels meant that this was the last project working with George until 2015.

Production Credits: Jem Freiesleben: Script, Acting, Co-director; George Cooper: Camera, Co-Director, Editor

A short solo project by Jem Freiesleben, “Whispering Trees” was mainly composed from test footage from a bridge camera (Nikon Coolpix L110), then an upgrade to the ‘Handycam’ style cameras the group had mostly been using. The film showed a range of scenes from the surrounding area with voiceover and another apocalyptic finish.

Production Credits: Jem Freiesleben

A day project collaboration including George Cooper, Jem Freiesleben and Crispin Agar, ‘Interrogation’, was originally intended as a ideas session to come up with plots for future projects, instead a short amount of footage was shot with flickering lights, suits, and Russian hats… Although the recorded footage was lost some photographic evidence remained…

Production Credits: Jem Freiesleben; Crispin Agar; George Cooper

Another apocalyptic film ‘Chemical Dust’ was produced as an entry to the 2011 Co-Operative Film Festival and was screened in the National Media Museum in Bradford as part of the event. This was the first production introducing Elliott Wallis, who with Jem Freiesleben and Crispin Agar played a teenager who accidentally discovered details of a confidential chemical weapons program active in the North East. Together they attempt to escape the consequences of their discovery.

Production Credits: Jem Freiesleben: Actor, Director, Writer; Crispin Agar: Actor, Camera, Co-Director; Elliott Wallis: Actor, Camera

Not strictly a film project, the bike trailer was developed for mobile camera and shooting as at the time none of us could drive and had to rely on parents with cars! Constructed in two days using an old polytunnel frame and and bits of old bike it essentially consisted of a hammock trailer attached to a towing bike. Testing showed that high speed cornering wasn’t a strong point, but other than that performed reasonably well! Still stored in the shed should we ever need it…

Production Credits: Jem Freiesleben, Crispin Agar: Design and Construction; Steve Agar: Welding

Filming started on the second production ‘Black Maelstrom’ in March of 2011. Another collaboration between Jem Freiesleben, Crispin Agar, and George Cooper, with the addition of Callum Hemphill as actor, the story focused on a group of teenagers who discovered a plot to detonate a large (potentially apocalyptic) weapon in the UK. In the end only about a third of the production was filmed, enough to produce a trailer (available below). A later attempt was made to revive the project (Black Maelstrom II) with a re-write of the original script, the project was eventually dropped. Some of the themes survive in ‘Broken Glass’, our upcoming production. Notable as our first production shot on DSLR, George's Canon 550d.

Production Credits: Jem Freiesleben: Actor, Director, Writer; Crispin Agar: Actor, Camera, Co-director; George Cooper: Camera, Co-Director, Editor; Calum Hemphill: Actor

2010

Unleashed on the internet in July of 2010, Seven Stones was the first production released under Hawk Valley since its initial formation. Created as a collaborative work between Jem Freiesleben, George Cooper (Blue Light Studios) and Crispin Agar (Daft Sheep Productions). Based on an original if somewhat confusing short Story by Jem Freiesleben the plot centres around two friends who end up trapped in a loop of time while attempting to rob a property, as an alternative to “getting a summer job”… they end up doomed to repeat events unaware that they’ve previously happened until a mysterious ‘time keeper’ (George Cooper) steps in. I bet they wished they’d taken summer jobs after all...! The Trailers are available to watch online.

Production Credits: Jem Freiesleben: Actor Director; Crispin Agar: Camera, Actor; George Cooper: Editor, Actor, Co-Director

Founded 2009

Videos

The House on Newtown Street (2017)

Parcel (2016)

Step Back (2014)

Scarecrow (2012)

trailers


 

Seven Stones - Trailer One (2010)

 

Black Maelstrom (2011)

 

production graveyard


It seems fitting to dedicate at least a little space on the page for those productions that never made it to the final cut, from script to shooting, or even off the drawing board! While most of these are expected to rest in peace, one or two might contribute towards future projects, certainly some elements that were present in ‘Blood Oil’, ‘Heavy Traffic’ and ‘Hello World’ remain as themes or inspirations in our upcoming film ‘Broken Glass’. Read more about the productions consigned to the graveyard, along with a few amusing sarcastic comments, in the section below.

The most recent addition to the graveyard, ‘Hello World’ isn’t technically dead – since like Blood Oil and Railway Man it never got past concept stages, unlike those it does have a chance of resurrection so not too much of a synopsis can be revealed beyond: Set in the unspecified future Hello World was to be a bleak vision of what the planet had become. Preserved in capsules and controlled by a computer capable of learning, the inhabitants are only woken to participate in virtual reality simulations. Eventually the history of the project becomes apparent… the only question is why the revival deadline has already passed… The project got a poster, and a dedicated font… Let’s say for now it’s in suspended animation awaiting revival…
More information can be found in the production timeline, but ‘Heavy Traffic’ effectively had a fairly sound concept, just a flawed implementation. Shot on a compact camera and to be composed as stills with voiceover production got off to a good start… the only issue being the weather. Shooting started amid deep snow, but unfortunately lost momentum and the snow vanished before the whole production was complete… Leaving us only able to guess at how effective a from-stills production would be. Subsequent productions returned to traditional film format.
The result of a meet-up between George, Crispin, and Jem, ‘Interrogation’ never was a production with a plan. Bar a few photos, the original footage shot (which mainly consisted of, surprisingly enough, being interrogated under flickery lights) is long lost, leaving only hazy memories of splitting headaches after using the flickery light bulb (“Ohh… That’s why they do that in interrogations) and absurdities of walking around the local village wearing suits and/or Russian hats… Thankfully.
Only really existing as a concept, not even a full script draft, ‘Blood Oil’ tells the story of a trader after the world has fallen into chaos as the oil finally runs out. The character was to find some oil/petroleum and then attempt to market it, without any real understanding of the criminal network the process soon got out of hand. The trader aspect remains in ‘Broken Glass’, though oil is not the merchandise the new film is on a similar backdrop to the concept provided by the Blood Oil scenario.
This production was another that never got beyond concept stages, it was to centre on a character who was “Doomed to roam the railways of the north east of England looking for something”, the something was supposed to be revealed to the audience towards the end, and would probably be some sort of revelation like the character being a ghost. This all sound uncertain? That’s probably because the mysterious something never revealed itself to the scriptwriter either, and let’s face it, the complications of filming on public transport would probably also have ben rather prohibitive!
Black Maelstrom, the second production of the group actually got off to a good start. It had a reasonably worked out script, added Calum Hemphill to the cast list, and after a couple of days filming everything seemed on track. Footage was shot in offices under the Tyne Bridge in Newcastle, Jesmond, and Haydon bridge. Unfortunately, the group was never able to meet up to complete the filming and after several months it was eventually abandoned, though prior to this George edited together a production trailer, which probably turned out to be of much higher quality than the actual film would have been!About 6 months after the production was dropped, since it became clear continuity would prevent use of the original footage, Jem started work on a revised script with a shorter intended running time. Titled ‘Black Maelstrom II’, the script got to the first draft but was never shot. Therefore, we’ll stick to the trailer, a hint of what could have been. RIP.