We Are The Freaks (2013)
Following its success at the Edinburgh Film Festival last summer the Handsworth born writer and director brings the anarchic movie about three misfits having the night of their lives to wonderful The Electric cinema in Birmingham on Friday 25th April 2014 for a special screening and a Q&A session with the director and some of the cast (Sean Teale and Amber Anderson).
Set in Birmingham during the end of the Thatcher government with a thumping 90s soundtrack, from bands such as New Order and Happy Mondays, the movie introduces us to Jack (Jamie Blackley – Misfits), Chunks (Sean Teale – Mr Selfridge & Skins) and Parsons (Mike Bailey – Skins) and draws some of its influences and styles from the likes of The Inbetweeners, Ferris Buellers Day Off and Trainspotting.
There are a few obvious Birmingham locations included in the two minute trailer (see below) including Water Street (last seen in By Any Means), the former ATV/Central studios and the iconic Birmingham Municipal Bank vault.
The movie gets a quick DVD release too and is available from 5th May 2014 so there will be more opportunities to discover the Birmingham locations in your own home.
Justin Edgar is no stranger to filming in Birmingham as his 2001 feature film debut Large was shot on location in and around Birmingham and The Black Country and edited at Pebble Mill. Filmed in just six weeks in March and April 2000 on a budget of £1.4m it featured cameos from TV stars Les Dennis and Phil Cornwell.
The movie didn’t fair too well at the cinema but was a huge success in the DVD market having been picked up by Pathé distribution. This tale of a young eighteen year old trying to keep to the strict conditions of his rock star father’s inheritance picked up a cult following that meant it sold around 30,000 copies to the home entertainment market.
There are a number of Birmingham locations to spot throughout Large, but the shooting style gives them an odd colour cast throughout that makes Birmingham look a lot more vibrant than normal.
The former Bell Edison Building on Newhall Street is the location where a young Jason Mouseley (Luke de Woolfson) discovers the details of his father’s will and the strict rules for him to collect his inheritance when he reaches 18 years of age.
The changing city landscape is noticeable in a few scenes however one is the more obvious than most as the Suffolk Street footbridge was demolished around eight years ago, some 5 years after the film was released and we also get a fleeting glimpse of Alpha Tower and Central TV Studios. Interestingly the characters were off to the Registry Office on Broad Street, which moved to Holliday Wharf in February 2006, but instead of using the ‘real’ offices they headed into a ‘re-signed’ Baskerville House for the ceremony.
In one scene outside the ‘Registry Office’ you can see the Municipal Bank and the Central TV Studios Reception on the other side of Broad Street.
Also featured are The Burlington Arcade, Cherwell Court in Sutton Coldfield and a scene at the Black Country Living Museum.