The creative team behind a new, UK-based TV & film production company has seen its first short film met with critical acclaim this Spring, paving the way for talks with leading networks and commissioners about developing the concept into an 8-part series for the small screen.
The screenplay of “Time Spent” was written and directed by Rob Hutt and co-produced by Celia Dumas, fellow founder of Oxfordshire-based Mabel Brown Productions. The 13-minute film has attracted global attention with its initial screenings and has already won several prestigious awards (including ‘Best Sci-Fi Short Film’ and Best Director ‘Short’), as well as being a shortlisted finalist in the ‘Cannes World Film Festival’, ‘Beyond Hollywood International Film Festival’, the LA-based ‘Indie-X Film Fest’ and the ‘Canadian Cinematography Awards’ (CaCa), to name but a few!
Celia (52), from Winchester, and a former producer with Saatchi & Saatchi, comments;
“We’ve been absolutely overwhelmed by the incredible response we’ve received to “Time Spent” from these initial viewings – as well as the doors that have been opened for conversations with some of the UK’s biggest TV commissioners in the business. Rob and I both have years of experience in the TV and video production industry, but “Time Spent” really was a passion project and we’re just delighted that audiences feel the same way as we do about our thought-provoking and challenging script.”
She continues; “Originating from ideas and concepts developed during lockdown, Rob and I worked closely – and on a minimal budget – to bring his inspired and topical script to life. The screenplay tackles tough and disturbing issues, many of which are being played out in the current news headlines, reflecting everyone’s concerns about the cost of living crisis and social inequalities. We collaborated with outstanding actors, some giving their time and talents for free as they were so keen to become involved with the project. So, to see the results on the big screen during this exciting and ‘whirlwind’ of a film festival season has been mind-blowing!
“As well as co-producing the project, I was also hands-on during all stages of the shoot, using my professional skills as a make-up artist and sourcing all costumes and props. It really was a team effort from start to finish!
Audiences, industry experts and judging panels have been teased by the question; “would you take the deal?” as they follow the film’s protagonist Nathan Saunders battling with a dilemma too huge to contemplate.
When he arrives at his supposed dream job interview, Nathan finds himself faced with a life-changing decision; should he accept £2million for 21 years of his life (which will be harvested, removed and sold onto the company’s powerful and wealthy clientele)?
Set in the near future - but against the continuing backdrop of a depressing cost of living crisis - Nathan has just 30 minutes to decide whether to accept this ‘deal of a lifetime’, in the knowledge that when he walks away from the surreal meeting, he will have no recollection of the terms of the transaction.
Viewers of the short film are left in suspense as to whether poor Nathan, with a young family to support and facing eviction, decides to take the money.
They’ll also be left wanting to know what happens next…which is something both Celia and Rob are ready to explore further in the extended TV drama which could see Nathan on a quest to uncover the truth behind the ‘Brighter Horizons Wellness Clinics’ and its corrupt technology which can harvest and extract “years” from desperate donors.
Or, will Nathan be helped by human rights campaigners and undercover journalists on a mission to ultimately buy his life back….
Rob Hutt (40) adds; “Yes, this is a sci-fi drama and on one level, feels futuristic. But with the meteoric rise of AI in our society, lots of us are starting to believe that nothing is impossible or improbable. As terrifying as this sounds, we could only be a few policy and legislative changes away from the introduction of such technology, combined with a frightening relaxation of corporate moral codes.
“And, what we do know is that there’s still a huge wealth and power divide between classes, and the cost of living crisis has only further highlighted this. As such, I want to make a mainstream TV series which examines the lengths that those with wealth and power would go to in order to sustain their lifestyle. How far corporations will go to satisfy their shareholders and what measures people desperately trying to keep their heads above water would consider taking.
“Our awards seem to show that “Time Spent” is really hitting the spot and we’re thrilled that commissioners are excited, too. So, stick with us and watch this space…!
For media enquiries, to arrange an interview with Celia Dumas or Rob Hutt, please contact Jo Hudson on 0770 948 7959 or email@example.com
See attached: Images of the Time Spent official imagery and poster concepts
Notes to editors:
A link to the ‘Time Spent’ trailer can be viewed here: https://filmfreeway.com/timespent
Rob Hutt is also a renowned content creator & videographer, with a huge portfolio or work for clients as diverse as John Lewis, The Met Office, the UK Government, NHS and financial services sector.