What’s the story about?
From various sources, we have this synopsis
Fire Horse. A story about holding onto the past. It is about recognising that change is not always good. Society is moving so fast, sometimes we need to take a step back and look at the world we have created and the world we are leaving behind.
We got in touch with the Director, Matt Bell, and received a more detailed summary of the film’s plot
My film is about an old lady, Ada (Doreen Mantle) who lives in a little rural village in middle England. She uses the village shop everyday, even buying goods that she doesn’t need (e.g. food for her deceased dog). Over the years herself and Roddy the shopkeeper (Barnaby Kay) have developed a lovely relationship. She knows the shop is on the brink of closure but hopes her little routine will help to keep the place open. Roddy is struggling to keep his head above water but deep down knows the days are numbered as the supermarkets and their home delivery service force him out. He feels like a failure to his family and doesn’t want to let his wife Jules (Nicola) down. Jules is wise and knows exactly what is going on. She assures Roddy that everything will be alright. Under pressure one day, Roddy snaps at Ada. This sparks Ada into taking matters into her own hands by staging a sit down protest in the road. She hopes to stop the supermarket delivery van (driven by Rick) getting through. She thought she could force villagers to use the shop. It’s her final stand born out of friendship and a belief in a way of life.
Matt also gave us these comments
The film is in essence a story about change and friendship between old and not so old, hence the title Fire Horse. That was a term used during the industrial revolution when steam trains took over from horse and cart. It was inspired by a return visit to the little village I grew up in after living in London for 10 years. Everything had changed and I felt the community spirit that used to exist had slipped away. The village shop I worked in as a teenager had closed and a massive house with 4×4′s on the drive had been built in it’s place. The pub and the dairy had shut. All the charm and character had been lost and new houses had sprung up all over the place. This little old village that I had such fond memories of had been taken over by the 21st century. The days of leaving your door unlocked and stopping to have a chat with all and sundry was left in the past.
What touched me the most about working in the shop as a child was the fact that the old people who didn’t get out much would just come in to have a chat and would often buy a couple of token efforts. It was just a place for them to get out and have a chin wag. Of course we stocked most daily essentials that they relied on but they would mainly come in just to say hello and to mooch about the village.
This is my first film, I’m a little nervous about how it will be perceived. It was shot last minute as we didn’t know what Nicola’s schedule was going to be on Spooks – the original shoot was done in 2011, around the same time as Nicola was shooting Series 10 of Spooks. We were only given 48 hours final notice of her availability so this was all the time I had to get everything into place. It was quite a stress and chaotic 2 days and I’m hoping this hasn’t come across in the film. It has taken me nearly 2 years to finish post production due to a combination of parenthood, work commitments and frustratingly, my editor being mugged and having his MAC and my drives with the film’s final cut on it stolen. I also wanted to make sure that the film was the best it could be before it was released to festivals etc.
A huge THANK YOU to Matt for giving us these comments and the pic of Nicola and Barnaby in character from the film. This sounds like a really interesting film. With more backing financially, it could be turned into a feature length movie or TV movie. We wish Matt all the best with this film. Since the film is only about 17 minutes long (in its present form), Matt is currently hoping to show this in various film festivals in order to generate more interest. If any visitor to this site can help publicize this movie, please get in touch with Matt. He is on Twitter, as @MattBellAD.
Oh, and Bravo to Nicola and Barnaby for getting involved with this project!!!
Barnaby Kay plays Roddy the shopkeeper.
Doreen Mantle plays the old lady, Ada. She also appeared with Nicola in an episode of Chalk [TV] titled “The Star Pupil”.
Go to this Page to read Beatrice’s review of Fire Horse.