by Chris Carmenère
It's now two weeks since Once a Clown was released online for free and suffice to say, it's received an incredible reception. A rave review by North West End (http://northwestend.co.uk/index.php/professional-reviews/film/4086-once-a-clown-xrhodes-films-ltd) deemed the film a strong 4/5 stars and the feedback amongst the film communities around the world has been beyond unreal. In just two weeks the film has reached over 22,000 people, far surpassing the expectations and hopes of writer/producer/director and star of the film - Murphy Rhodes.
"Every time somebody says they like it, I'm still shocked!" he said, "Honestly.. the reaction from everyone who's seen it has been tremendous. I never expect much as a filmmaker, I make films because I like making films. When I release them, I sit nervously staring at my phone, tapping my foot, biting my nails; you name it."
Once a Clown has so far been accepted into two categories at the Lift-Off Global Network Sessions 2019 and just this week, has received 'Official Selection' status and the excellent L.I.M.P.A 2019 (London International Motion Picture Award).
"Not only that," Murphy added, "Forward Slash/Jobs has just been accepted into L.I.M.P.A as well!"
You can see the posters below with the added laurels for both festivals.
by Chris Carmenère
XRhodes Films Campaign to End Clown Prejudice - And You Can Help!
What’s your opinion on Clowns? Do they fill you with joy and laughter? Provide you with an image of happy children, balloon animals and successful birthday parties? If you’re anything like the results of a 2016 poll by Chapman University, you’re terrified of them. And the recent remake of Stephen King’s ‘IT’ will have done nothing to quell the fear.
XRhodes Films aim to change that with their upcoming short film - ‘Once a Clown’. In a world where some people are born as ‘Clowns’, and the rest of the world is made up of ‘Normals’, we follow Richard Plews, a Clown, and his struggles to lead an average life.
The creator of ‘Once a Clown’ is Murphy Rhodes, founder of XRhodes Films - a local production company focused on bringing fresh ideas and a unique perspective to the screen, and to really take advantage of the Liverpool film scene as it continues to grow.
“It’s really starting to thrive up here.” says Murphy, “The film scene in Liverpool has been growing for years, and there’s so many passionate, talented people up here who need to be given a chance to show what they can do. I really want to help to provide those opportunities.”
‘Once a Clown’ is currently running a crowdfunding campaign at IndieGoGo.com/projects/once-a-clown/, and are looking to raise the money through friends, family and the general public. Contributors can earn various rewards by
donating money to the film in an attempt to give something back; ranging from sneak previews of the finished film to an acting role in XRhodes’ next film.
by Chris Carmenère
Liverpool saw the opening of a brand new monthly film festival last night - The Escapist Short Film Festival.
Nine short films ranging from 5 -15 minutes were shown, with some incredible stories, excellent cinematography and wonderful acting. XRhodes Films' own 'To Whom It May Concern' was also shown and received a fantastic response.
Writer/Director/Editor/Co-Producer Ben Johnson and Co-Producer/Actor Murphy Rhodes also hosted a Q&A session, answering questions about how they came up with the idea, how they met and where more of their work could be found.
.Some of this reporter's other favourite films were 'The Women's Bathroom Project' by Zachary Clarence, a commentary on transgendered people using the bathroom of the gender they choose to be identified by as opposed to their birth gender, 'Cabin' by Ryan Kipp and Davis Northern, a beautifully captivating piece following a man who revisits his family cabin after his father passes, only to find an unexpected visitor, and 'Business' by Kati Skelton - a brilliant, surreal film that needs to be seen to be believed!
The Escapist will be held monthly. More information can be found on their Facebook page.
Venue: 81 Renshaw Street
Date: Tomorrow - 5th April '18
XRhodes Films debut short 'To Whom It May Concern' is set to be screened at Liverpool's first 'The Escapist Short Film Festival'. It will be attended by our own Murphy Rhodes and writer/co-producer Ben Johnson. This also marks the first time that XRhodes Films have showcased a film to the public. Are we excited? You bet.
The event takes place at 81 Renshaw Street, right in the heart of Liverpool City Centre, on Thursday 5th April '18 at 7.30pm; and will be host to some of the best, brand new short films from around the world.
The running order is as below.
There will also be a Q&A session for you guys to ask any burning questions you have. We look forward to seeing you there!
by Chris Carmenère (@XRhodesChris)
'To Whom It May Concern' the debut, zero-budget film of XRhodes Films has officially received an award of recognition.
The 'SFC Recognized' award is handed to very few short films, and is a prestigious award amongst the short film community. The award was announced in the early hours of last night.
"It's the first thing I've ever produced, and the first time I've won an award for anything since I was about 8 years old," Murphy laughed, "But it's certainly spurred me on, and all I want to do already is top it."
Director and creator Ben Johnson added "All I know is that Me and Murph set out to make a good film, I think we accomplished that, and if not - there's always beer in my fridge."
The film can be viewed on our watch page.
by Chris Carmenère
There's a brand new feature film in town - Murky Rivers: Quitters Don't Quit. The fully-improvised film follows failing, and quite frankly not very good, actor Murky Rivers (Murphy Rhodes) as he aims for stardom. When recently fired casting agent and overbearing Aussie Jeff Pembroke (Jordan Hill) agrees to represent Murky, for a nominal fee of course, Murky leaves his old acting troupe behind. But will he regret leaving 'The Pope Elopes', consisting of the pretentious Bruno (Sean Bradshaw) and Murky's old sweetheart Trixie (Rosie O'Neill) as they continue on without him? And with his girlfriend Muriel Sand (Jazz Jago) constantly drinking herself into a stupor, will Murky ever realise his dreams?
Filming is in it's very early stages, but is going really well. Producer Murphy Rhodes had this to say "I think the fact that it's fully improvised is not only very challenging, but also the most fun I've had on set for years." he continued, "Me and creator/director Ben Johnson wanted to revisit the old, college-days style of filmmaking. Turn up and shoot. Except this time, we obviously have the experience and skill to execute it professionally. The mix of those two things has been refreshing, and it's a shame it's not a theme that's explored in the industry more often on bigger budget productions."
Quitters Don't Quit is being made on a zero-budget, but considering the success of their debut film released this week, with just as little money invested, the pair are no strangers to creating high quality work with limited resources. You can view that film here: To Whom It May Concern
XRhodes Films first official short 'To Whom It May Concern' follows a man driven to the edge who heads to the woods with no intention of returning. But what happens when he meets a stranger faced with the same fatal decision?
Produced by and starring XRhodes Film's own Murphy Rhodes, 'To Whom It May Concern' is a short drama which tackles difficult issues such as loss, regret and mental health. "I think the message for me is that no matter how difficult you feel life is at the moment, there's always someone else in a worse predicament." said Murphy in an exclusive interview, "I think it says a lot also about the fact that people may seem happy-go-lucky and positive on the outside, but everyone has their own issues. As someone who's suffered very heavily with depression in the past, and someone who's quite open about it, I think sometimes you don't realise just how bad some people have it, and can take for granted that 'Oh, that person seems happy' but when you really get to know that person, and they open up to you, you understand that they have their problems, too, they just keep them inside." (You can read Murphy's full interview here)
When asked what the biggest challenge was, Writer and director Ben Johnson had this to say, "Pre-production, definitely. Me and the producer had both had some difficult problems in our life at the time. We would go for production meetings and just get drunk, meaning if we came up with anything productive, we'd forgotten it by the next day, and we just kept pushing things further and further back. I think getting out of that cycle was the hardest thing and going and getting the thing done. I think the some of the themes in the film are very representative of how we were feeling at the time." (You can read Ben's full interview here)
'To Whom It May Concern' is set for release on Monday 18th September. For more information: facebook.com/TWIMCShort
(c) XRhodes Films 2019
All Rights Reserved.
All Rights Reserved.