filmmaking: writing, directing, producing (and occasionally acting)
a short film
A woman finds herself stranded in a mountain hut after a mysterious hiking accident during a snowstorm. Alone with only herself to talk to on a broken radio, she is faced with the reality of her PTSD and some unnerving revelations and darkly comedic encounters...
The Hut is a playful and provocative exploration of PTSD that expresses the fragile and resilient nature of the mind, and the kaleidoscope effects of trauma when faced alone with oneself. Inspired by a real hiking accident in the southern alps when a woman was found injured and alone in an empty ranger's hut after a fatal hiking accident left her partner dead. My imagination ran wild. I knew I had to create a story where the psyche of this woman drove the narrative. So after writing the feature script, I wanted to explore the story on screen with a short. It would have an experimental, rebellious twist, with a touch of the absurd. I’d shoot from scratch, without a budget. And creative constraints would become my best friend.
The collaboration, from building the set out of junk, to editing the film with the help of professionals, has been highly rewarding and educational. The final result is a film that I hope will inspire other ambitious new filmmakers to produce their brave stories in uniquely pioneering ways. Working within limitations will often inspire the most imaginative and engaging pieces of film.
Conjured up in the darkness of another sleepless night in the depths of an English winter during another lockdown, I wanted to create an expression of insomnia on the creative soul - fixed in the twilight , unlit by the energies of moon or sun, unable to create yet filled with ideas. Motivated by this very idea of being unable to create, I was inspired by the solitude and constraints of the pandemic and how I might satisfy my desire for collaboration and artistic expression through film, in a playful and explorative form that reflected the feelings I was going through at the time. All I needed was the idea and another creative soul.
A stop motion film using analogue photography, music and poetry, to express the creative duality to insomnia. Shot on a film camera by Katie Lou McCabe as single stills, and then hand-developed in her dark room using classic analogue techniques, this experimental short film is a love letter to the creative process and the beauty that resides in the shadows.
To align with the project's ethos, and the fulfilment of taking time to revel in the process and honour the realities of making things the 'analogue way' - I am still editing the film, having curated and scanned each single frame, lovingly developed by Katie. So as I put the pieces of the puzzle together using the not-so-analogue Davinci, I am learning new insights about what 'Apricity' means as a piece of film, a year and half along from its conception and I look forward to the warmth of a new winter's sun...and what the final piece will have to offer.
Apricity: to feel warmth of the winter sun on your face
Writer & Director: Angel Jones
Cinematography & photo development: Katie Lou McCabe
Editor: Angel Jones
Music: Katie Lou McCabe
Starring: Angel Jones
Genre/type: Experimental, arthouse short film
Release: Winter 2022
a short film
a feature film
In 2018, co-wrote and starred in the independent feature film Adira’s Dream, directed by Oliver Williams, which premiered at Madrid International Film Festival 2019, nominated for 'Best Story.'
Adira’s Dream explores life through a social-media lens and its destructive effects on mental health and self-image through the protagonist, Adira, and her lover, Dan. Shot entirely on an iPhone on locations in London, Iceland and a purpose-built set, the film’s visual language blurs the concept of art and reality, audience and performer, and poses the dangers of being a passive agent in our lives in this digital age.
This psychological thriller is inherently cyclical and fragmented, using a non-linear narrative to create a story world that seeks to reflect the quotidian reality of our conscious and subconscious existence. Utilising a small cast, purpose-built sets and aerial shots of Iceland’s stunning, rugged beaches, designed to mirror the dream-world that Adira continually loses herself in – reminiscent of our everyday escapism. We sought to challenge and interrogate conventional forms of filmmaking, playing with narrative structures, character presentation and filming techniques.
Working as both a writer and actor allowed me to explore the story from within, and offered invaluable learning for character development from both a writing and performance perspective – two elements that go hand-in-hand with the film’s themes, and my interest in the relationship between the maker and the performer. The project was an immersive collaborative process, that started with an idea and ended with a successful production – the final product representative of our mission to explore and learn and create.
The film premiered at Madrid International Film Festival: nominated for ‘Best Story,’ ‘Best Lead Actress’ (Angelique Jones), and ‘Best Sound Design.’ The film has won multiple international awards.
Director: Oliver Williams
Writers: Oliver Williams & Angel Jones
Cinematography: Oliver Williams
Starring: Angel Jones
Editor: Patrick Miles Widdop
Music: Nat Reading, Alexex Patterson, Alfie Weedon
Producer: Kat Kemsley
Watch the full film here.
a short film
In 2018, I shot a comedy short film exploring the roles the ‘millennial’ generation of women are required to perform in order to navigate life in 21st Century.
Filmed on a shoe-string budget, using the help of creative friends and family, and the generous support of local businesses, and the University of Winchester’s lighting department, this quirky film demonstrates the innovative possibilities of filmmaking when working within perceived boundaries (i.e. time, money, resources). Creativity has no limits, nor does the power of belief in a story...and the overriding desire to 'make stuff'.
Using fragmentation and a variety of genre-bending techniques, A Girl for Everyday of the Week is a series of vignettes, exploring, and challenging, narrative and film conventions, and what ‘story’ means in the 21st century. Donning a variety of coats as writer, director, producer and actress, was a challenging, eye-opening, exciting and affirmative process, offering an inclusive experience of filmmaking that has been invaluable for developing as a screenwriter.
Playing with character and audience perceptions, the film aims to challenge the generational prejudice towards millennials and the desire to distinguish our roles in society as either/or. Yet, as humans, we are both/and; we are plural, fluid beings, only limited by the notion of boundaries.
As each female character is performed by the same actress (me), the audience are required to extend their suspension of disbelief, and ask themselves whether they believe these women are different people, or perhaps, the same person, performing the myriad roles we all perform throughout our daily existence. Thematically, the film’s original intention was to engage, and interact with audiences on a personal level, using the specifics to attempt to grasp the bigger picture – why are we all performing these roles? And who are we really performing them to?
As my debut filmmaking experience, I learnt some invaluable lessons and insights that have guided me throughout my creative career so far. Specifically, I learnt the power of collaboration and the importance of simply beginning a project and learning your own way because there is no one way to do things, and what works for another might not work for you. And on reflection, I've learnt that it's far more liberating to let go of perfectionist tendencies and the fear of failing, because it's the trying, the failing and the act of turning ideas into action, into practical experiences, that create the most fruitful opportunities for growth - creatively and personally. Currently, the film still remains as an almost-finished film, edited by me on Premiere Pro (back when, I taught myself through trial and error and YouTube tutorials 'how to edit a film') - it exists in its own world of unpolished playful experiment. Perhaps waiting for professional sound designers, colourists, musicians to make it a conventionally finished film. Or perhaps, it will remain on my Premiere Pro timeline, on my own timeline, which I look back to fondly and celebrate as an achievement in creative initiative, resourcefulness and imagination. Never underestimate the power in taking the first step to making something, even if you don't know what the next steps will be. You'll always find your way.
For now, here's some film stills...
Writer/Director: Angel Jones
Cinematography: Matthew Honey
Starring: Angel Jones
Editor: Angel Jones
Music and Sound: Sam Jones
Producer: Angel Jones