Once Upon a Time in the Midlands : About The Filmmakers

SHANE MEADOWS Director / Co-Writer
Born in Uttoxeter in 1972, Shane Meadows attended photography courses at the Nottingham Art College and began making short films in 1994. Using equipment borrowed from the media resource centre for the unemployed, he persuaded his family and friends to appear in his anarchic comedies. His touching, funny stories and knockabout social realism soon attracted the attention of critics and festival programmers. Shane's 60 minute "SmallTime" featured at the Edinburgh and London Film Festivals in 1996 and his 10-minute "Where's the Money Ronnie?" won the inaugural Channel 1/NFT short film competition the same year. Jury president Stephen Woolley's Scala Films went on to produce Shane's first feature, "TwentyFourSeven".

"TwentyFourSeven" premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 1997 where it won the Fipresci critics' prize for Best First Feature. The film had its US premiere at the Sundance Festival, won the Crystal Star for Best European Feature at the Brussels International Festival and the EFA Best Actor award for Bob Hoskins. It was also was nominated for a BAFTA for Outstanding British Film of the Year 1997. Shane's second feature, the critically acclaimed "A Room for Romeo Brass" premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and launched the acting careers of Paddy Considine and Andrew Shim. Shane Meadows still lives in the Midlands.

Friends since childhood, Paul Fraser and director Meadows previously collaborated on several shorts and the quasi-autobiographical screenplays for "TwentyFourSeven" and "A Room for Romeo Brass". While Meadows was filming "Once Upon a Time…" in Nottingham, director Damien O'Donnell was shooting Fraser's screenplay "Heartlands" a few hundred miles away. Fraser's other writing credits include the "My Father the Liar" segment of "Tube Tales". A graduate in Creative Arts from Nottingham University, Fraser served as choreographer for the frantic dance sequences in "SmallTime" and the lyrical ballroom dancing in "Once Upon a Time in the Midlands". Paul Fraser still lives in the Midlands.

Andrea Calderwood established the feature film production company Slate Films in August 2000. To date, Slate has co-produced Mike Figgis' digital feature "Hotel" and the film's innovative, live-action 'making of' website directed by Damien O'Donnell. In addition to ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE MIDLANDS, Slate has a number of feature films in development with leading UK talent, backed by a first look deal with FilmFour Ltd. As head of production at the Pathe Pictures lottery franchise from 1998 to 2000, Andrea commissioned eight films: Oliver Parker's "A Ideal Husband"; Lynne Ramsay's "Ratcatcher"; Bille Eltringham & Simon Beaufoy's "The Darkest Light"; Kenneth Branagh's "Love's Labour's Lost"; John Hay's "There's Only One Jimmy Grimble"; Metin Huseyin's "It Was An Accident"; Michael Winterbottom's "The Claim" and Nick Hamm's "The Hole". As head of Drama at BBC Scotland from 1994-98, she was responsible for the company's first feature films, Billy and Gillies Mackinnon's "Small Faces" and John Madden's "Mrs Brown".

BRIAN TUFANO BSC Director of Photography
Brian Tufano recently shot "Last Orders" for director Fred Schepisi and "Late Night Shopping" for newcomer Saul Metztein. Other recent credits include Stephen Daldry's "Billy Elliot" (for which he received a BAFTA nomination) and Damien O'Donnell's comedy "East is East". He has worked with Danny Boyle on films including "A Life Less Ordinary "Trainspotting" and "Shallow Grave". Other credits include the classic "Quadrophenia" and the acclaimed "Middlemarch" for BBC Television for which he received his first BAFTA nomination.

CRISPIAN SALLIS Production Designer
As a set decorator, Crispian Sallis has worked with celebrated designers including Luciana Arrighi, John Beard, Peter Lamont and Eugenio Zanetti. He was a member of the Academy Award nominated design teams on "Gladiator", "Driving Miss Daisy" and "Aliens". His set decoration credits include "Hannibal", "Event Horizon", "Twelve Monkeys", "The Browning Version", "JFK", "Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book", and "A View to a Kill". He served as Art Director on the Prague shoot of "My Giant". As production designer, his feature film credits include Shane Meadows' "A Room for Romeo Brass", and "CrissCross", "Prince Valiant" and "Parting Shots".

ROBIN FRASER PAYE Costume Designer
Robin Fraser Paye previously worked with Shane Meadows on "A Room for Romeo Brass". His extensive television credits, include BAFTA-nominated "Poirot" and Emmy-nominated "The Tenth Man", "The Woman He Loved" and "The Gathering Storm". He has designed the costumes for many stage productions and for numerous BBC productions including "Richard II" with Sir Derek Jacobi and Sir John Gielgud, "Private Lives", "Much Ado About Nothing", "Crime and Punishment" and "The Good Soldier".

Peter Beston recently edited the 'making of' for the miniseries, "Shackleton: Breaking the Ice" and the documentary "Dangerous Talk". His feature credits include "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" and "Give My Regards to Broad Street". Trevor Waite has edited ten of director Michael Winterbottom’s feature films including his most recent, “24 Hour Party People” and “The Claim”, “Wonderland”, “Welcome to Sarajevo”, “Jude” and “Butterfly Kiss”. He also edited Tim Roth’s acclaimed feature debut, “The War Zone”.

JOHN LUNN Original score
John Lunn has composed the score for feature films including "Get Real", "The Wisdom of Crocodiles" and "The Life of Stuff". Among his many UK television credits are the series "Two Thousand Acres of Sky", "Second Sight", "North Square", "Hamish Macbeth" and the mini-series "Madame Bovary" and "Lorna Doone".

Author : Sony Pictures Classics