The road to 'BOX began in 2015 when artist REBECCA MELVIN-PHILLIPS was living in a camper van on DARTMOOR. Working as a campsite warden on the moor's west side, she was immediately captivated by the area's striking beauty and bewitching history.
Determined to pay tribute to Dartmoor's majesty through her art in the most impactful way possible, Rebecca would eventually progress from still photography to filmmaking, and during a fateful Halloween weekend, THE MOORMAN was born. This zero-budget, 10-minute short film played with the theme that "THE MOOR IS ALIVE", a concept that Rebecca would ultimately find impossible to shake. Other stories needed to be told - and soon! While looking for a new Dartmoor-centric tale to explore, it was then, via a chance encounter in a local public house, that she first happened across the curious, yet long-established hobby of LETTERBOXING. “A weekend visitor to the campsite was having a very heated conversation,” Rebecca explains, "he'd been Letterboxing for over 60 years and was ranting about a potential saboteur. My ears pricked up immediately! What was this fascinating world? One that could provoke such passion in someone? And more importantly, why hadn't it ever been explored on film before?" The spark was lit.
Rebecca returned to her home-base of Huddersfield after a year, but steadfastly refused to leave Dartmoor behind. She continued to research what would eventually become 'BOX while taking Art Department roles on other film productions, and it was during her time working on the recently released genre thriller ENDS MEAT that she met its screenwriter, KRIS HEYS. Seeking a collaborator to develop a narrative that would do justice to the Letterboxing concept, Rebecca shared her love of Dartmoor and fascination with the pastime with Kris, who immediately saw the potential in exploring these ideas, and came on board. A beguiling story of a driven man, an ambitious woman, mystery, myth, memory and more soon took form, and the screenplay was painstakingly developed over the following year.
Script complete, Rebecca began to recruit a small team that could execute a TEASER TRAILER on a budget of little else than some home cooked food and promise of transportation. This enigmatic and extraordinarily well-received promo was shot over the course of a day and edited by Rebecca herself, with sound design courtesy of Sony Award nominee SAM PHILLIPS. The final cut, along with the screenplay and Rebecca’s exhaustively curated LOOKBOOK, soon attracted the attention of acclaimed musician and electronic producer JS ZEITER, who would generously provide its score, and is now confirmed to lend his considerable talents to the final film itself.
With the award-winning director/producer HELEN LYONS-CURRAN joining as one of the project's key Executive Producers; teaser trailer leads KATIE MASON & SAM PHILLIPS on Wardrobe and Sound Design duties respectively, and a score by JS ZEITER, Rebecca has successfully assembled an initial core team ready to help unlock ‘BOX and unveil its mysteries on the big screen.
But without a budget, much like the screenplay itself, the above journey tells merely a tale of blind obsession and faith against the odds. Now the real challenge begins.