‘Familial Fancies’ – On Set with the Battenburgs
Familial Fancies is n absurdist sitcom created collaboratively by Kayleigh O’Keefe and Paul Kindersley with Bill Rodgers, Becca Patch, Siobhan Barr and Nicholas Sprackman.
The film will be released in January 2014 – Follow #FamilialFancies on Twitter for updates.
I haven’t really posted much about this production so far but as so many people have enjoyed following the making of Flabzilla I thought I’d give an update on where we’re at with Familial Fancies.
Meet the Battenburgs, a family so dysfunctional they’re functional.
When I had the idea for Familial Fancies I knew that I really wanted to make it with Paul Kindersley. My original idea was for a small group of characters to modify and alter themselves and their environment in a futile quest for acceptance and happiness. I wanted to create something manic, fantastical and fun with lots of DIY mods and OTT makeup, and was interested in bringing together those aspects of both of our work. We devised the story and developed the characters together over a couple of sessions then brought our cast in to build on this together.
We chose our cast to fill the roles of Mum, Dad, ‘Teenage Daughter’, ‘Young Daughter’ and ‘Baby’ then wrote the roles based on these people. We took on the roles of Mum Candida Battenburg and Dad Hilary Battenburg ourselves, partly for the visual comedy in the contrast of our physiques.
Hilary is a ‘straight’ Auditor with a seemingly dull existence. He likes it this way – the duller, the better. Excitement and expression is an unnecessary complication, and anything that falls outside of the quantifiable and easily rationalised sets him on edge.
When Hilary does become excited or aroused he takes on the disturbing characteristics of a frantic, mathematical pleasure-seeker.
“My work is situated in the spaces created between viewer and film. Exploring and blurring the boundaries between fantasy and reality, the personal and the public, suggesting a fluid involvement with mythologized film experience. Playing with an individual, amateur interaction with constructed glamour, celebrity, icon and stereotype and creating an uneasy reversing of the fan/artist positions, so it is no longer clear or important where lines are drawn.” - Paul Kindersley
Candida has middle-class aspirations and is desperate for the perfect family life. She has a powerful longing for societal acceptance, often attempting to emulate what she sees in lifestyle magazines and on daytime TV.
Candida’s maternal instincts are strong and visceral, despite her being a dismal failure at Motherhood. She suffers with hormonally-charged mood swings and lactates constantly, though neglects to remember to feed her baby.
“I use the absurd to explore themes of transformation, ritual, and liberation within a framework of existentialism. My Art is autobiographically-rooted with parallels to my own experience of the transgression of social boundaries” - Kayleigh O’Keefe
Prosecco is almost a woman at 14 years old. Her family is a constant source of embarrassment, driving her to regular misguided attempts at normality. Coeliac, diabetic, lactose-intolerant, anorexic, allergic to nuts, sugar-intolerant.
“As creators and consumers of art, I feel we are perhaps indoctrinated to accept that only the solemn and serous is impressive and valuable. I describe my work to be playful and unpretentious in its execution. I primarily use text as I consider it to be a confident and no-frills method of communication, as well as perhaps being more accessible to people who feel alienated by contemporary art.” - Siobhan Barr
Becca Patch - @senoracalavera
Libya is 6 years old and a committed Daddy’s girl. She presents herself as cutesy and girlish, happy as long as she has the attention of Hilary.
“I’m a deviser primarily, surreal and absurd comedy and bad jokes. As a grade 8 mime, physical grotesquery features heavily. Performance for me isn’t political or allegorical but fantastical and escapist.” - Becca Patch
Bill Rodgers - @Billywinkle
Hilary and Candida can’t remember what the baby’s actual name is but he has come to be known as Limpet. He is constantly cruising for a breast (“bop-bop”) to suckle and a helpful stranger to change his “nap-nap”. Unkempt appearance, often dirty with a scraggy beard.
“I like pie and tits and making dirty movies on ARRI, RED, BMCC, EOS C500/C300/C100, DSLR, 3D, Super 8, 16, 35mm” - Bill Rodgers
Nicholas Sprackman – CHER HAIR
The Battenburg’s family GP was happy with his wife Mildred until he sampled Candida’s fresh produce and cured her troublesome rash.
“Be it a wig, a hat, her real hair, the limits of what Cher puts on her head know no limit.” - Nicholas Sprackman
Working with everyone has been a wonderful process with a really fun shoot. I’m now working hard editing it all together and can’t wait to show you all!
Familial Fancies will be released in November 2013, Follow #FamilialFancies on Twitter for updates.