Henry Scriven must be as pleased as punch. His debut feature film, a comedy called ‘How To Become A Criminal Mastermind’ has comfortably reached its Kickstarter funding goal of £1250, with 12 days to go.
With its London premiere on the horizon, I got a sneaky look at the film and I can tell you, it’s hilarious. Comedy is possibly one of the most difficult genres to get right, but HTBACM nails it.
The film follows Freddie (Phillipp Weddell), a young traffic warden living with his grandma in a rural English village. Being a bit of a wet blanket, Freddie doesn’t like to give people parking penalties, and so loses his job for being too nice. He then finds out that the bank are threatening to take his house away because his grandma has fallen in love with a Nigerian conman who has been doing dodgy deals from their address. Desperate for money, Freddie is taken under the wing of a mysterious stranger named Bainbridge (Sam Massey), who promises to teach him how to be a criminal.
The ridiculously convoluted plot is comedy gold, with characters taking the lead from British greats like Michael Crawford (Frank in Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em) and Kenneth Williams (Carry On) as well as spoofing various noir detectives and Guy Ritchie gangstas along the way.
With British comedies of late hanging on the antics of Simon Pegg, Rowan Atkinson, Ricky Gervais and The Inbetweeners (collectively), HTBACM is more indebted to the old Ealing comedies than it is to anything released in the last 15 years, and it’s all the better for it.
Made with an unbelievably modest budget of £12,000, to which Henry Scriven comments ‘we pulled in a lot of favours’, this impressive debut demonstrates the level of success Kickstarter can bring.
Meanwhile, the kick-campaign is still running, and a pledge of £9 will buy you a DVD of the film/£15 for ticket to the London premiere.