via The Smalls

Lights, Community, Action!

The Smalls is excited to announce the UK premiere of our first in-house film production The Actress, created and presented together with visionary director Ben Charles Edwards.
In an effort to showcase the talent of our community The Smalls set out to make a short film that would do just that.
We gathered a strong crew of more than 30 Smalls members who had only 4 days to shoot and 3 weeks to edit a 20-minute short film. We faced many challenges, but with some hard work, team spirit and the wonderful Sadie Frost onboard we knew it was going to be pretty special.

With The Smalls Pitch Room launching in mid-October, allowing patrons of film to present film and music video briefs to our community, we see The Actress as a great celebration of all of us together entering a new era of filmmaking.
This film shows not only what is possible through collaboration, but also illustrates the incredible filmmaking talent within our community. We are convinced that through the launch of our Pitch Room, we will see many new patrons come to connect with the world’s best short film creators here at The Smalls.

john hicks DoP

john hicks DoP

About The Actress

It is the twilight of a grand old movie star’s life. Poor health and old age have robbed her of her glamour, her career and now – probably within hours – her life. The end is near. She arrives, surrounded by her parasitic entourage, at a cinema for a private showing of her greatest screen moments. Kicking out her hangers-on, she sits alone in the dark as the light of the projector illuminates the silver screen and her previous youth and beauty. In a daring escape from the inevitable, she enters the screen and is suddenly back in her movies – a star once more. She tumbles from genre to genre in scenes taking in the silent era, film noir, ’70s sci-fi sexploitation and ’90s sitcom land. It is a desperate attempt to outsmart and outrun the apparition of death itself, which pursues her through the scenes. Inevitable or not – this old movie diva isn’t going without a fight. This is the story of a shooting star who refuses to fade away or go gently into that good night.

What the crew had to say…

“The overall experience during production was so amazing, it’s hard to pick highlights. Probably the look on Johnnie Furnivalle’s face after spending three hours on the roof with the rain machine. I was perpetually impressed with the dedication of all the crew in bringing the script to life.” – Martin Hickford, Editor

“The future of successful independent filmmaking is all about collaboration. It’s about positivity and self-belief and freeing your mind to think outside the box to make a film no matter what. Ben Charles Edwards and The Smalls took a big risk with the filming of The Actress – only 4 days to shoot just under 30 minutes of edited film, a limited budget, a crew that had never worked together, and a large cast. This film proves that when a talented group of like-minded people come together and are prepared to overcome all obstacles there is only one outcome – and that is the true success of this film.” – John Hicks, Director of Photography

“The Actress is a wonderful short film, and a great example of the level of talent within The Smalls community. It shows the power and reach of our network, the courage of our members, and how we as a digital platform can bring creative individuals together to make a world class short film.” – Kate Tancred, Producer and Managing Director of The Smalls

john hicks DoP

john hicks DoP

john hicks DoP

john hicks DoP



Produced by
Ben Charles Edwards
Kate Tancred
The Smalls

Directed by
Ben Charles Edwards

Written by
Al Joshua

Cinematography by
John Hicks

Edited by
Martin Hickford

Music by
Paul Honey

Sadie Frost, Perry Benson, Sally Phillips, Morgana Robinson, Irwin Sparkes, Jack Guinness, Lola Coca, Kaylee Cooper, Jason Dack, Sorcha Finch-Murray, Jack Gow, Richard Jenkins, Al Joshua, Zara Martin, Gerard Mcdermott, Carl Prekopp, Michael Sani, Fabrizio Santino

Natalie Greenwood, Renee Tillot, Tom Bacon, Louis J Parker, John Hicks, Tim Deiling, Niall Green, Deborah Bucket, Stefan Hornig, Marcin Szumilas, Rob Hurtt, Holly Jade Finlay, Mary Davidson, Mikkel Eriksen, Robey Albert, Oscar Alexander Lundberg, Yasmin Francis, Hannah May Khan, Aaron Blondell, Nicola Hill, Tristan Lee, Emma Savill, Chris James Edwards and Georgina Walsh

john hicks DoP

john hicks DoP

john hicks DoP

The Actress

Just finished working as DoP on The Actress – an amazing film collaborative project with The Smalls.
Directed by Ben Charles Edwards and starring Sadie Frost, Perry Benson, Sally Phillips, Morgana Robinson
it tells the story of a grand old movie star through the eyes of the cinema that she spent her life performing for..
I can’t wait to see the finished edit but here are some behind the scenes photos from Chris James Edwards


Sadie Frost & Jason Duck in The Actress

Sally Phillips in The Actress

Al Joshua in The Actress

still from The Actress

Sorcha Finch Murray et al in The Actress

Sadie Frost in The Actress

Perry Benson in The Actress


enCharlesEdwards by John Hicks