Midlands-made feature film ready to take the main stage

Fixed - image by Nicholas Clarke
X The Business Desk

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‘Fixed’, a feature thriller made by Midlands talent, is set to be released on streaming services.

Ryan Davis, a Birmingham City University film lecturer from Stourbridge, wrote and also co-produced the work with colleague Alan McQueen. They have now founded Gambol Films to create more films in the West Midlands.

Fixed follows the story of a backstreet bookie who fixes a boxing match. The character is stabbed, locked up, and left for dead in a cupboard as a result of this.

The single-location thriller was intentionally shot in the region at the Lampworks, Jewellery Quarter and crewed locally, and Davis said this was to encourage the film industry to come to Birmingham.

“It was very important that the film was produced locally. There are not many films made in Birmingham. A lot of crew have migrated to Manchester or London. We really wanted to try and set something up here. I’m very passionate about the city. And I know a lot of people in the industry here that have to go away and come back like I do to work.”

Students from Birmingham City University’s film business degree course were hired as runners, giving them invaluable experience and IMDb credits.

Shot over 20 days at the end of 2020, Davis said the challenges they faced grew due to lockdown and being flooded twice. He said: “We didn’t know if we’d get shut down, we didn’t know where to put the actors because of Covid, we needed permits for them. There was a lot of red tape we had to negotiate with not a lot of money, this was a micro-budget movie.”

With little money, the concept of having a man trapped in one place was realistic and achievable for the production team.

Davis said: “Everybody loved it, everybody wanted to be involved and we got some great talent.”

Talent includes director Jez Alsop, a Birmingham-based award-winning director and writer, it features a cameo from UK rap star Juice Aleem, and stars Black Country actor Greg Piper – better known as Sgt Ryan Pilkington in BBC smash hit drama Line of Duty, originally filmed in Birmingham.

Londoner Nick Clarke is the lead, Daz, and Birmingham-based star of Doctors and Eastenders, Laurence Saunders plays Roy Donner.

Interest was received at both Berlin and Cannes film festivals’ resulting in the UK release on streaming services such as Amazon Prime Video, Sky Store, iTunes, Google Play, and Xbox from Monday 22 November 2021 and a US release is expected in 2022.

Davis said: “It was a really difficult shoot, and all the odds were stacked against us at every point. We, with our friends, got together and produced this film that exceeded all of our expectations.”