Psychological thriller from Chichester film-making brothers

Chichester brothers Luke and Edward White are hoping for success as co-producers of their first feature film Blood Money, a tense and claustrophobic psychological thriller in which five friends are forced to hole up in a deserted holiday home after a botched robbery.

Friday, 3rd March 2017, 7:47 am
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 6:20 pm
Director Luke White
Director Luke White

The film is due for international video-on-demand release this week (from March 3). Ed is the cinematographer and Luke is the director for a “psychological thriller with a bit of a horror edge” which was filmed over an intensive 11 days in France on a £40,000 budget. The film features the 2016 BIFA-nominated Scott Chambers and former Skins TV stars Ollie Barbieri and Klariza Clayton, along with newcomers Sabrina Hansen and Nicholas Bourne. It was written by Rosy Deacon.

“We start the film with five friends post-university,” Luke explains, “on a summer holiday in a big house down in France. We catch up with them right after they have committed an art heist, and very quickly things start to go wrong. One of the gang that they recruited is shot and they bring him back to the house in the back of the car. He is dead. They try their best to stay calm and give themselves some time to try to work out what to do with the body. They put him out in the wood shed.”

As Ed says, it’s about the tension and the paranoia: “And for us the location was very important. We were lucky that some friends owned this house in France and had it as their second home. We went and did a recce with Rosy, the writer, and we really developed the story around the quirky features of the house in Normandy.”

Luke said: “We enjoyed that there are a lot of threads in the story, romantically and plotwise. There are lots of clues and red herrings. I enjoyed making sure that we could make it all as subtle as we could so that people will be able to go back and watch it for a second time and pick up things that they missed. Some of the things are quite obvious, but hopefully they are also misleading. For me to have the chance to review the script and try to direct something that was satisfying for the audience was great – to give them a fair chance to try to work things out for themselves and solve the mystery. It has got a bit of an Agatha Christie vibe about it. We want to do a throwback to some of those classic murder mysteries, but we also wanted to make a very modern film. The characters are very contemporary.”

The brothers had a screening in Leicester Square last September in the hope that it would be picked up for UK and US distribution.

“We had a number of offers come through over the next couple of months, and some of them were very exciting. They promised a lot, but at the same time, something didn’t quite feel right. It didn’t feel that the offers had a lot of transparency. They were very reluctant to give us an idea of when sales reports would be and things like that. So we decided that we would put the film out ourselves by pitching it to the VOD retailers.”

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