A short film where the worlds of birdwatching and drug smuggling collide is to be filmed in north Norfolk – and local folk are needed as extras.
Cocaine and Cormorants is described as a quirky comedy by the five students from the University of the Arts in London who are working on the project.
Alexis Parrinder-Nicholls, the writer and director, said: “I’ve got family up in north Norfolk and have always felt a strong connection to the area and its nature, in particular its birdlife, so I thought it’d be a great setting for an eccentric comedy where a classic British hobby is presented in a different and unexpected way.”
The film centres on Gilbert, a mild-mannered bird warden, who finds himself unwittingly in the middle of a plot to smuggle drugs into the UK via trained waterbirds.
Unfortunately for the smugglers, they have chosen a scarlet ibis to carry the shipment, a bird so rare that it attracts dozens of twitchers eager to get a look of it. This complicates the situation.
Alexis said: “Throughout the film Gilbert’s safe yet drab world of bird hides and grey skies meets the dangerous and exotic world of drug-smuggling Colombian cartels. He doesn’t know quite how to handle it.
“We are shooting much of the film on bird reserves up in north Norfolk and we hope to get the local community behind our project.
“In fact last week a local was been kind enough to put the crew up for the shoot.
“The film will be a humorous but warm depiction of birdwatching culture, and the crew are also looking for 30 extras aged 50 and over to fill the role of twitchers in the climactic scene.”
Alexis added: “We’ve come far with the process so far, completing storyboards, set designs, schedules and securing locations, and we’re currently working on casting, camera tests and the soundtrack.
“But most importantly we’re still trying to raise funds. We’re crowdfunding in on Phundee to make it happen and raise the funds.”
Cocaine and Cormorants is the students’ graduation film, the climax of three years of studying at the University of the Arts London. The crew aim to take the finished product to a number of film festivals, both in the UK and internationally.
You can see the link for the video Straight out of Norfolk by going to https://www.phundee.com/reward/campaign/cocaine-cormorants where there is also a link to Alexis Parrinder-Nicholls if you want more information on being an extra in the film.