A SPECIAL INVITE FOR A VERY SPECIAL CAUSE

On Wednesday, 2nd September, the Pixel Revolution team of directors Ian & Dominic Higgins and producer Nigel Martin Davey were invited to represent the field of film in Birmingham, and be among 250 specially selected recognised dignitaries from all industries, to sign ten Limited Edition Prints of the ‘Forward in Unity’ Graffiti Art by renowned Birmingham street artist Gent 48.

From the official website:

This epic depiction is of the City’s NHS and front line workers fighting back against the evil grasp of the virus that has taken hold of the social lives and economic well being of the residents of Birmingham. You can go and see this current masterpiece by Gent 48, in the flesh, on Meriden Street in Digbeth.

All proceeds from the selling of the prints will go Acorns Children’s Hospice, St Mary’s Hospice and SIFA Fireside.

Also, among the dignitaries yesterday adding his signature to the prints, was advertising legend and BAFTA winning film producer, Trevor Beattie.  

It was a great honour to be invited! A huge thank you to Prof. Paul Cadman and Nick Herd.

Also to top the week off, our most recent short film, OF WOLVES AND MEN has picked up it’s second award, Best Animation at the New Cinema Lisbon Monthly Film Festival.

Dave Heeley

7 DAYS SCREENED AT SOUTH AND CITY COLLEGE BIRMINGHAM

Last Friday 7 DAYS – THE STORY OF BLIND DAVE HEELEY was screened at South and City College Birmingham.

We have worked with students from South and City College over the course of several years on various projects, and it’s always been a pleasure to have them on set. It’s very exciting to have the opportunity to help new and emerging talent. Indeed, our head make-up artist, Tania Ashworth, is herself an ex-student of the college.

It was a great turn out on the night once again, and the film had a great reception!

Dave and Deb Heeley
Dave and Deb Heeley

Among the guests attending the screening, was another Midlands born legend. Trevor Beattie is considered one the leading figures in advertising in Britain and is a prolific film producer, whose credits include the Bafta award winning Moon, staring Sam Rockwell and the feature documentary Spitfire, narrated by Charles Dance. It was a great honour to have Trevor in the audience and to spend time with him afterwards.

It was also great to finally meet Alan Sharman from the Alan Sharman Agency, a casting company that has supplied many young talented actors for our productions.

Blind Dave Film
Producer Nigel Martin Davey, director Ian Higgins, Dave Heeley, director Dominic Higgins and Alan Sharman

Below are more pictures from the night. Many thanks to ex-South and City College student, Abdoul for taking the photos!

A huge thank you to South and City College Birmingham for hosting the night. Special thanks to Steve Dourass, Mike Hopkins, Dawn Edwards, Grant and his team behind the scenes, and Hollywood Monster for making the night one to remember!

THE BIG NIGHT

Friday 1st February 2019 was the big night. After more than two years of hard grafting, sleepless nights and flying by the seats of our pants, 7 Days – The Story of Blind Dave Heeley was to have its first public screening, with a specially invited audience of nearly 300 people!

Birmingham Repertory Theatre

The venue was the iconic Birmingham Rep theatre, in the heart of Birmingham.  It was the perfect place. Huge thank you to Ruth Morgan, Lynette Dakin and the rest of the team for their generosity and for doing such a splendid job in helping to organize the night.

It was two very nervous directors and one very nervous producer that walked into that theatre. The film had only been seen by a handful of people. What was the reception going to be like? It was classic first night nerves.

We arrived early, eager to run sound checks and to make sure everything was set up for the night. But with the local news due to arrive before the screening, we didn’t have long to take a breather. The Express and Star and ITV News were keen to cover the screening, and ITV was going live! So, no pressure then!

By 6.30 pm, the guests were arriving. It was great to have all three “Daves” together again! The real Dave Heeley, Jack Lane, who plays him in our film, and Charlie Boswell who plays the young Dave aged 11.

The main cast were all in attendance for the evening, including Sarah Manners who plays Dave’s wife, Debbie and Birmingham based actor Robert Harrison, who plays “Mac”, Dave’s running guide during the Sevens.

They were joined by Larry Rew who plays Dave’s granddad, Carl Wharton who takes on the role of Dave’s dad and Jane Campion Hoye who plays his mum.

TV reporter and presenter, Suzanne Virdee- who plays herself in the film, also came along with husband and top photographer Andrew Fox.

Directors Dominic and Ian Higgins with Producer Nigel Martin Davey and Dave Heeley
The three “Daves” with directors Ian & Dominic Higgins and producer Nigel Martin Davey
The real Dave with young Charlie Boswell and Jack Lane being interviewed by Yasmin Bodalbhai from ITV News
Actress Sarah Manners who plays Debbie Heeley with actress Hannah Roberts and Jack Lane. Photo courtesy of Express and Star.
Producer Nigel Martin Davey with actors Jack Lane and Oliver Phelps.

And of course, it wouldn’t be a cast and crew screening without our A-team crew. These are the guys that graft away on set, behind the scenes, putting in the long hours right beside us.

We were honoured to have Dr. Phil Glasgow, who had flown in from Belfast, join us for the night. Dr Glasgow was the Physiotherapist that accompanied Dave on his 7 Day Marathon. Just another impressive achievement in a career that has taken him to every major event in the world of athletics, from the Commonwealth Games to the Rio 2016 Olympics, where he was lead Physiotherapist for Team GB.

Dr. Phil Glasgow

He’s played in the film, by actor Ian Mairs.  Ian actually spent time talking with Dr. Glasgow before shooting and spent the entire shoot speaking with a Belfast accent! A natural actor, with a great sense of screen acting.

Rik Jones

It was also great to finally meet Wigan based singer-song writer, Rik Jones. Rik, who is also blind, wrote and performed the final song in our film. It’s a very touching and beautiful song and was a natural fit for our film because the lyrics mirrored Dave’s story perfectly.

Rik’s song, Walk A Mile In My Shoes is taken from his album The Hotel With No Name and is available on iTunes.  Check it out, he’s a very talented guy!

Directors Ian and Dominic Higgins share a joke with "Blind Dave" Heeley
“Blind Dave” shares a joke with directors Ian & Dominic

The guest of honour was the man himself, “Blind Dave” Heeley. And it seems that Dave was as apprehensive about the first screening of the film as we were. Now, Dave is a humble man, but everyone who meets him, knows he’s a living legend, so he was at least guaranteed an eager audience with the waiting media and fans.

Speaking of fans, it was also great to have Harry Potter actor Oliver Phelps attend the night with us also. Both he and his brother, James have roles in the movie.

We were also joined by,  West Brom Chief Executive Mark Jenkins and from the Albion Foundation, Director Rob Lake and Media and Marketing Officer Craig Punfield. It has been a real privilege to have their support on this project.

At 8 pm the doors to the screening room opened, it was time for our private premiere.

Audience members take their seats

After a brief introduction, led by producer Nigel Martin Davey, it was time to settle in our seats and press play.

When the credits finished rolling the reception was incredible and quite emotional, it proved how much Dave’s story resonates with people and it validated all the hard work we put into the film.

After the screening we invited Dave on stage for a Q & A, hosted by Birmingham South and City College’s Steve Dourass . It was a fascinating, insightful and entertaining chat. Dave has some great stories to tell!  

It was a very emotional moment though, when Dave spoke about the recent passing of Seamus, Dave’s Guide dog. Seamus was more than just Dave’s support, he was his friend. Seamus actually appears in our film, playing Dave’s first guide dog, Peter.

He was joined later on stage, by his screen-self, actor Jack Lane. Jack delighted the audience by giving us some insights into how he manged to step into Dave’s formidable shoes.

We would also like say a big thank you to Tim Andrews and Hollywood Monster for creating the wonderful Media Wall for us. It looked amazing.

7 Days film

Below you can see a few more great pics from the night!

A huge thanks also to the Burlington Hotel, Birmingham for putting up some of our cast and crew for the night!