117 men, women and children vanish without trace - Inspired by the true story of the first settlement of America. An Historic Event. An Unexplained Mystery.
— Roanoke: The Lost Colony - BSDS Productions

Why feature this? 

This film launched my professional working career in both film, and (probably more importantly) creating 'financed' projects. I spent most of the cash I earned working on Harry Potter on this movie. The project seemed impossible on the resources available to the team, but I love this movie because we pulled it off anyway. It's far from my best work, but it gave me the realisation that it is possible to get out there, do, and complete despite crazy challenges. I'm incredibly proud of this achievement for both myself and the team. We even got featured on ITV's London Tonight

 

 

It's all about doing...

If you watch the film, you may notice it's a low budget production, and you'll probably notice it can't "hold its own" against blockbuster Hollywood productions - but that doesn't matter. It's the fact that, as an undergraduate, with a wonderful team, I managed to get out there and put together a 16th century period drama, about the first colony of America. We shot in locations across the UK, received help from over 250 people, and have since sold a DVD in every state of America. It was about doing, not just thinking; and 'doing' has been the theme for my career since then.

 

Background to the film 

If you're interested in exploring the creation of Roanoke: The Lost Colony in detail, in 2007 I put together this 42 page press kit for the movie. Our set photographer also created this amazing 25 minute 'making-of' documentary. The doc explores the different locations and issues we had to go through in order to bring the script to screen. I also blogged the entire journey as it happened. You can watch it here.

 

 

 

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After Roanoke: The Lost Colony? 

After premiering Roanoke: The Lost Colony to a record crowd for an independent film at the Ritzy cinema in Brixton, sponsered by EDF energy, we took the film to America. We had an American premiere on Roanoke Island istelf, followed by a Q&A. We have since sold the film in every state in America and released an independent soundtrack by the amazing Joe Hogan. The film was the catalyst to giving me the drive to set up MWS Media with my co-founders, and go on to produce the award winning Nuryan and The Sweet Shop (staring Emmerdale's Gemma Atkinson and Harry Potters' Matthew Lewis (Neville).

All this happened because the team were doers, not just thinkers.

Want to watch the film? Watch it online here

You can also watch the other two films I produced with MWS Media: Nuryan & The Sweet Shop

DIRECTED&PRODUCEDbertiestephens DIRECTOROFPHOTOGRAPHYdanielshirley ASSISTANTDIRECTORSjennastreet&sameweeden WRITTENshanerobert PRODUCTIONDESIGNgarymcmonnies VISUALEFFECTSanthonybadger ASSISTANTCAMERAangelakeocharoen MUSICjoehogan