THE Cheshire-based team behind a cult sci-fi series have taken their worldwide audio hit to the big screen, in a movie prologue featuring stars from Dr Who and Blackadder.
The Minister of Chance is the brainchild of BBC producer Dan Freeman – a former Winsfordian whose six-part podcast began life at Blakemere Craft Centre in Northwich.
Former Timelords, Paul McGann and Sylvester McCoy, are among an all-star cast who have helped resurrect the Minister – a former Dr Who character first played by Stephen Fry.
And Sylvester’s Hobbit co-star, Jed Brophy, is another A-list recruit who's backing Dan’s locally-filmed production; reinventing well know Cheshire locations as the dimension-jumping universe of ‘Chanceshire’.
“It was exhausting to get the prologue complete,” said Dan, who wrote and directed the short film.
“We got to Little Moreton Hall in the dark, went at it all day, then it took months to get the FX and editing done.
“It also took nearly a year to prepare. It's a crazy process, but it feels good to have it finished so people can now see it.”
The prologue is the precursor to an eagerly-awaited feature length movie; uniquely funded by an international fan base who’ve bought into the Minister vision in exchange for exclusive content.
Fans can even acquire professional movie-props and outfits, while businesses can become Minister partners – allowing their premises to be given the ‘Chanceshire’ treatment as an official filming location.
While word of The Minister’s on-screen debut spreads, Dan’s team are in pre-production for more movie shoots.
“We'd love to start filming as soon as possible, but we're doing lots of things like designs, scripting, props, finance and all the other things that you have to go through first,” he added.
“We don't know the form of the final article, we think it'll be a feature film, but if we were offered a TV series I think that would work too.
“At the moment all we have is a very enthusiastic worldwide audience, which is a strange way round to work. It's become almost a huge art project.
“I'm about to embark on the final script. I had to get the prologue online first and then start the funding campaign. But now that's running, I'm about to go into a dark room and emerge with a beard and a script!”
To watch the prologue and listen to the original Minister of Chance podcast, visit www.radiostatic.co.uk.