The Coven - The Facts.
In the middle of the wild ancient Woodland that is Queen’s Wood in
Highgate, North London, is a small strange clearing
surrounded by thirteen Oak trees.
Wiccan Figurines of dancing ladies hide high in the trees over which
it is said no birds will fly, encircling and protecting it.
This is The Coven.
Robert Cochrane, a well known Witch, claiming to be descended from a long line of
witches, committed suicide by ingesting Belladonna on the
summer solstice 1966 (-6-66).
"Farewell from this world, but not the Circle.
That place that is between worlds"*
After his death his Coven of witches renamed themselves ‘The Regency’
in his honour and would meet in The Coven at Queen’s Wood.
Other Covens of witches still meet regularly there and
there are local rumours of far darker deeds occurring.
*From "An Epitaph to a Witch" by Doreen Valiente -
a member of Cochrane’s coven.
The Woods - The Facts.
Beneath an innocent Children’s Play area in these woods hides the
dark secret of one of London’s plague pits.
Victims of the Black Death that swept Europe in the 1600’s were thrown
unceremoniously from carts into the vast lime-filled pits.
There is nothing to inform the unsuspecting of the horror that lies below.
As all beneath us lay the dead
we walk upon their sunken heads
their lives bequeathed
so we can breathe again
Today there are several Pagan groups who convene in The Coven.
During filming, our schedule unfortunately fell on Halloween and
while attempting to film we were warned off by a group of
Witches who didn’t want us to
witness their rituals.
Arguments ensued but despite our permission to film, we eventually
gave in and wrapped for the day, concerned that they
may upset our project.
Since that date the project was blighted as we sadly experienced
three very sudden and completely unexpected deaths relating to our crew.
The Coven – The Story.
Present day, late October in historic Highgate, North London.
Charismatic Teacher (Mr Sheers) strolls a wood panelled classroom debating with his
young teenage students the significance of the number seven, the religious values of
Neo-Paganism and recent activity in nearby Queen’s Wood, home to many lime-filled
plague pits from the Black Death in the sixteen hundreds.
He reveals there exists a clearing within Queen’s Wood surrounded by thirteen ancient
Oak trees officially known as ‘The Coven’ and that many Pagans
continue to meet there.
His lesson is interrupted by a beautiful Supply Teacher (Mrs Belial), who advises that
he is needed by the Headmaster right away.
Mrs Belial continues the class and raises the topic of missing rebel politico
‘Uri Clef’. She explains the name ‘Uri’ is Hebrew for ‘God of Light’ and ‘Clef’ is
French for the word ‘Key’. The Key to the God of Light.
Uri charmed students across the country with his enigmatic ways. Parents objected to
his extremist views, fearing he was gathering a young atheistic army. The suggestion
of anarchy is fuelled after seven people vanished on the night of Halloween some years
before – Uri Clef and his chosen six disciples. All that was found were Uri’s motorbike
keys under one of Oaks in the Coven, linking his presence to Queen’s Wood that night.
The Woods have remained closed to the Public on Halloween ever since.
Captivated, five school girls: (twins Cara & Ruby, Ulrika, Fran and Izzy) plan a secret
sleep-over in the woods on Halloween and lie to their parents about their whereabouts.
In the Coven they discover the name “LUCIFER” freshly scrawled on the ground and
in an act of bravado Izzy chalks their names under each matching initial.
She leaves two spare letters: L and E.
Mr Sheers meets with colleague Charlie in the local pub and discusses his day. He tells
Charlie that he had been summoned to the Head Master but that he couldn’t find him
and that the school office had no record of the Supply Teacher either.
Charlie is shocked to discover that the name of the Supply is Mrs Belial as this
means ‘Prince of the Devil’.
Mr Sheers laughs this off as Hocus Pocus but is left feeling unsettled.
Two young lads, Louie and Eddy are forced to take the short cut home through the
woods after missing the last train home from a party. Mrs Belial watches closely in the
shadows as they climb over the railings.
As the night wears on, it is clear that the seven youngsters are not alone in the Woods
and their being there is no coincidence.
A powerful motorbike roars through the undergrowth, blinding them in the glare of its
headlight, hunting them down one by one.
Who is he? What does he want with them? Are they the next ‘seven’?
This is a contemporary no gore spooky film aimed to include a younger audience,
steeped with Historic facts, shot solely on location in Highgate and in the actual
ancient Coven in Queen’s Wood.
Genre: Fantasy Horror
FX Team Productions: firstname.lastname@example.org // London, England. 0044 7956 520 901
YouTube : http://youtu.be/JruyIJwrWzM
The FX Team was formed as the first complete art department in 1990 and has won
awards for design on numerous commercials, promos and TV work. Moving more
recently into writing and production, ‘The Coven’ is its first full length feature.
A diversion late one night forced our car along the road that
splits Queen’s Wood.
Without headlights you are surrounded by the blackness of the woods on both sides,
eerily silent though still only moments from town, - you couldn’t wish for a better
location for a spooky teen flick.
The more we researched the woods the more excited we were. The whole
area is steeped in history not just of the coven but the hidden plague pits and the
incredible Highgate Cemetery just up the road with its sightings of Vampyrs and
ghosts and its numerous links with occult practices.
Cloe and Holly Mackie were the first girls to be cast and after seeing a stage
production at Camden School for Girls, two more, Maddie Witney and Fiona O’Brien
We auditioned for two more and eventually decided on Maya Charlery and Rachel
Summers. It was essential that the girls would ‘gel’ as a group as the banter between
friends was an essential part of the film, and they were to spend quite some time
together often huddled in the cold in a tent. Billy Mackie was allways going to be one
of the party boys so when he suggested his close friend Kazim Benson as his fellow
party-goer it seemed logical as Kaz had extensive stage and some film experience.
We were lucky to get the old Highgate School as a location as shortly
after it was completely re-modelled losing some of its wood-panelled ambience of
1565. Shooting was actually done on the old stage with one side of the ‘classroom’
being ‘dropped in’ by the director in post-production.
Shooting in the woods themselves was an experience no-one will forget. Within two
minutes of sighting one of the hidden Dancing Lady Figurines that protect the coven,
there were two stand-up rows amongst crew members, the nicest, easiest-going and
down to earth people you could meet. Two people had threatened to walk out and it
took the intervention of the ever-calm D.O.P. Franz Pagot to placate them. The Spirit
was working - we very nearly lost our sound recordist and 1st AD and would have
been unable to continue. (TBC)
Dexter began his career as a child star with a wonderful performance as 'Baby
Face' in the film 'Bugsy Malone'. He has never stopped working since and with a
memorable role in Guy Ritchie's 'Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels', he soon
became a household name. More recently he had a part in the highly successful
television series 'Misfits' and also roles in features 'Kick Ass' and 'The Three
Dexter has recently turned his hand to directing and won a Bafta nomination
for his debut film in 'Wild Bill'. He has just completed directing his second
feature 'Sunshine on Leith' and with several acting roles lined up, he will continue to
balance both directing and acting.
Holly and Cloe Mackie
The twins started acting age five and appeared in two West End productions. They
joined Sylvia Young Agency at the young age of six after notoriously being asked
to leave TheatreTrain for their repeatedly wild behaviour. Stealing the mic from the
singing tutor and tearing round the room with it in the midst of the lesson was the
SY saw potential and felt focussing on film was the way forward. She was right.
Their first film was the award winning short 'Wednesday' by Rob Sorrenti. This
lead to several other short film roles, commercials, promos and then a small part in
the feature 'Death Defying Acts' at the age of eight. 'St Trinian's' and 'Legend of
Fritton's Gold' followed with them cast as terrible twins 'Tara and Tania'.
Magda is a London based Spanish actress with dual nationality. She trained at 'The
Method Studio' and the 'City Literary Institute' and furthered her training at 'The
Actors Centre' and 'Webber Douglas'. She is equally happy on stage and screen
having performed in West End and Fringe theatrical productions along with several
shorts and features under her belt including 'S.N.U.B' and 'Six Bullets to Hell.' After
appearing as the Devil's Prince (Belial) in 'The Coven', Magda appeared alongside
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson in Hollywood blockbuster 'Fast and Furious 6'.
Maddie was born in London to an Australian Mum and English Dad and
has been singing since she could talk. Maddie has performed in school plays and in
several London music venues since the age of fourteen. Recently she performed at
The Playboy Club and at 'The Turning Point Festival' at 'The Roundhouse'.
Maya is half Spanish and half St Lucian but started acting theatre school here in
London at the age of 5. She joined the 'young actors theatre' agency by the age of
6. Maya has also been modeling since she was a baby and has appeared in several
commercials, various television series and short films. 'The Coven' is her first feature
and her casting was set in stone by Cloe and Holly's vote.
Newcomer, Fiona was born in London, and has Irish heritage. She attends drama
classes and has appeared in numerous school plays. 'The Coven' is her first venture
Rachel was born and bred in London. An actress and Voice Over Artist,
she graduated from Central School of Speech and Drama in 2010, completing a MA
Acting for Screen course and beforehand trained at A.L.R.A (Academy of Live &
Recorded Arts). With regular theatrical performances behind her, Rachel's film debut
in 'The Coven' has lead to another feature 'Calloused Hands' further roles in both
television and short films.
Billy also joined the Sylvia Young Agency at the age of eight years. He has appeared
in several commercials and promos but it was as a supporting actor in 'Harry Potter
and the Half Blood Prince' that Billy decided he wanted to act.
Since appearing in 'The Coven', he has been attached to two features currently in
London born Kazim began his theatrical career at an early age. His first show was
in the critically acclaimed 'Caroline or Change' at The National Theatre. He then
went on to perform the leading role of 'Simba' in 'The Lion King' for a period of six
Mark made his name as a boxer in the eighties where he won the ABA
Championships in his early teens. He first won a place at The Sylvia Young School
followed by the prestigious Drama Centre London. After small roles in films such
as 'Brighton Rock', Mark achieved his first starring role in Susan Jacobson's 'The
Holding' and then 'Anuvahood'.
In 2012, he added performances in 'Outside Bet' and 'The Crypt' and has since
written and starred in his gritty directorial debut 'Abducted'.
Howard trained at RADA and at the Jacques Lecoq Mime School. He started out as
a street entertainer in Covent Garden before landing a prime BBC presenting job.
This lead to top tv shows such as 'Doctor Who', 'Coronation Street' and 'Silent
Witness', several commercials and feature films, most notably to date the Bafta
Josie trained at LAMDA and is an accomplished singer and dancer with a dazzling
career on the stage in West End shows such as Phantom of the Opera, Porgy and
Bess, The Cradle will Rock and more recently Sweeney Todd.
Tony is London born but of Irish heritage. He has enjoyed a very successful career in
television playing major characters in hit shows such as 'The Bill' - which made him
a household name and 'Holby City'.
He has also recently been a central character in a major storyline in 'EastEnders'.
Hungarian born Angel is a University student based in Liverpool and part time actor.
The Coven is his first feature film.