Incidental Characters addresses some of the key challenges of modern life - overcoming loneliness, finding purpose and being true to your identity.
Set in the beautiful, historic town of Lewes, East Sussex, Incidental Characters is a very British comedy about fitting in, falling out, getting lost and getting back on track. It tells the story of four very different but equally socially awkward people as they heroically muddle through life.
Alf (Howard Perret) finds other people difficult to read. He lives in a world of his own; everyone else is an alien. With meaning so often lost in translation, Alf stumbles into friendship before falling head over heels in love.
Josie (Sophia Capasso) is a dreamer. Recently graduated from Art School she now finds herself lacking inspiration and disillusioned, failing to launch her career. She’s drifting, searching for answers but asking all the wrong questions.
Alison (Isabella Marshall) is stuck in her lonely habits, using alcohol to distract from her isolation. In a small town, it is too easy to keep going over old ground. She makes the same mistakes time and again.
Tony (Steve Watts) is a hapless romantic, struggling to come to terms with his sexuality. Twice married and seeking a new companion, he lets the need for approval stand in the way of true love.
Incidental Characters is a story of hope. How you never know when a chance meeting or coincidence will change your life for the better. It is about the magic of moments and the influence we each have on each other, often without knowing it.
Some audience quotes from our preview screenings...
"I loved it! A love letter to life, loss & Lewes. A bittersweet and quirky window into the lives of four Incidental Characters."
"Fantastic! Refreshing and life affirming. A breath of fresh air in an increasingly manic world."
"There is such an open warmth to Josie. From my first read of the script I was drawn in by her sheer honesty and need to give and receive love. There is something so pure and vulnerable in her which was a gift to play.
I felt a great responsibility of care for my character and Ben’s collaborative way of working and preparing allowed Josie to develop and grow incredibly naturally.
The entire team gave such space and attention - plus many a laugh! - I feel very lucky to have been able to give life to Josie."
Incidental Characters tackles big themes by focusing on small moments; all the comedies and tragedies that play out in every day conversations and interactions.
I also wanted to show each of the main characters at times when they are alone with their thoughts, in their own worlds. The film tells the story of what happens when these worlds collide - the huge influence we can have on each other’s lives, often without knowing it.
Some people describe film-making as a marathon. For me, it’s more of a relay race. Having developed a script we could all believe in as producers, it was important then to find collaborators who would bring magic of their own. We shared the script early, to attract actors who felt a genuine affinity to each of the characters and went through a comprehensive casting process to get the right mix of personalities. Through trust, you afford people the confidence to bring their best work.
Incidental Characters is my first feature film. It comes after many years learning my craft as a writer and director - both in classrooms and on set. I have had many mentors and worked with people - actors, crew and in post-production - who have challenged and inspired me. For me, like many creative people, the hardest thing to discover is what you want to say. Incidental Characters is about that struggle - being vulnerable and open to finding what it is to be ‘nobody but yourself’.
"I really enjoyed helping Ben bring the characters he has created to life, through their clothes and props, and the spaces they inhabit. I hope the film visually shows off our beautiful home town of Lewes. Every day of filming was such fun. All the cast and crew were brilliant...and I got to make puppets, cardboard spaceships and robots!”
“Incidental Characters was a joy to work on. From its interesting characters, brilliant puppets and great costumes, all set against the beautiful back drop of Lewes, it should make for a very enchanting film."
Toffee Hammer Productions
Studio 5, Star Brewery,
Castle Ditch Lane, Lewes,
East Sussex, BN7 1YJ
Tel: +44 (0)1273 472885