It’s 1987 and a child abductor is at large. After a demoralizing Girl Guide meeting, 11 year-old Fleur is the only girl without a car waiting for her.
Locked out and face-to-face with shadowy strangers, Fleur must make quick decisions about who to trust.
When Fleur’s aunt finally shows up spewing apologetic prattle, Fleur makes a brash decision.
Writer/producer: Genevieve Scott
Director/producer: Phil Connell
Producer: Jenn Mason
Survival Guide is the result of a growing collaboration with writer Genevieve Scott and producer Jenn Mason (Stop Calling Me Honey Bunny).
I was attracted to Gen’s script because it is about that seminal moment when you first feel dangerously alone and suddenly life chips away at your innocence. I related to that feeling of being let down, but also the freedom you feel when you discover that you can take care of yourself.
It was a nice challenge to work with actors to bring Gen’s off-beat, foreboding tone to life.
I was also thrilled to tackle an 80s period piece (I love the 80s!). We spent a hunk of time leaving notes on windshields of cars made between 1975 and 1987, and cooking up low-cost ways to achieve the guide uniforms, but it really came together when we added Ari Posner’s synthy Beverly Hills Cop inspired score.
Thanks to the pro cinematography of Pasha Patriki and the art direction of Stephanie Senater, we have a production value that far exceeded our means.
The final film is this sort of odd-ball combination of crime and coming-of-age drama, with a lead performance from young Annie Rutherford (named ‘Newcomer to Watch For’ by the Canadian Film Fest in 2014) of which I am really proud.
Thanks for watching.
About Phil Connell
Phil Connell has been making movies since 2004. His recent short films Kissing Drew and Survival Guide have enjoyed solid festival runs around the world while he inches closer to his first feature effort, Jump.
At the same time, Phil keeps busy with commercial advertising work and has a number of other scripts in development.
In the past, Phil has been a theatre producer, LGBT-tourism entrepreneur, digital media executive and management consultant.