Director’s Vision

Cast and Crew

Marketing Plan

Director's Vision - Pat Kelman

I think ELSA has the potential to be a very successful commercial project, that I am very excited to be a part of.

Why ELSA? 

The script of ELSA is unlike any other British film I have seen for years. It is high concept, commercially minded and very clearly targeted at a particular genre. Character comedy is what I do best and it is a long time since I have read a script as strong as this at first draft. 

The Script: 

I am very taken with the way the script is resolutely British, yet written in the American model. It is squarely aimed at the US style character driven comedy currently pioneered by Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughan, Will Ferrell and their colleagues but with a British tone and temperament. 

The script follows the model of films such as Dodgeball, Zoolander and Anchorman in that it places its clearly defined comic characters in a very tight three act structure with a compelling through line. It takes the classic “Underdog versus Big Business” concept and does not veer from it. It is very focused on its idea and milks it for maximum value. We have a strong everyman figure (Warren) in the centre of the story and a strongly defined villain in Larry. We have a compelling goal that drives the narrative. Although the characters are what give ELSA its flavour and life it is the pulse of the structure that keeps it on track and keeps us turning the page. There is little in the script that distracts from the central need – to keep ELSA open. 

In this respect alone this focus on strong structure makes the script for ELSA stand out from many other comedy scripts out there. 

It is also very, very funny.

Visual Style & Editing: 

I want ELSA to be as mainstream “American” as possible in its visual style. Crisp, clear, precisely framed images that are working to invisibly support the narrative rather than draw attention away from character and story. Let the performances, art direction and script do the work and let the visuals and editing guide and enhance the audience experience. My producer, director of photography and I have discussed approaches to the visual presentation of the piece and have decided to shoot in the classic single camera style using the full range of grip options available to us within the budget. I would like ELSA to be visually comparable to the standard Hollywood fare that we see in the multiplex every day. 

Filmic Cross-references:

Almost any Sports Movie!

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy Dodgeball 

The Mouse That Roared

Passport to Pimlico



Staying Alive





Performance Style:

The script has fused British character quirkiness with the heightened, broader comic approach of current US comedy. Although the performances need to be heightened and exaggerated they also need to be completely deadpan. The performances must support rather than distract from the film’s powerful narrative drive. This is going to be the performers’ biggest challenge and also the most liberating aspect of the task in front of them.They have freedom to be big and bold, and are completely driven by the pulse of the narrative – as long as they keep everything moving. My background in improvised film making will help here and is the most compelling reason why I was asked to direct ELSA. I will be encouraging the actors to be relaxed and flexible and to try anything – as long as it supports the story and drives the narrative. My approach to the performance style is – serve the story, make sure we have everything covered – but add a little improv to the mix to make it fly. In this respect, we are honouring both the US Stiller/Vaughan/Ferrell inspiration of this script and its very British quirkiness.