Never afraid to experiment, Al Carretta is a trailblazing British filmmaker. Never funded and working tirelessly with ingenuity and the resources available, he now has 21 multi-genre indie features behind him since 2010. With a snowball effect and wide releasing on streaming platforms thanks to industry disruptor Filmhub, his films are also starting to make their production budgets back; an impressive achievement for zero marketing spend.
With original soundtracks also produced on every film an enviable catalog of original content and intellectual property has been created over the decade that comes in on a total spend of less than £65k. Throw in the development of Nightpiece Film Festival, launched in the 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe (now in it's 9th year) and you have the framework behind a passionate and devoted arts producer who constantly creates acting opportunities and stays on the filmmaking pulse.
With so many ideas proven and executed Carretta's stage background and acting skill set is often forgotten. In 2010, only after a decade of stage performance built around countless productions in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe was the full transition into filmmaking considered with mafia crime drama 'What You See Is What You Get' , on stage in the 2009 EdFringe as 'The Tears of A Clown', coming together as his first feature.
In Autumn 2010 he delivered the 1990s set romantic tragedy 'The Length Of Spring' whilst 2011 saw the production of 'Africa In Her Blood'. Originally produced on stage in Edinburgh in 2008, the film dealt with the concerns of John Smith, a farmer desperately trying to escape a collapsing Zimbabwe. In 2012, a revised version of 'Wysiwyg' was delivered. 'The Devil Made Me Do It' saw Carretta reprise the DiMaggio role in a re-imagination of the original stage script. Moving to Canon DSLRs and higher production values, the film proved to be a marker point and in 2021, nine years after it's original production, an Amazon Prime release and the coincidence of title alignment with 'The Conjuring 3:The Devil Made Me Do It' helped it surpass all expectations by recouping it's meagre £2k production budget and more.
In Summer 2013, the film 'Super Tuesday', about the controversial 1960 US Election was produced for simultaneous release on stage in the Edinburgh Fringe and VOD (Video On Demand). Immediately following the 'Tuesday'production 'A Mass For The Dying' was made in Autumn 2013 as a companion piece to 'Africa In Her Blood', sticking much closer to the original stage script.
In Spring 2014, after eighteen months in production alongside other projects, Carretta delivered 'Automatically Sunshine', a genre piece set in England dealing with the issues of human trafficking and the pressures of undercover policing. This was his first 'screenplay only' production with no prior stage version. In the same Summer, Carretta launched the Nightpiece Film Festival in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. He also began work on the feature 'The Madness Of Tellaralette Seville', which debuted under the radar in the Edinburgh Fringe. Concerning the lives of drone operators scarred by PTSD, the project was shelved for three years until filming finally took place between October 2017 and April 2018 with a May 2018 streaming release to become Carretta's 11th feature. With a cast of largely unknown performers, bar a unique cameo from 'Legend' actress Annabelle Lanyon, 'Madness' was his first total experiment in visual style.
Continuing to explore previously produced stage material, Carretta turned around the emotional drama 'Tara Reata', on the rebound from 'Madness'. An unofficial screen test to align key female roles for 13th feature 'th'dread rattlin' the entire production was shot and edited in May 2018. Post Fringe, th'dread rattlin', Carretta's third feature of 2018 - took everyone by surprise. The experimental psychological horror, complete with a million in jokes and designed as a framework test to see what might potentially work in a horror, gained massive traction across the internet. The film exceeded all distribution expectations for a sub £1k film.
Across 2019, Carretta slowly worked his way back to more traditional filmmaking structure. Delivering the feature short 'Homeless Comforts' in April on a deliberate budget of zero, shooting overlapped with the dark psychological thriller 'Princess in the Castle' and the the crime drama 'Cocaine.Gangster.Talk.' Originally shot as a standalone film, CGT looked to overlap too many thematically similar set-ups so the decision was made to use the best sections of CGT to create a definitive version of 'Automatically Sunshine' and 'Precious Little Things'. With scratch re-edits of all previously filmed material, a full remaster and a chronological order the re-imagined, now epic 3hr film - shot from 2012 onwards - was released online on 31st December 2019 to reflect Carretta's first decade in indie filmmaking.
In 2020 - amidst the restrictions of the Covid-19 lockdown, Carretta still managed to deliver 2 more indie features and made a long desired switch into 4K production. 'Set Roaring War' was filmed in late June as UK lockdown eased. Prepped for an August release as part of the Virtual Edinburgh Fringe, SRW is a UK focused drama about a student's unorthodox method to evict her troubled flatmate. By Autumn, with block availability of a venue in sight, the opportunity was seized upon to build a full set and shoot 'The Judge of Harbor County' just days before the UK entered another lockdown. Originally on stage in the 2011 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, 'Judge' was delivered as a March 2021 release and continues to post strong streaming figures on the back of another nominal £2k total spend.
Filmed on another purpose designed set in April '21, 'Saint Cecilia of Spiralence' - about a troubled English Nun with premonitions of the JFK assassination in 1963 - was another stage to screen transition. First seen at the Etcetera Theatre, Camden in February 2020, 'Cecilia' was released in November 2021. Overlapping into Autumn 2021, production began on 19th feature, 'Killahurtz'. Originally slated for 2020 production, the Covid 19 pandemic slowed progress on the original film. The kooky script - about an obsessive young woman who poisons people with Fentayl laced headphones hit streaming services in Summer 2022.