Stuart Hazeldine, a UK-based screenwriter who has worked on studio films including Knowing and The Day The Earth Stood Still, is making his feature directorial debut on a project titled Exam.
The low-budget UK feature, also written by Hazeldine, is a psychological thriller set in one room. Hazeldine describes it as a cross between 'Cube, 12 Angry Men and The Apprentice.'
Because the entire actoin of the film takes place in one room, it will shoot almost entirely at a set at Elstree Studios (on 35mm). Exam will shoot July 7-Aug 2.
Hazeldine's US writing projects include Summit's Knowing directed by Alex Proyas starring Nicolas Cage. He also did rewrite work for Fox's The Day The Earth Stood Still starring Keanu Reeves. He's adapted Paradise Lost for Legendary Pictures and is currently adapting The Tripods for Proyas and Paramount.
The cast lined up for Exam features Luke Mably, Chuk Iwuji, Jimi Mistry, Adar Beck, Nathalie Cox, Pollyana Mcintosh, John Lloyd Fillingham, Colin Salmon, Christopher Carey and Gemma Chan.
The director's own Hazeldine Films is producing in association with Gareth Unwin's Bedlam Productions. Unwin, who has worked as a first AD on a number of films including Nomad and Last Battle Dreamer, makes his debut as a feature producer. He previously worked with Hazeldine on the 2005 short Christian.
The action is set in the near future, when eight candidates reach the final job application stage for dream job at a mysterious and powerful corporation and have to figure out how to beat each other in a confusing task.
'It's a psychological thriller with a bit of abstract surrealism,' Hazeldine tells ScreenDaily.com. 'It's about how far people would go to secure what they think is the dream job. There is something of a horror structure to it, but it's really just about human behaviour.'
The film is private-equity funded with a budget less than £1m. The film-makers hope to finish the film in time to submit it to Sundance 2009.