We began by contacting the Heritage Lottery for funding, as we thought that would be the natural route. However, because we were making a film, no matter how strong the heritage credentials, we were not eligible for funding. Also, as we were not planning to make a ‘cutting edge’ film, we were not eligible for any film funding either.
Six months on we were beginning to lose hope, when we had a meeting with two of the University of Lincoln’s Media department staff: David Sleight (now a Dean of the University) and Andrew MacKay. They immediately saw the originality and potential of the film, coupled with the fact that it was being made for a specific venue (The Collection), and offered a notional sum of money which we could draw on for the hire of equipment, studios and specialist staff time (so long as we didn’t compete with students needs). With their support we suddenly had the credibility to seek further funding.
North Kesteven District Council paid for a facsimile copy of the Luttrell Psalter. This was followed by financial sponsorship from Bishop Grosseteste University College. Lincolnshire Co-operative Ltd sponsored us to a sum which amounted to almost half of the total raised. Individual businesses sponsored individual elements of the project: Cool Milk at School sponsored the medieval milk jugs; and Ruddocks of Lincoln (art supplier and printers) sponsored the recreation on vellum of two gilded and illuminated pages from the Luttrell Psalter. We were even sponsored by the Director’s grandparents!
LOVEN Patents and Trademarks provided us with the use of two offices – one for the film side and the other for costume. These are still used by WAG Screen.
In total we raised about £10,500, barely enough to cover our costs and everybody pretty well worked for free. We even bartered time and talent for resources – the harrow, for example, cost two Tudor shirts. But, with a lot of love and dedication, it was just enough!