Historical - Pre-Production 2012

An ambitious Dynasty inspired
an Industry driven by innovation and nature
- the World changed forever

    • Year of production
    • 2012
    • Genres
    • Historical
    • Countries
    • Budget
    • 1 - 3 M$
    • Director(s)
    • Peter NICHOLSON
    • Writer(s)
    • Ashley SIDAWAY, Robert SIDAWAY
    • Producer(s)
    • Iain BROWN (Iron Films), Robert SIDAWAY (Iron Films)
    • Synopsis
    • At the turn of the 18th century an inspired, driven, young man in his early twenties was gripped with a fervent determination to expand his small, brass forging business into iron. In so doing he transformed the world, setting in motion the birth of the Industrial Revolution. In a few square miles of the Coalbrookdale valley, at the heart of Britain, the first Abraham Darby established a dynasty -- a Quaker family that risked all in their quest to perfect the manufacture of iron and export it across Europe and the Americas.
      In 1693, at the age of 14, Abraham Darby is sent to Birmingham as the apprentice to a factory owner where he learns the art of business and ways of the Quaker faith. In five years, he also falls in love and when he pursues the dream of his own business in Bristol it is with Mary as his wife.
      The brass foundry is a success, but Abraham’s innovative ideas of using iron is frustrated by his short-sighted business partners. Despite utilizing the skills of John Thomas and the Dutch foreman Dries to prove his theories of creating low-cost iron products, only obstacles are put in Abraham’s way.
      And with the tragic death of his daughter, Abraham realizes he must move away for the sake of both his family and his career. In Shropshire, he finds a small valley where the convergence of available natural minerals, the transportation capacity of the River Severn and the remnants of an old blast furnace make for an ideal situation to progress his innovations and settle his family. Abraham finally succeeds in proving the success of producing with iron -- but dies tragically
      young and debt-ridden, his first son still a child. John takes over running the company until Abraham Darby II is old enough to join and learn the workings of the Colabrookdale Company. Despite seeing the business now established and successful, the new Abraham is also beset with personal tragedy -- the death of his first wife and baby sons leave him a young widower and single father to a beautiful daughter, Hannah.
      Unlike his father, Abraham II struggles to find a cause to call his own, an ambition to reach towards.
      IRON / Synopsis 2
      Then he meets A biah, a determined, confident Quaker minister who inspires him to push forward with the next great innovation -- creating malleable iron. This can now be used for the broadest construction of iron productions small and large. The industry is forever changed.
      At the same time as this success, problems arise. The workforce is increasingly unhappy with bad housing and food shortages, issues which eventually erupt into a full riot. Though the disturbances are put down and a social program instigated, the personal dark clouds that suffocate Abraham are unrelenting -- none more so than when Hannah, now a young wife, dies.
      With Abiah continually away preaching, his health is in terminal decline and history repeats itself when Abraham leaves his young son without a father, but with a family belief instilled - - to progress the company and the industry.
      Abraham Darby III is the great salesman. He expands the business by the construction of new blast furnaces and yards, by expanding the company’s network of contacts around the country, by increasing productivity. But always he lives in the shadow of his father and grandfather, by the legends that Abiah has narrated. And so Abraham determines to aim for the greatest achievement yet in the valley -- to build the world’s first ‘iron bridge’. From selling the prospect to fellow investors to a personal involvement through every part of the design, casting and final construction, Abraham risks his health and the company’s fortune in order to see his dream of the 120 foot structure spanning the River Severn made real.
      When the final budget goes to double the cost, it leaves the company in danger of financial ruin and, though Abraham is applauded for his creativity, engineering and technological brilliance, he is crushed under the weight of expectation. Persecuted by his own self-doubt.
      Retiring to the same family farm that his grandfather initially left to go to Birmingham, Abraham contracts scarlet and fever and dies. Leaving his wife, Rebecca, and the other women of the Darby family to steady the company business and provide a vision that builds on the achievements and fame of one hundred years to revolutionise the world and usher in our modern society
    • Partners & financing
    • Prime Focus
    • Beginning of shooting
    • Mar 01, 2012