Your new movie Elsie
& Joe - in a few words, what is it about?
about two neighbours who donít really get along and wind each other up.
Elsie falls ill so she hires Joe to take her to places that meant
something to her throughout her life.
did the movie come into being in the first place?
I met the writer Richard Addison a few years ago and
we talked about working together some day as we both had similar views of
how films should work and be presented.
I had just finished work on a feature film and I
wanted to do another short of my own so I thought of a few writers I knew,
who might have been interested. I knew I wanted to do a drama piece, as
previous films Iíd done had either been comedy or horror, and Richard is
a drama writer so it all feel into place. I gave him a ring to see if he
was interested and he said yes.
talk about your screenwriter Richard Addison for a bit, and what was your
Richard is a fantastic comedy and drama writer.
Heís worked on many different projects over the years in the
so I felt very lucky to be working with him. We both met up several times
and just threw ideas at each other. I knew I wanted to do a film with a
young actor and an older actress, lucky Richard had an idea already in
place that fit that description. Eventually we got the story together and
Richard started writing.
Because of Richardís work ethic the first draft
came very quickly. With each draft we both had some notes on what to add
and take away until we had the shooting script. Richard was also present
at auditions and rehearsals because he understands and knows who these
characters are and I felt that this would be helpful to the actors playing
them. All in all I would say it was a very good and productive working
How would you describe your
directorial approach to your subject at hand?
From the very beginning I said to Richard that I
didnít want this film to be a sympathy story. This meant approaching the
film as a drama comedy but not focusing too much on the comedy as we
didnít want it to be silly. Part of the reason the film has Ďfunny
momentsí is because real life isnít all depressing. If someone is
terminally ill they have high and low points, itís not a constants flow
of sadness, so I wanted to try and show that in the film. Also if this had
been melodramatic I donít think the film would have worked and would
have been far too cheesy and not that enjoyable to watch.
Also, in terms of shooting, didnít want to get in
the way with fancy unnecessarily complex camera shots. Each shot, I hope,
reinforces and tells the story. It's all about Elsie & Joe so we as a
crew just needs to keep out of the way and let the actors do their
I also wanted the film to look beautiful, like
the old school road trip movies, so I had a talk with the cinematographer,
Paul Dudbridge, and we both
agreed to keep it naturalistic and make the most of the environment we
where shooting in.
Joe - which character could you identify with more, and why?
Definitely Joe, because Iím a ladies man. No just
kidding. I guess by default Iíd have to say Joe because heís closer to
my age than Elsie. He does have a nicer house than me and has a better way
with the ladies than I do but ultimately I understand why, to start with,
he doesnít like Elsie. That old disapproving neighbour who keeps getting
in the way of his fun.
At the same time I understand Elsieís motives
in the film and Iím sure audience members who are older will side with
Elsie, thatís what we wanted from the film. Everyone can identify with
one of the characters as itís quite a believable story. By the end of
it, hopefully, the audience will like both characters.
talk about your leads Janet Lacey and Oliver Park for a bit, and what made
them perfect for their roles?
Well I knew Oliver from previous projects and he was
my only choice for Joe. I gave him the script and luckily he said yes. I
think he was tired of playing bad guys and wanted a nicer character to
play! He just was Joe. When I read the script for the first time the image
in my head was Oliver. Of course in rehearsals we both had different ideas
on how to do it so we worked on it and the character of Joe was born from
that really. Oliverís a fantastic actor who can do pretty much do
anything. In my films heís done comedy, drama and action. The only thing
thatís he canít do are female parts, thought Iím sure heíd give it
Janet was a lucky find. I had a bit of trouble
casting Elsie. No one really fitted the part, they where too harsh, too
comical or too wooden. Eventually we found an Elsie but then she dropped
out before filming. Luckily she put me in contact with Janet, who
auditioned and nailed it. She has that stern look about her but also can
play the cheeky fun going Elsie which is what we needed. Most importantly
though she worked well with Oliver and looked good with him on screen.
We were really lucky finding her and this was also her first film she had
done as sheís mainly a theatre actress. But she studied at The Bristol
Old Vic and understood the difference between stage and film acting.
What can you tell us about
the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
It was a lot of fun. Most of the crew had worked
together before in some capacity so there was a lot of fun and games. It
was a pretty easy-going shoot to be honest. No major problems really. Even
though we had a lot of locations and travelling, everyone seemed to have
a good time. We where also blessed with fantastic weather which made it
much more enjoyable, until people started burning.
This link here is a behind the scenes video and it
shows the kind of fun we all had.
$64-question of course, when and where will the movie be released onto the
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
At the moment itís
going off to festivals but as soon as that is all over a DVD with be
available from the Manix Pictures-website. I will also most likely put it
Any future projects beyond Elsie
Yes there are. Iím currently working on corporate
videos as part of my production company Manix Pictures. Got to keep the
money coming in!
In terms of short or feature films some are in
production. Firstly we have Tilly and the Clock which is a fantasy
film written by Elsie
& Joe writer Richard Addison based an a story
idea by me. That will most likely be filmed at the beginning of 2014.
After that will be Night Skies which is an action film based on
the superhero genre written by me. Not sure when that will happen yet but
maybe at the end of 2014.
Finally we have a feature film called Farmers
Vs Gangsters, obviously a comedy being written by Richard and me. No
idea when that will happen but weíre currently working on the story and
script and might start planning to shoot a trailer soon!
Your/your movie's website, Facebook,
My website it www.manixpictures.co.uk
Facebook page is www.facebook.com/ManixPictures
And my Twitter is https://twitter.com/ManixPictures
Also my Youtube channel is called ĎAdam
Anything else you are dying to mention
and I have merely forgotten to ask?
Not really, just thank you for taking the time to
ask me these questions and watching the film.
Also have a look on my channel you will find my
last short film In The Lantern in its entirety along with a few
Thanks for the