Your new movie Shadows
of a Stranger - in a few words, what is it
The mysteries of the mind, the seductive power of evil and the perils
of running your own PI business!
How did the project fall together in the first place?
My co-director Richard Dutton [Richard
Dutton interview - click here] and I were working for a guy
who was creatively inept. It was very frustrating, so we plotted to go and
make something ourselves. Rich suddenly divulged that he had written a
script, so I stole it off him and read it. I was surprised to find that it
was actually amazing! In my mind, we had to make it. But how could we
afford to build all those sets and organise all those locations ...
Do talk about Shadows
of a Stranger's approach to the thriller genre
for a bit!
It's not your obvious "go to" for first-time filmmakers, so
for that reason alone I love the idea of flirting with the thriller genre
You filmed Shadows
of a Stranger mostly in front of a blue screen,
using quite a bit of CGI - why, and could you talk us through the process
of filming that way for a bit? And how did it influence you as director?
Bluescreen is a nightmare! It takes a lot of imagination to act
correctly in front of it, and it's difficult to direct people who aren't
used to the process (most had never done any acting on bluescreen before).
But it was really the only affordable way for us to get at all close to
what was in the script on our (lack of) budget!
With the experience gathered from Shadows
of a Stranger, would you
ever shoot another movie that way?
Not without a lot of money and a team of CGI people to do all of the
backgrounds for us! In fact, no. No I wouldn't!
What can you tell us about your overall directorial approach to your
story at hand?
My role was more technical and blocking-related. I tended to direct
people's actions more, due to the fact that I did most of the
storyboarding. Rich was in charge of getting the right emotions out of the
actors. We both crossed over into each other's territory of course, but
that's the way it mostly worked.
You also play one of the leads in Shadows
of a Stranger, so do talk
about your character, and what did you draw upon to bring Xander to life?
And can we find any of Chris Clark in your character?
There's probably a bit too much of Chris Clark in there, I'd say.
Although Xander is far more serious (I'm an immature clown, mostly).
I wanted to play Xander as soon as I read the script. I think I saw a
rare opportunity to play a character within my age range that has some
real depth and intrigue.
Xander's "look" is close to how I like to look in real
life... but his hair is bigger!!
What can you tell us about the rest of your cast, and why exactly
It's a real mix of people in there. Some from theatrical backgrounds,
some first timers and some seasoned TV and film actors.
There are many who have appeared in Doctor
Who. That's probably my
fault, because I am a huge fan of Doctor
Who and thought this was a good
excuse to work with some of its stars!
A few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
The constant blue glow of our set actually made for a really surreal,
dreamlike atmosphere. I think that has seeped into the feel of the movie
to a degree and I like it.
On the whole, we had a good laugh with everyone on the cast and crew
and kept things rather silly and fun. It was damn hard work though and I
remember some particularly gruelling summer days when the temperature was
quite unbearable in our huge tin oven of a studio!
Anything you can tell us about critical and audience reception of Shadows
of a Stranger yet?
It seems to be a love it or hate it film. Which is fine. The people who
hate it are generally the ones who miss the multi-layered complex
elements of the story.
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Any future projects you'd like to share?
Video Nazi! A horror comedy from our warped minds. We've teamed up with
new production member, Dan Sumpton for this one. It's going to be
Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
Thanks for the interview!