Your upcoming movie WHY? - in a few words, what is it about?
WHY? is a student slasher that stands for Welsh Horror Yarn, and it's
the first of its kind as it's the only horror feature film to be made on
£10. It's basically about a bunch of students who go camping to a Welsh
beauty hotspot - but one of the students hides a very dark secret. Hell-bent
on revenge for his brother's death, he takes them to where he wants them
and where his deranged family of maniacs await them to punish them for
messing with the wrong family.
did WHY? come together in the first place, what got the project off
WHY? was written more by accident really, and
it's based on a true real life event where students were going missing ...
so I just built it up and made it into a very believable story which is not
full of nonsense like most films these days but with a thought-provoking
original story that needs to be seen to be believed. It was initially
called Horrorville, but that sounded boring so we changed it at the last
From what I know, WHY? is a tad
reminiscent of classic slasher movies - a genre at all dear to you,
and your favourite slashers?
No, believe it or not, horrors
or slashers are not really my favourite type of film or genre, they don't
do it for me - or at least they didn't until I made this student slasher
film on 99% passion and 1% money.
No slasher movie without
violence - so what can you tell us about the gore in your film, how far do
you go, and what was the effects work like?
We have lots of
violence in this film, not too much to put people off but enough to tell
the story and use it where it's needed. in terms of gore, oh boy! Without
revealing too much there are a few juicy gory scenes that will shock and
chill people to the bone, like one of the students being forced to watch a
victim being butchered and then force-fed human guts. If you love gore,
this one is for you. The SFX team we had helping us out on this film were
Anonymity FX, who were amazing and we will be using again on many
projects, masterminded by Shane Robins, he was literally amazing, plus we
used Stef and Josh, who were also amazing and their work will stand out
big time when you see it, sooo realistic and sooo clever. I love my SFX
teams, they done me very proud.
you describe your directorial effort to your subject at hand?
terms of how I done, I thought given all the problems we encountered along
the way on a daily basis, I done pretty well when some people thought
about giving up, due to bad weather, bad timing, etc - but it was then down
to me to bring them back from the blink of saying, "stuff
this!" It was big learning curve, and this film has taught me loads
and yet it's made me realise the fact of how tough filmmaking really is
when you make a film on a budget - but I proved to others and myself it can
be done, so it's job well done.
A job well done by everyone involved.
can you tell us about your key cast?
My key cast, like Amy
Staples, Emily Waters, Ian Davies, and Alexander Edwards were all great,
and done me proud. Their performances were not only great in terms of
being credible and believable, but they surprised me even more when they
delivered on time and when faced with problems they shone like stars that
they really are.
They were all very talented and they literally made WHY? greater by being
in it. It couldn't have been done without them so I owe them a lot.
A few words about
the shoot, and the on-set atmosphere?
Well this one is a
funny one, as we had a great laugh for most of the shoot despite setbacks
and problems, but our huge passion which was felt by everyone, made us more
driven to get the job done.
We did have a problem with the local bulls chasing us through a field and
I didn't know I could run so fast but I was gone like Roadrunner and so
were the rest of us.
We got kicked off one beach so we had to move to another, but for every
problem, we just used it as an excuse to be even more determined to make WHY?
in one piece.
Overall, it was a success thanks to my great cast and crew despite the
barrel of hiccups which just made us more keen.
When and where
will the film be released onto the general public?
is currently in post-production stage so we will be hitting the editing
table very soon and then knock up a rough copy of the film ready for our
premiere, which is gonna be screened at the university here in Swansea on
the 11th of November. But as for general release, we are in talks with four
possible distribitors, three in the UK and 1 in the States. If none of
them bite, then we intend to release it via the self-distribution route
with Distrify and Amazon, as we intend to become a distribution company
go back to the beginnings of your career: What got you into filmmaking to
begin with, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?
have always been an avid film watcher, then I got interested after reading
tons of books, then I started making short films for my local school
called Bullyboy and Scoria, and my passion for film grew from there
really. I have never been trained as I am very self-taught and believe that
you should tackle the world by trial and error rather than emulate others'
way of thinking, as this makes you a better filmmaker, and so far it has worked as
I have produced and directed 2 shorts and 2 feature films and I have plans for more.
can you tell us about your filmwork prior to WHY??
I have done 2 shorts, Bullyboy (2000) and Scoria (2001) and they shaped the
way I perceive how films should be made, out of passion more so than
profit. I then had a break from filming then got back into it when I knew
there was something missing from my life, hence why I penned Blagger
(2012), which is crime/comedy film made here in South Wales in Swansea and
will be distributed via myself as it's aimed at the local public whereas
with WHY? (2012) we aim to find the right distributor who can sell it
future projects you'd like to share?
Yes, we have another
film to do this year, but i'ts more half documentary and half fictional than
fully fictional like the rest. It's called Project: Ouija, and it's about a
bunch of students who get given an assignment by the tutor to investigate
paranormal activity in some haunted castle, but done over one night using a
real ouija board and using it for real. So this one is the one to watch
Then next year after we all take a break, I have plans to film Penpal
(2013), which is a mates film, and Swansea House Mafia (2013), a criminally
insane film written and directed by Angela Robinson, Inshallah (2013), a
controversial Pro-Muslim film, and then Blagger 2 (2013), the Cardiff
versus Swansea gangster film that will be epic. Then I think I will retire
after all that, because I am sure I will be knackered by the end of the
year. Yes happy but smiling all the way to the film festivals.
How would you
describe yourself as a director?
I would describe myself as
a very pasionate film maker with everything to gain and everything to
Filmmakers who inspire
Quentin Tarantino, Kevin Smith, Michael Moore, Wes
Craven, Michael Mann, Stanley Kubrick, Ron Howard, Michael Bay, the Scott-brothers
Your favourite movies?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
terms of horror I don't have a favourite as there are so many good ones
out there, but as for all other genres, it has to be Gladiator or Braveheart.
... and of
course, films you really deplore?
Films I hate? Mmm I think
all the Wrong
Turn-collection of films were rubbish and very wrong to make
and produce, and I thought Halloween was crap as well.
There are loads that I deplore, how long is this interview? They are just
a few of the films I won't watch again, well not in this lifetime or the
website, Facebook, whatever else?
Find out more of our work
and whatnot at www.underworldfilms.org
and our Facebook page.
Anything else you are
dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
Are we going to submit these films to film festivals?
Oh most certainly,
whether we have a distribution deal or not, I love the whole film festival
day out experience so yes, where's my suitcase, because I think Cannes film
fest will love WHY? when we take it there next year
for the interview!