We have talked about this before [click
here], but do bring us up to speed: Your new movie Seize
the Night - in a few words, what is it about?
ďRenegade vampire assassin Eva has escaped from a secret bio-research
compound. Hell bent on revenge she learns a terrible secret that may force
her to unite with the devil she knows in order to defeat the greatest of
all evilsĒ is the logline. Itís about mystery, intrigue and
action, blended with horror and sci-fi in a world filled with darkness.
the Night features quite a few quite accomplished fight scenes -
so obviously you have to talk about the stunt work on your film for a bit?
you for that compliment! Fight co-ordination was arranged by Roy
Scammell, who although now semi-retired was one of Hollywoods leading
stunt people and choreographers. He was stunt arranger on Stanley
Kubrickís Clockwork Orange, worked on six Bond films, did many projects
with Ridley Scott including Alien, where he doubled for Sigourney Weaver
as well as playing the Alien itself in the shuttle ejection scene. Roy has
shared the silver screen with greats such as Frank Sinatra, John Wayne,
Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Michael Caine, Tony Curtis, Paul McCartney,
Peter Sellers, etc. Roy also worked on many TV series including Doctor
Who, The Sweeney and The
Professionals! AJ Singh, who did a lot of the
cinematography on Seize
the Night worked with Royís choreography and
translated that into the shots you see on screen.
can you tell us about your overall directorial approach to your story at
Being in front Ďandí behind the camera is not
easy. The approach I took when on camera was to fully brief my two
cinematographers Donato Cinicolo (who took more of a traditional DOP style
role) and AJ Singh, before shooting a scene, running through my shot list
and how I wanted everything to go. Iíd then review the footage to
make sure it was as intended. With the time constraints we had on
set that was no easy task, thatís when having a professional and
committed crew that understand your vision and maintain high standards
comes into its own.
the Night you play a very badass chick - so how much fun was it to
portray a character like this, and to what extent could you identify with
Apart from the slight loss of sanity, thatís pretty
much me! Not that I go around kicking and shooting people of course,
but I have studied martial arts in the past and Iím a no nonsense
logical kind of person. It was fun because Eva is exactly the kind
of character I would want to play in a film. Iím a filmmaker first
before being an actress, and it was a seriously tough job to take on
everything I did with this project, thereís no underestimating that but
I wouldnít change it, I loved playing her. Iíve been offered a
fair few roles since Seize
the Night took off on the scene, but Iíve
turned down the majority of them because they arenít the kind of part I
would want to play, and I donít have time to spend on projects that I
donít find suitable. Being an attractive woman in horror I think
most people make an assumption that I would want to play the part of the
screaming half naked victim, thatís definitely not me :-)
Do talk about the rest of your cast for a bit, and
what did they bring to the table, what was it like working with them?
Well they were just awesome. I knew some of my cast hadnít acted
before and believe it or not I auditioned nobody for this film. I
can probably hear some small winces from filmmakers and critics asking
why. Why is because I only cast people in roles I knew they could
associate with from their own life experience. Acting relies on drawing on your own personal experiences to really be credible in my
honest opinion, youíre only really pulling out pieces of yourself,
unless you are very experienced or well trained. In the same way I
probably would have no hope in playing the part of the half naked
screaming victim character I mentioned earlier, unless it were for
comedy effect of course. For example Chris Hampshire who plays
Mikkel, the werewolf enforcer is a body guard in real life, in fact a
chunk of my cast and crew were high trained body guards, ex police,
martial artists etc., which is quite handy for an action film to be
honest! Carey Thring (who plays Tobias the werewolf pack alpha) is
a professionally trained up and coming actor, so is Anthony Ilott (who
plays Dante, the vampire council member). Anthony actually played
a the lead character in Wrong Turn 6, which is a 20th Century Fox film.
Paul Ewen who played Joe, the arms dealer, is a well known UK creature
actor. He hadnít had many speaking parts in his career and I
hope this will be something that will help change that because heís
fully capable thatís for certain. Iím very happy with everyone's performance, we rehearsed well to be ready for filming and
Iíd certainly like to see them all in future productions of mine.
can you tell us about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
atmosphere was great, despite the extreme cold, mainly because everyone
was so excited, believed in the project and really wanted to be there.
Iíve said it before and Iíll say it again, Iím very grateful to have
had such a positive, professional and committed cast and crew. It
was shot mainly on weekends across the period of a month in a variety of
locations, ranging from an open barn in the middle of the countryside
(probably the coldest shoot of them all), a garage, factory, victorian
streets, industrial areas, along the banks of the Thames in London, you
name it. Nowhere nice and warm unfortunately! We did shoot in
faux nuclear bunker too, but sadly due to a sensor issue on the camera the
footage was unusable and I had to reshoot in a cheaper location.
you can tell us about audience and critical reception of your movie yet?
hasnít seen a large audience yet so I can only really comment on it
critic wise. Yes itís seen a great reception to date. Many
horror sites have covered Seize the Night, including your own, many thanks
for that. The average rating seems to be around 7/10 which is pretty
good for a first film, with a lot of compliments on the production values,
VFX by Davy Simmons, and the score by Eric Elick, which were elements that
were critical to me and my style of filmmaking. The film has had
great coverage in Dread Central, Starburst Magazine (online),
Magazine (UK national print) and now Digital Filmmaker Magazine
(international print). The Horror Channel, which is incredibly
popular in the UK, also covered the initial trailer release. I
couldnít ask for more really, itís a pretty incredible response to
date! To top all that off I won the MMBF Rising Star Award at The
Yellow Fever Independent Film Festival in Belfast in October for my
filmmaking achievements on Seize the Night.
Seize the Night
you have created a very complex "world", especially considering
it's only a short - any chance you'll return to this world for more movies
or extend Seize the Night
to feature length?
I would love to, I really would. If I could find an investor that
would enable me to make a feature length version as the same or better
production values I would do that in a heartbeat. There are many
many more elements to be explored and in the least it warrants a second
short film instalment. In my ideal world this would translate into
a TV series as I often find TV series give you much more room to explore
plot lines. Let's see, Iíll be releasing it this year to the
public at large so I guess it will depend on the kind of buzz it creates.
Any future projects you'd like to
share - and based on your work on Seize
the Night, will you ever return to the director's chair?
100% and more! Primarily my career is now filmmaking first (producing/directing). Acting is a secondary element for projects
that appeal to me, and then finally the modeling is more of a hobby now
than anything else. Iím pretty much finishing up on Seize the Night
at the minute in terms of getting the behind the scenes material
done and dusted and setting up an online release etc. I do have a
music video I directed alongside fellow filmmaker Merlyn Roberts and then
subsequently edited and graded coming out in February I believe.
That was for a metal band called The Heretic Order who claim to be the
most evil band in Britain, and perform horror themed stage shows.
Iím also set to star in The Morning Star Preserves Company by Kev Harte
[Kev Harte interview - click here]
of Abandonhope Films this year as the lead character Laura Kinsey and
hopefully a few other bits if they get off of the ground. I also
have a segment in Richard Gladmanís Fragments of Fear coming out and a
small part in a faux snuff movie by Dan Brownlie [Dan
Brownlie interview - click here] of Brand-B
Corp which is
complete and set for distribution this year as part of an anthology.
As far as my own projects are concerned I have a few ideas in mind and
will likely be crowdfunding again to start my next big thing soon.
movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
could I just mention the MMBF Emma Dark Award please? As an MMBF
prize winner I had the opportunity to give a little time back to help
other filmmakers. This is in the form of the MMBF Emma Dark Award
which seeks to help an up and coming filmmaker with an award, prize money,
publicity and mentoring. The competition either accepts completed
films or scripts. The MMBF are doing some fantastic work,
particularly for young filmmakers, helping them get a boost and kickstart
in the industry. More details on the competition can be found here
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