Your new movie Purgatoric
- in a few words, what is it about?
is an experimental art film. Shot
digitally I affected it in post production to give it a Super 8mm look and
feel. The film explores themes of death, sadness, uncertainty, and ultimately
hope. It stars cult film and arts icon Billy Chainsaw, with music by London
based band The Core.
Other than with your previous films, you went the non-narrative,
experimental road with Purgatoric
- what caused that decision?
I did, and you have to remember that this isn't one
of my festival films, it's intended as a straight to web art piece. That's
something I'm keen to avoid confusion on. It doesn't mean it's any less valid,
but there is a significant difference in my approach and the entire life cycle
of the film. If I'm making a festival film, or something commercial it's
probably not going to be an experimental art film, but art films are something
I enjoy and wanted to explore the story's themes using this approach.
Especially since Purgatoric
is rather abstract - is it in any way based on personal experiences?
Well I think you could say that any
artist can and will put their personal experiences into their work to give
it a solid foundation. I'd actually had this idea floating around in my
head for 2.5 years, but I guess 2018 generally being a year of ups and
downs did feed into the end result.
(Other) sources of inspiration when dreaming up Purgatoric?
A few people have said some of the shots remind them
of Kubrick (big thanks to those who have paid a massive compliment like
that). While this might be by chance based on the architecture of the location
there's probably something to be said for my love of retro imagery. So no
exact influences, maybe just more of a stylistic approach and some rather
helpful brutalist architecture.
You use some pretty impressive locations in Purgatoric
- so did you write the film with these locations already in mind, and what
was it like filming there?
exactly. From way back to the conception of the idea I had always
envisioned filming on a particular popular beach on the south coast of
England. I however did not film on that beach, and the location is a
secret location suggested by the actor Billy Chainsaw.
has a Super 8-vibe to it, which I understand you only added in
post-production - so what caused that decision?
that wasn't intentional, but as I unluckily managed to gain a couple of
spots somehow on my camera's sensor on the train down with no sensor
cleaning kit to hand I had to improvise. That meant degrading the footage
as gracefully as possible, hence 'Super Fake mm' was born, and as you can
see I added light leaks, a faux hair on the lens and various other things
to help achieve this effect.
you tell us about your overall directorial approach to your story at hand?
was slightly different to the meticulous planning of my festival short
films. I wanted to go in with a basic storyboard and then improvise shots
and actions on the day, and I shot this myself, because why not! For
example I would say "act distraught" to Billy and see what
interpretation I would get from him before drilling down into a more
detailed directorial instruction. Often I didn't have to, Billy understood
the story and the emotions I wanted portrayed and I preferred his
improvisations to something more contrived looking that I may have
achieved by pressing further.
stars Billy Chainsaw as the only actor in front of the camera - so what
can you tell us about him, your collaboration with him, and why did you
choose him in the first place?
is a cult legend on the film and music scene having spent many years as a
highly revered journalist and PR manager for Siouxsie and the Banshees, and he's a good friend of mine. I chose Billy because he asked
to be in something and I could see he would be able to bring emotion to
the table. I actually remember talking about casting Billy in something
the first time I met him. He's got a great look and has featured in a few
films, but it was really the emotion that made him perfect for this role,
and the end result is something we achieved together.
What can you tell us
about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
was hot! I got sunburnt, which makes a change from being freezing cold and
getting a chest infection! Billy almost got his foot drenched in sea
water, the BTS photographer managed to get his shoes wet I think. Apart
from that it was a very relaxed and informal shoot.
$64-question of course, where can your movie be seen?
to web on Vimeo and YouTube here:
you can tell us about audience and critical reception of Purgatoric
It seems to have gone down
well. It's always hard to tell, and like I've mentioned it's not to be
confused with one of my festival films. However myself, Billy, The Core
(Pete, Mick), and poster artist Joe K Worrall put a lot of time, effort
and passion into the film and I think that comes across and makes the
Any future projects you'd like to share?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Minus Ten is still doing the festival circuit, you can catch the trailer
and follow it on Facebook here
Apart from that I have some feature ideas, and more ideas for creative
pieces. As always I am waiting in anticipation of being approached for
paid work after garnering various levels of interest from Hollywood and UK
production companies this year.
movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
for the interview!