Your upcoming movie As the Sun Rises - in a few words, what's
it going to be about?
It tells the story of Andy and Emma, a couple who
are approaching their tenth relationship anniversary. Andy has
known for years he is gay but has masked his emotions and continued
to live a lie. They go out for a meal and on this night,
Andy meets Sam, a waiter who is openly gay. They exchange numbers
and what starts as simple advice soon turns into a passionate affair
which ends up with two in the dock, one dead and an explosive finale.
What were your sources of inspiration when writing As
the Sun Rises, and is any of this based on personal experiences?
always been a major fan of drama, I think this comes from my time
shadowing on Coronation Street when I was training, so my love for it was
the main inspiration for writing this story. As a gay man there is
certainly elements of Andy's story that parallel my own coming-out
story. For some people, it's quite a quick process, almost like
flicking a light switch on, whereas for others, like me, it's a long,
drawn out process. I really wanted to resonate this in Andy's story.
As the Sun Rises being about LGBT topics, will the LGBT scene be
involved in any special way, both in production and release?
We've had some great backing from the LGBT community. We're also shooting
on location in Manchester in areas of the Gay Village. Local
LGBT media outlets have taken an interest in us too, such as radio
What can you tell us about
the film's overall look and feel?
film will be a tale of two halves in terms of its look. The first half,
which plays out Andy's story from start to finish will start of bright and
vibrant with the look and feel gradually deteriorating throughout his
story, the court scene and subsequent explosive end. The way we shoot
it is integral to the success of telling the story so it's something we've
really thought long and hard about.
Do talk about As
the Sun Rises' intended cast and crew, and why exactly these people?
wrote this story back in 2013, so it's taken me 4 and a half years to get
to this point. I wanted to do it right, with the right people and not just
rush into production with any old cast and crew. Oli Braybrook is my
producer and I chose him simply because he understood the story in an
instant whereas other producers were somewhat hesitant about its genre. I wanted a producer who could tackle this genre head on and
Oli does that with no boundaries whatsoever! We also have Laura Gallop,
our director of photography, who has amassed an incredible amount of
credits. Josh Harper, Rachel Teate and Christopher Deakin play Andy,
Emma and Sam and I chose them simply because they gave such organic performances
during our audition process and even though Christopher was actually
auditioning for Andy, he was just Sam all over - so we cast him in that
role. Other cast include Ben Whiteside (Cloud Theatre), Courtenay
Magrath (The Interrogation), Christina Sedgwick (The Game's
Afoot), Buckso Dhillon-Woolley (EastEnders, Law and Order: UK), Adam
Blaug (Animal Magic), Theresa Godly (Silk, The Bill), Tina
Harris (Happy Valley, Shameless) and Ross Cawton (Tidal). I
wanted to champion a mix of established talent with undiscovered
hence my casting choices being so varied. We're also supporting the ERA
5050 Equal Representation for Actresses campaign and are proud to be one
of the first indie films to do so, with a 50/50 split in gender across our
From what I know, As the Sun Rises is
presently still in its fundraising stages - so what can you tell us about
Film funding is scarce
in the UK with very few rolling grants and funds available to independent
filmmakers so we've turned to crowdfunding. Our IndieGoGo campaign
went live on Thursday 8th March and to date we've raised around
£2,300. We've got a budget of £25,000 to raise which covers everything
from cast and crew payments to locations, insurance, catering
and contingencies. Our campaign has 34 days left so any contributions
to it will be gratefully received. It's very humbling to see people
supporting independent film and in return for your contribution there
are some fantastic perks to get your hands on including VIP premiere
tickets, copies of the film, days on set, the chance to appear in the
film and executive producer credits, so visit the link below if you are
interested and view our cast and crew campaign video!
the budget's in place, what's the schedule? And any idea when and where
the film might be released yet?
secure our budget in full during this campaign then we'll be looking to
start principal photography in June. Post-production will come around
August time with an approximate premiere date of late November, early
December. VOD (Video on Demand) will follow shortly after including
the iTunes Store, Amazon and potentially the US platform Hulu. We're also
talking to other distributors about a local limited cinematic release
and a potential DVD release.
projects beyond As the Sun Rises?
couldn't possibly comment!
What got you into
filmmaking in the first place, and did you receive any formal training on
I was enrolled by my
school on a six-week filmmaking course during my secondary education
and caught the bug from that. I went on to shadow and train on Coronation
Street, The Graham Norton Show and ITV's Popstar to
Operastar. I then went
freelance in 2014 and have worked on short and feature films and
television since. I also develop new ideas and am regularly
involved in shooting pilots for broadcasters here in the UK and Los
James with Quentin Tarantino
What can you tell us about your filmwork
prior to As the Sun Rises?
very varied. From short films like Forgotten and reality-television
pilots like The Human Lie Detector on location in Los Angeles
to projects like Downfall and Busted back here in the
How would you describe yourself as a director?
a difficult one. I suppose I'm like every other director. A lot of actors
often say they often feel a lot more free with me and that's completely
deliberate. I love to give actors the freedom to interpret the work
in their own way (after all that's their primary skill). I love to
champion undiscovered talent, support independent business and shoot
as ethically as possibly including investing back into local
Filmmakers who inspire you?
Tarantino fan (he critiqued my first short film when I met him back in
2013 and absolutely tore it to pieces - an experience I'll never
forget!). I'm also a fan of some of the great drama directors of here
including Euros Lyn (Broadchurch, Cucumber), Alrick Riley (Death
in Paradise, Hustle) and Samuel Donovan (Last Tango in
Halifax, Liar).Those guys rock and I seriously recommend their
Your favourite movies?
got a pretty varied film taste but my top five would have to be The
Shawshank Redemption, The Love Punch, Skyfall (huge Bond fan!),
Eagles Dare and Anchorman - I did say I had a varied film taste didn't I?
and of course, films you really deplore?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
sorry but I absolutely detest science fiction. Read into that what
Your/your movies' website, Facebook,
IndieGoGo, whatever else?
can help us reach our goal and support our campaign then your contribution
would be seriously appreciated! Check out our funding video and
great, unique perks here:
on behalf of myself, the cast and crew, thank you for supporting
independent British film!
Anything else you're dying
to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
for listening to me!!!!
Thanks for the
Special thanks to Richard S Barnett, founder of IIWYK!!!