Your upcoming movie Adrian - in a few words, what is it
Adrian’ is a biopic drama about the sensational
wrestler and British icon Adrian ‘Exotic’ Street.
What got you interested in "Exotic"
Adrian Street's story in the first place, what inspired you to make a film
I was in Manchester Art Gallery with my
partner and there was this wonderful exhibition by artist Jeremy Deller on
the industrial revolution. Part of the exhibition was on Adrian Street, a
documentary that explored Adrian’s life and career. I was compelled by
Adrian’s story. I knew nothing about wrestling and nothing of Adrian
until this exhibition. However, Adrian’s story had a profound effect on
me. His story is truly inspirational and he's an artist in his own right.
Before leaving the gallery I made a note
of Adrian’s name on my phone and kept telling my partner I have to make
a film with Adrian. But it was more than just Adrian as the wrestler that
made me want to pursue making a film with him. His story personally
inspired me as a young professional, because regardless of everyone
telling him no he wouldn’t make it, he stayed true to himself and
pursued his dreams. It is that drive and ambition that equally made me
feel like anything in this life is possible if you put your mind to it!
I believed if I could feel that positive
and inspired from Adrian’s story, so could many others too, both
wrestling fans and people who have no idea about the sport. It is a story
anyone could relate to.
It was a bonus that he is Welsh as well!
How close will you stick to Street's actual
story/will you take many liberties?
will be staying very close to Adrian’s story; after all, it was that
which attracted me to wanting to make a film on him to begin with.
Therefore, I wouldn’t want to manipulate or tell it any other way.
Street's still alive, will he at all be personally invovled with the
fortunate to be in regular contact with the main man himself as well as
his son who is also called Adrian. Between us we are all working hard to
bring Adrian’s story to life. It is important to me to involve Adrian as
much as possible because I want the film to give his story the kudos it
With Adrian being a period movie, where
do you see the challenges there?
I love a good challenge!
I think the biggest challenge we will
face is not so much the fact this is a period film; the aesthetics is
something I am looking forward to. The real challenge will be casting the
right actor to play the part of Adrian. It is important to me, as I know
it is for Adrian too, that we don’t settle for anyone who will ‘just
do’… The role will be intense because not only will the person have to
emulate Adrian himself and the stage presence, but to teach someone
wrestling moves that not even some of Adrian’s professional opponents
could copy, will be difficult for any actor to imitate to say the least.
But that’s all part of the fun and art of making movies!
You also have to tell
us how you intend to go about filming the wrestling scenes of Adrian!
We have a few ideas bouncing around.
Because we are in the early stages of
development it is really important make sure this is right before
finalising the script. Not only do these scenes have to look right, it
also has to feel real. I’m not going to give away too much because once
the film is complete I don’t want the audience to have any
pre-conceptions of how the movie is going to look. So I guess, all I can
say is watch this space!
can you tell us about the intended look and feel of your movie?
the moment I am putting a visual mood board together as well as making
loads of notes from a mix of films including lighting, camera work etc. As
above I really want to stay true to Adrian’s story and that includes
everything from replicating the period, costumes, props and locations.
As much as this is a true Cinderella story, without the glass
slipper of course, it is certainly not a fairy tale. So don’t be
expecting a fairy god mother to suddenly turn up and lots of elaborate
special effects… Keeping it real is what I’m aiming for. However, as a
compromise, there will be lots of sequins and glitter!
you can tell us about your projected cast yet?
yet sorry. I’m trying to stay as grounded as possible at this stage of
the production and not daydream too far ahead, although that is admittedly
hard at times. At the moment my focus is making sure everything on paper
is right and thoroughly researched.
As far as
I know, Adrian is still in pre-production as we speak - so what's
the schedule, and any idea yet when your movie might be released onto the
general public (which is probably waaay too early to ask)?
too early to ask, but good things come to those who wait. Patience is a
virtue and all that ;)
future projects beyond Adrian you'd like to share?
any artist I am always writing down ideas, perhaps too many for my own
good! It’s easy to go on tangents and become distracted. However, right
now my focus is this project. It needs my full attention in order for it
be successful so I am totally immersed in it. Literally eating, breathing
and sleeping this production.
got you into filmmaking in the first place, and did you receive any formal
training on the subject?
I have been an artist/performer for as
long as I can remember. Most little girls wanted dolls for Christmas… I
wanted paper to draw on and lots of it! In primary school when others were
playing dress up trying to look like older versions of themselves with
make-up and pushing doll prams, I was more concerned in dressing up as Mini
Mouse, Peter Pan, a duck, rabbit. You name it I was a character, even
a weather girl! But the thing was I believed it too, no half measures.
Telling stories and being ‘arty’ in whatever form is ingrained in me
as a person.
I had my first experience on a TV set as
work placement with Tinopolis Television when I was 14 and have been
hooked ever since! It was from then I knew I wanted to be a film and TV director /
producer and wouldn’t settle for anything less. I studied BA
in Film Studies at Kingston University, London and an MA in Film at the
University of Wales, Newport. However, from the age of 18 I actively
worked as a freelancer in tandem to my studies. When I wasn’t
freelancing, I was finding another excuse to find something to film. I
knew early on it was what I needed to do to gain as much experience as
possible, paid or unpaid it didn’t matter, what mattered was the
knowledge I gained, as my mother quite rightly says – knowledge is
What can you tell us about your
filmwork prior to Adrian?
Oh my goodness, where to start!
As above I have been freelancing since I
was 18. Before the ‘Self-shooting PD’ title existed that was in
essence my role… I was glad broadcasters eventually came up with a
rounded way to describe the job of people like myself because writing on
your business card ‘Producer, Director who is a Camera Operator’ was a
bit daft! I have worked on news items, broadcast documentaries and factual
entertainment, music videos which have been broadcast internationally,
corporate videos, fair few short films and now feature films.
As well as freelancing as a self-shooter, I also work as an executive producer with a company called
the British Youth Film Academy. Every year the company produces a
micro-budget feature film. The films of which are then distributed and
With regard to personal projects,
recently I made a short film titled Matchstick Girl, a modern
adaptation of the Hans Christian Anderson story The Little Matchstick
Girl’ to raise awareness of child homelessness. The film was the UK
Film Review Short film of the Week and went on to be screened to
producers and directors from ITV and BBC at MediaCity UK, Manchester.
I am also an international and multi
award winning published photographer. Photographed everything from
weddings to really arty dance photography. I continue dabble in
photography in my spare time.
How would you describe
yourself as a director?
never thought about this before. I guess my personality speaks a lot for
how I am as a director. Highly creative, flamboyant, not afraid to take
risks and try new techniques in terms of direction, camera work and
lighting. I certainly don’t like doing things by half, something has to
be done properly or not at all… I’m not a ‘fix it in post’ kind
of girl! I have encountered too many experiences where things haven’t
been done properly for one reason or another and it is not something I
like adopt when making my own productions. I am friendly but like to get
things done. I care about my cast and crew - making a production of any
kind is team work and ultimately to get the best out of a production you
need to get the best out of your team.
Filmmakers, writers, whoever
else who inspire you?
am a massive fan of Charlie Chaplin and David Bowie. Other than that I’m
going to be super cheesy and say my family are really important to me. I
don’t think I can list specific people other than Chaplin and Bowie,
because I am quite happy doing my own thing, I always have. I can
certainly say I have learnt by studying other professionals. However, I
can honestly say my inspiration is my own.
Your favourite movies?
Boulevard, The Maltese
Falcon, This Gun For Hire, Metropolis, In the Heat
of the Night, ET, Empire of the Sun, Calamity Jane,
Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence, Blade Runner, Splash… I have a very random choice of favourite
films and not too embarrassed to say there are a few Disney films I love
and of course, films you really deplore?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
boring ones… anything with a zombie… I just don’t bother wasting my
time watching something I don’t enjoy or can’t relate to, I’m quite
blunt about films I don’t like. I will normally go off on a rant about
it for one reason or another. But what I like and what others may like are
two different things.
movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
the Facebook page for Adrian can be found at
Please like, share and spread the word! The page will be updated regularly
with information on how the production is progressing as well as other
you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
any other information, press inquires or SEIS/EIS opportunities please
- thank you!!
for the interview!
Special thanks to Richard S Barnett,
founder of IIWYK!!!