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An Interview with Michelle Hands, Director of Youth of Today

by Dale Pierce

October 2013

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For the first and probably longest response, please introduce yourself to the readers and fill everyone in on who you are!

 

My name is Michelle Hands and I am an independent film producer/director. I currently reside in the UK. I started out in the film industry as an actress having trained in both London and Los Angeles. Over the years I became more interested in what was happening behind the camera and this lead me into producing and then last year directing.

 

You recently released Youth Of Today. What is the plot?

 

Youth of Today is a short horror film about a gang of three young thieves who target an elderly woman but they soon realize she is not as defenseless as they first thought. Martha has a secret and the gang stumble onto something they never could have imagined in their wildest dreams… or nightmares. Youth of Today takes the home invasion horror in a new direction and gives the audience the best seat at the table.

 

Who stars in this?

 

Eileen Dietz from the Exorcist and four talented up and coming UK actors, Katie Bentley, Ryan Hanley, Tom Bott and Neville Steenson.

 

Do you have a company webpage or page for this film?

 

Yes all information about the film can be found at www.underdogfilms.co.uk

 

This is of course a short film. Do you ever plan to go into features?

 

I definitely intend on producing and directing a feature film, I have two scripts that I am working with at the moment, both of which are horrors.

 

There is, however, a place for shorts too, correct? Several festivals and such?

 

Oh yes definitely, many festivals in both the UK and across the globe showcase short films to quite a wide audience. I feel honoured that my debut film made the cut for some well-recognised horror festivals.

 

How hard is it to get projects into these festivals?

 

Well, Youth of Today was my first attempt and so I did have low expectations based off other peoples’ experiences with their first films. However, I think if your short has a strong story, great characters and is finished well, you have a good chance at getting shown at least at some of the smaller festivals.

 

Your short made it to Shriekfest?

 

Yes and Shriekfest has been declared LA’s most successful and entertaining horror film festival by LA Weekly, so we were over the moon that Youth of Today made the official selection.

 

Are there other screenings in the works at other fests?

 

There have been screenings at The Macabre Film Festival in New Jersey, the Hot Springs Horror Film Festival, and coming up is the Misty Moon Festival over here in the UK.

 

What has reaction been to the short thus far?

 

It’s been super! I think it’s done so well in the USA because Eileen is a bit of a legend and it’s got a bit of English charm and of course a great storyline.

 

What in your opinion makes a good short film?

 

Coming from an acting background, I would have to stay you need a strong story for sure, but you also need a great cast.

 

What do you try to do to avoid errors that make for a bad short?

 

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I guess I tried to avoid poor planning, I think it’s too easy for people to grab a camera, a few mates, some “actors” and go out and make a short. I think you should approach a short with the same mentality as a studio would approach a feature film. I try and spend at least 2-3 weeks in pre-production, working through storyboarding and making sure I have everything in place for the shoot. Then with everything in place you can really just focus on making a great film.

 

Any interesting behind the scenes stories concerning this past project that are worth telling?

 

Of course, this was one long shoot, around 18 hours in total and Eileen was a gem, providing great stories from her Exorcist filming days and quoting a few scary lines too.

 

Closing remarks?

 

I would really just like to thank everyone for their support! This film would never have been possible if it wasn’t for such a fantastic cast and crew!

 

© by Dale Pierce


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Thanks for watching !!!



 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD

 

 

Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...

 

Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!

 

Bauliche Angelegenheiten
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