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?
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
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
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
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
Coming from an acting background, I
would have to stay you need a strong story for sure, but you also need a
What do you try to do to avoid errors
that make for a bad short?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
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
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.
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