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An Interview with M W Daniels, Director of The Other Soul to Evie

by Mike Haberfelner

November 2020

Films directed by M W Daniels on (re)Search my Trash

 

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Your new movie The Other Soul to Evie - in a few words, what is it about?

 

The Other Soul to Evie is about a woman called Evie who struggles to help her brother who has had a serious accident, and the intervening father does not help matters. Evie turns to alcohol to alleviate her turmoil, but it just spirals her further into despair.

 

What were your sources of inspiraton when writing The Other Soul to Evie, and is any of it based on personal experiences?

 

The inspiration occurred almost a year before the film was made. I was waiting at a bus stop in Regent Street in London when a person accidently stepped on my foot and I turned around and it was a boy of around 15 years old with his mum. The boy had special needs, and this was extremely apparent by his speech and behaviour and the toys he was marvelling at in his bag which he was clearly far too old for. I felt for his mum as the strength and heartache of bringing him up must be unimaginably difficult and I felt quite emotional on the bus ride home that day. This then gave me an idea for a film and as soon as I got home I began typing up ideas.

 

To what extent can you actually identify with Evie - and with Felix even, for that matter?

 

I can identify with Evie as she tries to do her best for Felix and then seems to go off in her secret alcohol fuelled world, and how she kind of wants things to go back the way they were but at the same time she loves her brother Felix and she realises this is the way things are going to be from now on and she has to face up to it. I can identify with Felix for his intuitive nature towards Evie, he wants to help her as much as sheís helping him.

 

In The Other Soul to Evie, Felix's drawings play a central role - so do talk about them for a bit, and about your choice of motives?

 

Felixís drawings are a way of him connecting to Evie in ways where he wants to talk to her about things but the accident has taken a lot of that away. His drawings show his unhappiness and also his hope too. He knows that Evie is destroying herself due to him and he canít stop her. He loves nature, and the crying flower signifies his state of mind. He wants things to be beautiful, but they turn out so sad.

 

What can you tell us about your overall directorial approach to your story at hand?

 

Charlotte, Charlie, Alan and Kitty are all excellent actors so the directional approach was very relaxed. A few times I stepped in to direct more, but the actors had all done their homework and really put 110% in which was fantastic. Caisa, Josh and Tomasz are all relatively new to acting and they all did so well as the supporting cast. Charlie really worked on the Felix part well, and it was not easy to act a part like that and I knew it was going to be a challenge for any actor, and he studied the part and totally nailed it.

 

Do talk about The Other Soul to Evie's cast, and why exactly these people?

 

Iíd worked with Charlotte Gould before on The Mind of Juliane and she is such a gifted up-and-coming actress, and the Evie role just said Charlotte right away to me. 

I looked around for weeks for someone to play Felix, and when I saw Charlie Suff he fit the role completely. 

I wanted to work with Alan Austen for a while and he worked with my friend Emma Dark [Emma Dark interview - click here] on her film Salient Minus Ten. Alan has been in some favourite films and TV shows of mine, namely The Empire Strikes Back, Octopussy, An American Werewolf in London, Doctor Who, Grange Hill and Minder etc. 

Kitty Whitelaw and I worked on the club scene track for The Mind of Juliane, and sheís an excellent singer as well as being a great actress, and the Katie role was totally a Kitty role for me.

Caisa Martin has been in many of my films and is just starting to come into her own with small supporting roles, and she was perfect in the film.

Josh Shrives and Tomasz Zaroda fit the roles of Felixís friends so well. Tomasz is also the clapper board operator on my films including this one.

 

A few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?

 

The shoot was excellent and it was out very first central London shoot as it was in Drury Lane which is basically Covent Garden on the edge of Londonís West End. We filmed it on a really cool estate just off of Drury Lane. On set atmosphere was excellent, Charlotte is one of the funniest people ever and she was always making everyone laugh on set, she is a genius! Another genius of course is Nicolai Kornum, who films and edits all of my films and on this film just like all the other films he had some wonderful ideas that worked so well and created an absolutely stunning aesthetic. Denise Yarde is the sound recorder on my films and again is another genius! There is no one as good as her when it comes to sound; she worked on huge Hollywood films so she knows her stuff, and her attention to detail is superb.

 

The $64-question of course, where can The Other Soul to Evie be seen?

 

The film has been selected by a few festivals which is great, so hopefully that will continue.

 

Anything you can tell us about audience and critical reception of The Other Soul to Evie?

 

Most reviews have been great and some more critical but thatís always going to happen. There are some people that have been upset by the film as it reminds them of things like loved ones passing away, and they thanked me for the film. People have remarked that it's a very heavy film, and I do agree as thatís what I set out to do. I wanted the film to have a heavy emotional power and I think we achieved that.

 

Any future projects you'd like to share?

 

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There is a film coming in 2021 that is cast, and itís the most full-on controversial film Iíve ever written. Alan Austen returns for that film.

 

Your/your movie's website, social media, whatever else?

 

For more info and stills, behind the scenes photos etc. please visit www.facebook.com/theothersoultoevie

 

Anything else you're dying to mention and I've merely forgotten to ask?

 

Charlotte Gould will also return next year hopefully in a very dark comedy drama.

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

Thank you so much for interview, Mike, it's much appreciated and Iím really glad you enjoyed the film.

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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