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An Interview with Ciaron Davies, Director and Anti-Hero of Geezers

by Mike Haberfelner

June 2024

Ciaron Davies on (re)Search my Trash

 

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Your upcoming movie Geezers - in a few words, what's it about?

 

This is a high octane crime caper about a stolen bag of money and a war between the rival gangs who want to get it. Caught in the cross fire are 'The Geezers' a bunch of wannabe criminals who have bitten off more then they can chew. With 24 hours to grab the cash, London may just go up in smoke tonight. This is a high octane British gangster film with an international cast including Shaun Ryder and Bez (from Happy Mondays fame), Hannaj Bang Bendz (Wrath of Dracula), Sean Cronin (Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation), Ciaron Davies, Ashley Hudson and Stephen Woollard. Written and directed by Ciaron Davies (Grainne Uaile, The 5th Dimension, The Magic Island).

 

With Geezers being a gangster movie, is that a genre especially dear to you, and your genre favourites?

 

This is drawn very much from Hong Kong crime cinema such as exploitation classics like Battles Without Honour and Humanity, Yakuza Graveyard or Infernal Affairs. High octane action, lots of parallel stories that collide together into an explosive and chaotic climax. A mixture of tradition British ‘geezer’ gangsters and put into an international vibe, creating an insane gangster action epic that is akin to being tied to a rollercoaster and let go for ninety minutes of carnage.

 

(Other) sources of inspiration when writing Geezers?

 

It has elements of all the greats - Goodfellas, Departed, Snatch, The Krays, Police Story (Jackie Chan), the tactical stunt work and martial arts based action of John Wick or 1970s Hong Kong cinema. The cast itself is purposefully international with a rich tapestry of British, Irish, American, Chinese, Dutch and Norwegian, mirroring the society we live in now. A heavily stylised gangster movie that seems timeless it’s also a modern take on a theme that us brought into the 21st century with an incendry device.

 

During the filming of Geezers, rather than giving your cast a cast-in-stone screenplay you relied a lot on your actors' improvisational skills - so could you talk about that technique of yours for a bit?

 

Wanted to keep this film gritty and raw and realistic, so some of the dialogue was improvised but to a heavily scripted structure, allowing a naturalness to flow through the words which often are minimalist as I wanted to show rather then tell in this picture. The action is right in front of us and we are part of it, willing participants in a whirlwind of chaos. There are of course heavily scripted scenes also where plot points are key, but all in all it was important that this film had a fresh energy and that there was a sense of reality amidst all the über-violence.

 

Do talk about all the action in your movie, and how were these scenes achieved?

 

The action is precise and often with large amounts of people. Tactical stunt work, weapons everywhere, incredible shoot-outs, car chases, martial arts based hand to hand combat. Everything about this film is fast and brutal. The actors are all seasoned action performers, and we had an incredible team of stunt performers and choreographers so could really push the boundaries of what we could achieve, violence-wise. Building carnage onto the screen requires a certain level of commitment, endurance and energy from the performers, and also a structure and imaginative procedure from the choreographers. We pushed the envelope and what you will see in this film is incredible adrenslised cinematic chaos that is deeply satisfying for any action enthusiast. It some ways it feels like you are ‘in’ the action as you watch it - which is actually where the camera was, thick in the midst of the carnage!

 

A few words about your overall directorial approach to your story at hand?

 

The story has a complexity and intensity so the main key was to provide the world for the actors to live in where their characters could breathe. Particular approaches change from day to day, depending on the individuals, but this film is all about complexities so it was important to keep them in the zone pyschologically, and also to have a detailed approached to the technical aspects of the cinematography and violence. Over all keep everything moving and build a crazy yet organised atmosphere. The energy shows on the screen with this awesome cast, and the movie is thunderous.

 

You also appear in front of the camera in Geezers - so what can you tell us about your character, what did you draw upon to bring him to life, and have you written him with yourself in mind from the get-go?

 

I play Mikey, the hardened criminal brother of intellectually challenged Joey, who has the job of trying to sort out the sorry mess they are in. An interesting character, strong and stoic but when riled is a psychotic killing machine. It was interesting to bring depth and layers into an action antihero and present a character psychologically scarred, intrinsically good but with an extremely bad side that you don’t want to wake up. The classic nomadic hero, mirroring icons such as Clint Eastwood in Unforgiven,  Val Kilmer's Doc Holliday in Tombstone or de Niro’s Taxi Driver. Mysterious men whith a past of violence that returns to claim them and in the process sets them on the road of carnage, seeking redemption yet finding nothing but death.

 

What can you tell us about the rest ofGeezers' cast, and why exactly these people? And how did you get some of them even?

 

The cast are exceptional and from diverse backgrounds from all over the globe. Many are also athletes with martial arts and stunt backgrounds. Wanted the characters to feel real and also for the action itself to be dramatic and help fuel the story, so it was important that the actors all did most of their stunts as opposed to using doubles. There is a massive cast with 100s of people in this picture and some amazing talents. The action is as real as the drama is. The whole thing feels very authentic. The familiar faces that you see in the film also bring authenticity. Shaun Ryder and Bez (from the Happy Mondays), who play Mancunian gang leaders, represent the spirit of Manchester and bring something very dynamic to the movie. Sean Cronin (Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation) is a gripping London crime boss, horror icon Debra Lamb (Blood Covered Chocolate, There's No Such Thing as Zombies) [Debra Lamb interview - click here] in a role that will surprise many of her fans, and Hannaj Bang Bendz (Wrath of Dracula) brings a ferocity to the screen steeped in martial arts lore. All in all, this cast is incredibly diverse and authentic.

 

Do talk about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere!

 

We all became a family, and everyone put their individuals passion into this film to make it the best they could individually. It was fun, gruelling and an extreme adventure. Motor bikes, trucks, fast cars and guns - insanity on a daily basis.

 

As far as I know, Geezers is still in production as we speak - so at what stage are you, and when and where will your movie be released, however tentatively?

 

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We are in editing now (bar a few pick ups) and looking at an autumn release.

 

Any future projects beyond Geezers you'd like to share?

 

Next up is a pirate movie, followed by a western.

 

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

 

www.loosegrippfilms.co.uk

Geezers on Facebook: www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100095041542456

 

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

 

'Geezers' in Britain is a term for criminals. Often likeable but highly dangerous!

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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In times of uncertainty of a possible zombie outbreak, a woman has to decide between two men - only one of them's one of the undead.

 

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special appearances by
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directed by
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written by
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produced by
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now streaming at

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