Your new movie Age of Kill
- in a few words, what is it about?
A disgraced MI6 Sniper is blackmailed into killing six targets in six
hours or his kidnapped daughter dies.
How did the project fall together in the first place?
Jonathan Sothcott [Jonathan
Sothcott interview - click here] emailed me the script and asked if I wanted to direct. I
loved the script and Martin Kemp was attached to star so it was simply a
case of a script I loved with an actor I wanted to work with, hard to say
can you tell us about your screenwriter Simon Cluett, and what was your
I liked Simon as soon as I met him, I
had loads of ideas about the script and he was really receptive to the ideas.
He managed to articulate a lot of my vague thoughts on the page. Itís
been a great experience collaborating with Simon, his writing style
is very visual so it made my job so much easier.
How would you describe your
directorial approach to your story at hand?
For me the most
important aspect of directing Age of Kill
was pacing, it was about picking
the right moments to give the audience action. We had such an amazing cast
that I knew we had no worries on the performance front, so my focus was to
keep the story driving forward at a fast pace.
From what I
know, Age of Kill,
while big in scope, was shot on a relatively tight budget - so what kind
of a challenge was that then?
We made it on a shoestring
and with that comes challenges. Every director is different but for me preparation
was everything, I shot-listed everything in detail, I made sure all the
cast crew had a copy of the shot-list so we were all playing from the same
book. Itís great to mix and change things up if the moment feels right,
but when you have little money that means you have little
time, so it was so important that everyone knew exactly what we had to
shoot and how long we had to shoot it.
Do talk about your movie's
many action scenes for a bit, and how were they achieved?
itís all about preparation. Hollywood films have days, sometimes
weeks for a single fight sequence, on Age of Kill
we had hours. We had a
great fight coordinator in Nick Mason, who video-boarded all the fight
sequences beforehand, Nick, Martin and I would watch the videos and then
approach how weíd film it from there. The helicopter sequence was a fun
one to shoot, this is where a great 1st AD comes into play to manage all
the onset mechanics and luckily we had that in Simon Haveland.
can you tell us about your key cast, and why exactly these people? And how
did you even get people like Martin Kemp and Patrick Bergin?
was cast before I came onboard so that made casting other actors easier.
Jonathan Sothcott [Jonathan
Sothcott interview - click here] knew Philip Davis, Bruce Payne, Tony Denham and they all agreed
to do the film which was great. Dexter Fletcher came onboard last
minute thanks to a call from Jonathan and Rod Smith (producer), weíve
really punched above our wait with the cast in this film. When you turn up
to work and you see the likes of Philip Davis and Patrick Bergin go toe to
toe in a scene it really is a magical moment.
talk about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere!
great shoot. Everyone seemed to be on the right page for this film, as a
story itís very different to your typical Brit film, with that came an
element of excitement and I think everyone raised their game.
few words about audience and critical reception of Age
of Kill so far?
Early days so far, seven reviews to date five positive and two negative,
so Iíll take that. Iím realistic to know that I canít compete
with Avengers, but hopefully people will like it. Iím extremely
proud of the film, we set out to make a genuine British action thriller which is a unique to the usual British
low budget sector,
I feel we achieved that.
Especially regarding your
movie's very James
Bond-ish ending - will there ever be a sequel to Age
of Kill, and/or other future projects you'd like to share?
Iíd love to do a sequel, I definitely think there are more stories
to explore with this character, if the first one sells enough
units then Iím sure Sam Blake will be back in action soon. In regards to
future projects while nothing is definite yet, it looks like Iíll be
back directing again in September.
movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
I have a twitter
page, @njonesfilms, though I probably spend more time retweeting than
you are dying to mention and I've merely forgotten to ask?
Just want to say how great it is that people like yourself take the time
to write about independent films, awareness is so crucial for a small
film to succeed, so thank you for giving our film your time.
for the interview!