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An Interview with Derry Felton, Director of By and By

by Mike Haberfelner

February 2021

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


A deadbeat takes his daughter on a road trip despite not having visitation rights. Will his sex and drug addiction get the better of him or will his daughter's love show him the way to sobriety?


With By the By being about a man suffering from sex and drug addiction, to what extent can you personally relate to the topic of addiction as such, and what kind of research did you do on the subject?


I am actually currently an addict - my addictions are gambling and sex. I have tried a few times to stop over the 18 months or so but have relapsed each time. I am attempting to stop again right now. As far as drug addiction goes, I have no experience but I have watched many interviews with ex addicts, watched people shoot up and for a period of time I actually worked on a football (soccer) project with ex-addicts.


What can you tell us about the intended look and feel of your movie?


I am naturally drawn to arthouse, surreal, experimental and naturalistic styles of filming. I love the cinematography by James Laxton in Moonlight and Robbie Ryan in American Honey. I look to draw on the cinematography styles of other films I like such as Blue is the Warmest Colour, Blue Valentine, The Tree of Life, Honey Boy, Boogie Nights, Milk.


You're intending to direct the entire film via Skype - to put it bluntly, why, and how will that work?


Basically, it comes down to finances. It would cost me a lot of money to go out to the US with five carers. I feel like I managed to successfully film a movie last year via Skype. Granted the scenes were all in one room without a cinematographer, boom op etc but I feel like I can scale up and continue to direct in this style.


What can you tell us about By the By's tentative cast, and why exactly these people?


Currently attached are 3 amazing female actors:

Alexandra Faye Sadeghian is a wonderful person - extremely talented and really nice and kind, I'd love to do every film with Ali!

Shanna Toft has been extremely supportive as I have attempted to break into the US film industry. Another person who is extremely kind and always willing to help me.

Nika Ballina - another lovely person and is very easy to work with she is always willing to go there.


You're currently running a fundraiser for By the By - so what can you tell us about your campaign?


I am aiming to raise $1,000 and I'm just trying to get as many donations as possible. It doesn't matter how big or small but if $100 is donated the person will get an executive producer credit.


Once the budget's in place, what's the schedule - and any idea when and where your movie might be released yet?


I have been making tentative plans with one of my producers. I'd like a short shoot, preferably two weeks, and it may be a case of filming over seven weekends or on holidays like the filmmakers who made Open Water did.


Any future projects beyond By the By?


Many! I regularly write screenplays and I have been creating a portfolio so hopefully if I get noticed one day I can show the various projects I have written and would like to create.


What got you into filmmaking in the first place, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?


I have been writing screenplays since school. I studied A-Level Film Studies, and a few years later I went to the University of Northampton and studied a joint BA honours in Film and Television Studies and Media Production and Moving Image. After I went to the University of Birmingham and completed a Masters degree in Creative Writing. Filmmaking came from writing short scripts and filming with friends and people from my university so in that sense I am self-taught.


Do talk about your filmwork prior to By the By!


Up to this point I have made several shorts and have a couple of micro budget feature films in post-production.


How would you describe yourself as a director?


I like to have fun when directing as I enjoy the craft of filmmaking, I'm not one of these deadly serious, avant-garde directors, I just love telling stories. The arthouse, the surreal, the experimental and the naturalistic styles I will always love and will always fall back on. I like to push the envelope in filmmaking so I'm not afraid to shoot and include things like unsimulated sex, blood and guts by using real animal body parts etc. I love to deal with dark and taboo subjects.


Filmmakers who inspire you?


Darren Aronofsky, Nicolas Winding Refn, Robert Eggers, David Lynch, Spike Lee, Gasper Noe, Barry Jenkins, Lars von Trier, Sean Baker, Richard Linklater.


Your favourite movies?


The Shawshank Redemption, Drive, The Shape of Water, Forest Gump, The Notebook, The Babadook, The Witch, Blue Valentine, Blue is the Warmest Colour, Singin' in the Rain, Animal Kingdom, Eighth Grade, Lady Macbeth, Ratatouille.


... and of course, films you really deplore?


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Your shop for all things Thai

I respect every one who can make a film but I don't like films that rely upon jump scares. However, Cats was just fucking awful.


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


Derry Felton - IMDb

@derry_felton - Instagram photos and videos

Derry Felton - Facebook

By and By - Indiegogo


Thanks for the interview!


© by Mike Haberfelner

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Thanks for watching !!!



Robots and rats,
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love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


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Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
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tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




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


A Killer Conversation

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

out now on DVD