Your new movie Officer Down
- in a few words, what is it about?
follows a young British police officer, Alex Trent, who
gets cut off from the rest of his squad during a riot and finds
himself trapped in a rundown building, alone with the same
people he was sent to help arrest. However, he soon finds out
they may not be all he thinks and must overcome his own fears
and bias in order to escape.
How did the project come into being in the first place, and what
drew you to it?
Director Simon Pearce [Simon
Pearce interview - click here] came to me with the script, which he had co-written with Tommy
Draper, and asked if I would come on board as the producer. I
really liked the script and how it challenges the audience,
something I always look for in a project. Though it wasnít a
female lead film, which is what I mainly focus on, I felt that
the story was very relevant and one to be told. Simonís work
has always grabbed my attention and this was the perfect chance
to try my hand at producing an action film as it is something I
hadnít done before.
What were the challenges of bringing Officer
Down from a producer's point of view?
main challenge was finding the location for the film. It is so
integral to the script and plays such an important role in the
film, so we had to try to find
the perfect place. We ended up finding three locations, two of
which fell through rather last minute which forced our shoot
back. Moving the shoot to December was the only way to secure
the location we ended up with, unfortunately that meant our
twelve-hour days were reduced to around five or six, due to the
daylight hours. This became a whole new challenge, however the
cast and crew were fantastic and kept up the pace utilising
we had post-production starting when Covid hit. We were lucky to
have been able to edit it without the restrictions. However, the
grade and sound design were a challenge.
you tell us about Officer
Down's director Simon Pearce [Simon
Pearce interview - click here], and what was your collaboration
has edited a couple of my short films before, so we already had
a great working relationship. He is a really talented director
and knows what he wants but is also open to new ideas. He was
extremely hands on and nothing phased him whilst we were
shooting. His vision was extremely clear and we were always on
the same page as each other.
Do talk about Officer
Down's cast, and as a producer, how deeply were you involved in
cast were amazing, we
were so lucky to have them in the film. Martin Delaney had
already worked with Simon previously on Simonís feature film
ďJudas GhostĒ and had expressed interest in making an action
film with Simon. I had worked with Ben Turner years ago on
Casualty and have followed his career since. He has such depth
and control to his performance I knew he would be perfect for
Elijah, we were very fortunate that he said yes! Josef Altin was
the last of our leads to be cast,
and was absolutely brilliant. In two days Josef had
to learn the script and an accent, which he did effortlessly.
All of our cast elevated their characters and made choices that
were really rememberable.
You also have to talk about the location Officer
Down was shot at, and what was it like filming there? And how did
you find it even?
mentioned before, the location was a challenge. We had the
wonderful Courtney Mendez from the Location Collective to help
us find the location. Itís an old sports hall attached to a
shopping centre, we were filming in December and Christmas music
almost became part of our sound design! It was an extremely cold
and dilapidated building with lots of stairs. I think everyone
ended up doing a leg work out every day.The location was
worth it though, it had everything we needed and looked exactly
the way we wanted it to.
A few words about the shoot as such,
and the on-set atmosphere?
shoot was brilliant, everyone came together really quickly and
it was fantastic to see. It was a fun set and I think the action
brought an extra level of energy to the set.
The $64-question of course,
where can Officer Down
can currently be seen online via the BAFTA qualifying
Aesthetica Short Film Festival, where it will be streaming with
5 other shorts as part of Thriller Block 4, until November 30th.
From now until November 14th itís also playing in Film Block
14 as part of the Urban Action Showcase festival in New York, as
well as at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival,
though that one is in the State of Florida only. From the 11th
November we will be streaming as part of the Oscar qualifying
Hollyshorts, based in California.
will be more festivals and screenings to come but if you make
sure to follow us on social media you can keep up to date with
all the latest! With COVID itís a shame many of these
festivals are now going virtual, but the upshot is the film
actually becomes so much more accessible to audiences around the
world each time - this way anyone, anywhere can stream it, as
opposed to only being able to attend if youíre in a particular
city or country at the right time.
Anything you can tell us about audience and
critical reception of Officer
far we have had really positive reviews which is great and we
hope this continues!
Any future projects you'd like to share?
Iím not producing I also act and a feature I filmed last year
is also on the festival circuit. Itís called Sorority,
written and directed by the wonderful James Webber. It stars
BAFTA winners Sophie Kennedy-Clark and Kate Dickie, as well as
Sam Gittins and myself.
movie's website, social media, whatever else?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
would just like to mention our wonderful cinematographer Phil Mťheux
BSC and camera operator Roger Pearce who have worked on some
incredible films and their experience and talent raised
everyoneís game. Also, I would like to mention our fantastic
action designer Neil Chapelhow who designed the fight scene and
was also Martinís body double. He worked closely with Simon
and made the fight scenes so action packed and gritty, he is an
amazing addition to any action film!
would also like to thank our wonderful cast and crew who worked
tirelessly on this film some
of whom had worked with my on my my previous films. Everyone
brought something extra to their role and it really shines
through. Iím extremely fortunate to have worked with everyone
on this film.
for the interview!