Your upcoming movie Salient Minus Ten - in a few words, what
is it about?
Salient Minus Ten
is the new sci-fi/horror short film from award-winning filmmaker Emma Dark, and is a cerebral
foray into the darker, more disturbing, side of science fiction.
A brief synopsis - "Adam Harper is an
average man. And on an average day he suddenly finds himself catapulted
into the strangest, reality changing game... a game of time and chance,
where the stakes are a matter of life and death."
What were your sources of inspiration when
dreaming up Salient Minus Ten?
think people like to box films into being Ďinspired byí a little too
much if Iím honest, although if Iím going to say anything it would be
to imagine a smattering of 60/70ís dark sci-fi smashed together with the
artful quirkiness of 70ís giallo films (Italian crime/horror thrillers
for those who donít know) and a bit of a Lars Von Trier vibe (minus the
sex and nudity).
You call Salient Minus Ten
a science fiction horror film - so what's your approach to
both genres like?
I like dark
cerebral (aka Ďthinkingí) and gripping films. They may or may not fit
exclusively into horror or exclusively into sci-fi. Most films I like have
a bit of both or some fantasy or thriller elements. I personally believe
there is no right approach to either genre, a filmmaker should simply
follow their gut and ensure they make an artful and memorable film. Iím
not a huge fan of gore and torture Ďporní, mainly because I think
itís overdone right now, so thatís something Iím keen to avoid.
Do talk about your movie's intended
look and feel!
My aim is to make
it as artful and filmic looking as possible. Although I do have a very
direct vintage aesthetic in mind it wonít be trying to look as if itís
set in a certain time period. Iím aiming for something both visually
beautiful and subtly disturbing.
As far as I know, you play a supporting
role in Salient Minus Ten
- so what can you tell us about
your character, what will you draw upon to bring her to life, and did you
write her with yourself in mind?
can, and of course I did. One of the things about coming from a modelling
background with a large fanbase who have followed you from that period in
time is that they do expect to see you on screen. This can cause itís
own complications, particularly with directing with limited time on
locations, but Iíd probably do it anyway, even if my fans didnít
expect it, because I enjoy it. The role is smaller than in Seize the Night, my previous film, where I played a lead character, however the
character is still a principal role and will be strong and memorable. Of
course she will be slightly evil, itís easiest to draw on previous
experience whilst acting and trying to keep a role believable, and while I
may not be evil myself Iíve had plenty of experience playing evil
characters, whether that be with my acting or modelling.
What can you tell us
about the rest of your cast, and why exactly these people?
is a tricky one as Iím answering these interview questions the day
before Iím about to hold auditions to recast the lead role. Mainly
because I know the people Iíve cast can both perform the role and are
professional and easy to get along with. Those are absolute key qualities
for me. Iíve brought back Chris Hampshire and Beric Read from my
previous film Seize the Night
- why, because they have screen
presence, performed well, and were both very professional and easy to get
along with. Iíve also cast Samantha Oci
in a supporting role. This is actually the
first front-of-camera role for Samantha, who is also a very talented
filmmaker/director I might add.
For Salient Minus Ten, you bring quite a few crewmembers back
from your earlier short
Seize the Night
- so do talk about these people for a bit, and what made
you want to work with them again? And while we're at it, do give us a
quick recap of Seize the
Seize the Night, in a few wordsÖ
vampires, werewolves, action, gritty, badass, leather, pounding music and
explosive effects. If thatís your bag, and I hope it is, you can catch
it online at www.seizethenightfilm.com,
and if you like it by all means buy an autographed copy of the DVD.
Yes I absolutely did bring people back, I
think I was extremely blessed with Seize the Night to have had such
a talented and professional crew. As of right now I have Merlyn Roberts (assistant
director), Wendy Rose (set production assistant), Eric Elick (composer), Davy Simmons (VFX), Lawrence Brightman
(sound recordist) and
Rod Sinfield (additional props). If I had a bigger overall budget I would
have brought more cast and crew back, certainly.
As far as I know, Salient Minus Ten
is presently still in its fundraising stages - so what can you
tell us about your campaign?
actually now met its goal and is ĎInDemandí on IndieGoGo. Which
means anybody who would still like to contribute towards the making of the
film by grabbing a perk can still do so right now. Iíd just like to give
Hill Burton and Barry Pook a huge shoutout please for picking up the top
perks of Associate Producer, such lovely and generous people, and indeed
everyone who has contributed so far. Iím really very honoured, most of
the backers have been fellow filmmakers, to have that support and belief
in my project is truly wonderful.
Once the budget's in place
what's the schedule?
mentioned above briefly Iím currently recasting the main role. I had
actually shot a large portion of the film but unfortunately I made the
decision to recast as I didnít feel that the lead character was coming
across in the way I intended. I have to be clear that this was a purely
creative decision and I didnít take it lightly, particularly after Iíd
based my crowdfund around a locked cast and had already started talking
about the film and printing marketing materials. It happens quite a bit
more than you might imagine, even at the super low budget independent film
level, and itís not a negative reflection on anybody's abilities, just
sometimes the magic doesnít happen and the only option is to go back to
square one if possible. Itís perhaps a little bit embarrassing for the
filmmaker and the actor to have to put out an update like that but these
things happen for better or worse. This does mean Iím over a third down
in budget, which means I have to be more frugal than I really wanted going
forwards and the production process may be a little slower than originally
Even if it might be waaay too early
to ask, any idea when and where the film might be released yet?
release date would be late 2017 at the earliest now. I imagine it will be
online again, as with Seize the Night. If I have the funds and
enough of a demand to recoup the rating and production cost Iíll
consider BBFC rating the film again and making autographed DVDs available
future projects beyond Salient Minus Ten
you'd like to
There are, but if I told
you Iíd have to kill you ;-) Seriously, there is one very amazing one,
but I really canít talk about it yet. In other news on the acting side
of things Iíve just starred in
Frankula, which was directed
by Jason Read of Robo Films and produced by Stuart Morriss of the Misty
Moon Film Society - https://mistymoonfilmsociety.com. It also stars
Hammer scream queens Caroline Munro
[Caroline Munro bio - click
Judy Matheson, David Barry of Please Sir! (who also wrote the
script) and newcomer Martin Rudman. It will premiere at the Misty Moon
International Film Festival in London on 29th October, and believe me you
donít want to miss it. The festival is free entry so Iíd encourage
people to come along and support the film, the festival and all the other
filmmakers involved who are all showcasing their work.
Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/SalientMinusTen
Twitter - https://twitter.com/salientminusten
IndieGoGo - https://igg.me/at/SalientMinusTen
Anything else you're dying to mention and I have
merely forgotten to ask?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Iím on the cover of this monthís Digital Filmmaker Magazine, and more
importantly itís because thereís an amazing article by me in the mag
talking about women in film. I interviewed super talented female
filmmakers Chelsey Burdon (She), Abigail Blackmore (Vintage
Melanie Light (The Herd), plus actress Judy Matheson (Twins of
Itís a must read for anyone who a) supports women in film (which
hopefully you all do) and b) itís very frank and educational. So please
do buy a digital download of the magazine here:
Thanks for the interview!
All photos by