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An Interview with Joann Randles, Director of Adrian

by Mike Haberfelner

January 2016

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Your upcoming movie Adrian - in a few words, what is it about?


Adrianí is a biopic drama about the sensational wrestler and British icon Adrian ĎExoticí Street.


What got you interested in "Exotic" Adrian Street's story in the first place, what inspired you to make a film about him?


I was in Manchester Art Gallery with my partner and there was this wonderful exhibition by artist Jeremy Deller on the industrial revolution. Part of the exhibition was on Adrian Street, a documentary that explored Adrianís life and career. I was compelled by Adrianís story. I knew nothing about wrestling and nothing of Adrian until this exhibition. However, Adrianís story had a profound effect on me. His story is truly inspirational and he's an artist in his own right.

Before leaving the gallery I made a note of Adrianís name on my phone and kept telling my partner I have to make a film with Adrian. But it was more than just Adrian as the wrestler that made me want to pursue making a film with him. His story personally inspired me as a young professional, because regardless of everyone telling him no he wouldnít make it, he stayed true to himself and pursued his dreams. It is that drive and ambition that equally made me feel like anything in this life is possible if you put your mind to it!

I believed if I could feel that positive and inspired from Adrianís story, so could many others too, both wrestling fans and people who have no idea about the sport. It is a story anyone could relate to.

It was a bonus that he is Welsh as well!


How close will you stick to Street's actual story/will you take many liberties?


We will be staying very close to Adrianís story; after all, it was that which attracted me to wanting to make a film on him to begin with. Therefore, I wouldnít want to manipulate or tell it any other way.


Since Adrian Street's still alive, will he at all be personally invovled with the project?


I am fortunate to be in regular contact with the main man himself as well as his son who is also called Adrian. Between us we are all working hard to bring Adrianís story to life. It is important to me to involve Adrian as much as possible because I want the film to give his story the kudos it deserves.


With Adrian being a period movie, where do you see the challenges there?


I love a good challenge!

I think the biggest challenge we will face is not so much the fact this is a period film; the aesthetics is something I am looking forward to. The real challenge will be casting the right actor to play the part of Adrian. It is important to me, as I know it is for Adrian too, that we donít settle for anyone who will Ďjust doíÖ The role will be intense because not only will the person have to emulate Adrian himself and the stage presence, but to teach someone wrestling moves that not even some of Adrianís professional opponents could copy, will be difficult for any actor to imitate to say the least. But thatís all part of the fun and art of making movies!


You also have to tell us how you intend to go about filming the wrestling scenes of Adrian!


We have a few ideas bouncing around.

Because we are in the early stages of development it is really important make sure this is right before finalising the script. Not only do these scenes have to look right, it also has to feel real. Iím not going to give away too much because once the film is complete I donít want the audience to have any pre-conceptions of how the movie is going to look. So I guess, all I can say is watch this space!


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


At the moment I am putting a visual mood board together as well as making loads of notes from a mix of films including lighting, camera work etc.  As above I really want to stay true to Adrianís story and that includes everything from replicating the period, costumes, props and locations. As much as this is a true Cinderella story, without the glass slipper of course, it is certainly not a fairy tale. So donít be expecting a fairy god mother to suddenly turn up and lots of elaborate special effectsÖ Keeping it real is what Iím aiming for. However, as a compromise, there will be lots of sequins and glitter!


Anything you can tell us about your projected cast yet?


Not yet sorry. Iím trying to stay as grounded as possible at this stage of the production and not daydream too far ahead, although that is admittedly hard at times. At the moment my focus is making sure everything on paper is right and thoroughly researched.


As far as I know, Adrian is still in pre-production as we speak - so what's the schedule, and any idea yet when your movie might be released onto the general public (which is probably waaay too early to ask)?


Waaay too early to ask, but good things come to those who wait. Patience is a virtue and all that ;)


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


Like any artist I am always writing down ideas, perhaps too many for my own good! Itís easy to go on tangents and become distracted. However, right now my focus is this project. It needs my full attention in order for it be successful so I am totally immersed in it. Literally eating, breathing and sleeping this production.


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


I have been an artist/performer for as long as I can remember. Most little girls wanted dolls for ChristmasÖ I wanted paper to draw on and lots of it! In primary school when others were playing dress up trying to look like older versions of themselves with make-up and pushing doll prams, I was more concerned in dressing up as Mini Mouse, Peter Pan, a duck, rabbit. You name it I was a character, even a weather girl! But the thing was I believed it too, no half measures. Telling stories and being Ďartyí in whatever form is ingrained in me as a person.

I had my first experience on a TV set as work placement with Tinopolis Television when I was 14 and have been hooked ever since! It was from then I knew I wanted to be a film and TV director / producer and wouldnít settle for anything less. I studied BA in Film Studies at Kingston University, London and an MA in Film at the University of Wales, Newport. However, from the age of 18 I actively worked as a freelancer in tandem to my studies. When I wasnít freelancing, I was finding another excuse to find something to film. I knew early on it was what I needed to do to gain as much experience as possible, paid or unpaid it didnít matter, what mattered was the knowledge I gained, as my mother quite rightly says Ė knowledge is power!


What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Adrian?


Oh my goodness, where to start!

As above I have been freelancing since I was 18. Before the ĎSelf-shooting PDí title existed that was in essence my roleÖ I was glad broadcasters eventually came up with a rounded way to describe the job of people like myself because writing on your business card ĎProducer, Director who is a Camera Operatorí was a bit daft! I have worked on news items, broadcast documentaries and factual entertainment, music videos which have been broadcast internationally, corporate videos, fair few short films and now feature films.

As well as freelancing as a self-shooter, I also work as an executive producer with a company called the British Youth Film Academy. Every year the company produces a micro-budget feature film. The films of which are then distributed and screened internationally.

With regard to personal projects, recently I made a short film titled Matchstick Girl, a modern adaptation of the Hans Christian Anderson story The Little Matchstick Girlí to raise awareness of child homelessness. The film was the UK Film Review Short film of the Week and went on to be screened to producers and directors from ITV and BBC at MediaCity UK, Manchester.

I am also an international and multi award winning published photographer. Photographed everything from weddings to really arty dance photography. I continue dabble in photography in my spare time.


How would you describe yourself as a director?


Iíve never thought about this before. I guess my personality speaks a lot for how I am as a director. Highly creative, flamboyant, not afraid to take risks and try new techniques in terms of direction, camera work and lighting. I certainly donít like doing things by half, something has to be done properly or not at allÖ Iím not a Ďfix it in postí kind of girl! I have encountered too many experiences where things havenít been done properly for one reason or another and it is not something I like adopt when making my own productions. I am friendly but like to get things done. I care about my cast and crew - making a production of any kind is team work and ultimately to get the best out of a production you need to get the best out of your team.


Filmmakers, writers, whoever else who inspire you?


I am a massive fan of Charlie Chaplin and David Bowie. Other than that Iím going to be super cheesy and say my family are really important to me. I donít think I can list specific people other than Chaplin and Bowie, because I am quite happy doing my own thing, I always have. I can certainly say I have learnt by studying other professionals. However, I can honestly say my inspiration is my own.


Your favourite movies?


Sunset Boulevard, The Maltese Falcon, This Gun For Hire, Metropolis, In the Heat of the Night, ET, Empire of the Sun, Calamity Jane, Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence, Blade Runner, SplashÖ I have a very random choice of favourite films and not too embarrassed to say there are a few Disney films I love too.


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


Feeling lucky ?
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Your shop for all things Thai

UmÖ boring onesÖ anything with a zombieÖ I just donít bother wasting my time watching something I donít enjoy or canít relate to, Iím quite blunt about films I donít like. I will normally go off on a rant about it for one reason or another. But what I like and what others may like are two different things.


Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?


So the Facebook page for Adrian can be found at Please like, share and spread the word! The page will be updated regularly with information on how the production is progressing as well as other updates.


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


For any other information, press inquires or SEIS/EIS opportunities please email: - thank you!!


Thanks for the interview!


Special thanks to Richard S Barnett, founder of IIWYK!!!


© by Mike Haberfelner

Legal note: (re)Search my Trash cannot
and shall not be held responsible for
content of sites from a third party.

Thanks for watching !!!



Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
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
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A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
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directed by
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written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD