Your upcoming film Cam Girl - in a few words, what is it
is the story of a week in the life of Mary. Sheís a pretty
girl who just so happens to need money in-order to get herself through
college to become a nurse. She decides to join a webcam company and offer
to expose her body for cash. It all goes terribly wrong.
is pretty much a one-person
drama. Was this an artistic or a purely budgetary decision?
know this may sound strange, but it had nothing at all to do with cost.
used to present a TV chat show called Gardinerís World. In some of the
studios nearby there were ladies lounging on sofas with cameras pointed at
them. I had no idea about this stuff, so I asked. Then I got into
conversation with one of them during a break and because I am forever
asking questions I delved into the why and how this all came about. The
girl was very pleasant and very well educated. Her parents were good
honest folk but couldnít afford to pay for her tuition fees. She
desperately wanted to become a nurse. She was very maternal and loving.
Cared for animals. I was totally gutted to see a young woman having to
sell herself this way just to give something back to society. The thought
that one day, these men who call in and pay for a view of what nature gave
her, could possibly be turning up in A & E to be nursed by her made me
think. She was chasing an ideal Ė a natural urge in many ways to be
maternal and caring. The men paying her were following a natural urge too.
She didnít mind taking her clothes off and they didnít mind paying.
But I started to ponder about where it could lead. And I questioned the
purity of those pointing the fingers at these girls. The puritans. Hence
the way the story unfolds.
few words about your leading lady, Layla Randle-Conde, and how did your
collaboration come into being?
I met Layla through some
filmmaking friends in Stoke on Trent, England. We hit it off straight away
and a few weeks later the incident at the TV studios happened. I
immediately thought of Layla. She is beautiful, passionate and also very
esoteric and intelligent. As a model she took off her clothes for money,
and yet that girl could write a novel better than any Dan Brown. It just
seemed to fit and I think thatís why she plays the role so well, she got
The film is quite
demanding on Layla at times. Was there ever a point where she would just
draw the line?
Layla never drew the line at any point. She
With the cast consisting of no more than
one person, how big was your crew, and how intimate was the atmosphere on
There was me, John Symes and Nick Spencer. Three grown
men covering our eyes every 5 minutes.
For me, the claustrophobic nature of your main set
perfectly mirrors the image of the cam girl confined to (or even captured
in) the section of her bed her web-cam aimed at. Was this effect intended
or was this just a given, locationwise?
Actually it was and
the fact you picked that up brought a grin to my face! I could have used
fish eye or wide angled lensís to make the rooms feel a bit bigger, but
I liked the intensity of the standard lens, so I kept it that way.
To prepare for Cam Girl, have you done any research on cam girls and webcam sex, and your
personal opinions about it?
You open a can or worms with
this one thatís a fact. Everybody has an opinion. I personally believe
the female form to be one of the most beautiful works of art in creation
(if it was created). I think the guilt and shame of having to "cover
up" whether you are male or female is religious based and causes more
trouble anyhow. There is however, a time and place. You donít strip off
when youíre teaching junior school kids. But a nice sunny beach,
thatís different. Web cam girls on the other hand are doing it for the
sex drive of males. What if they didnít? What if there was no access at
all to the female form for millions of men? But then why call them whores
and abusive names? We appreciate their beauty and then accuse them of
being harlots. That said, we also have to be careful. Sex can release
dopamine and create an addiction (so Iím told J). At the end of the day, itís not so different to old works of art with
naked ladies in. The tools (canvass is now pixels) and the amount
(millions of them not just a few paintings) has changed. The factor that
remains is the drive Ė the drive to see and the drive to be secure.
Your film has a voyeuristic
streak to it, but much more it is about the very nature of voyeurism.
Would you like to elaborate on that?
I think voyeurism will
increase personally, or at least the idea that men alone at home can watch
ladies taking off their clothes. I think society is just going that way.
We get our groceries delivered to the door, why not get our kicks too. We
hide behind the computer screen, nobody can see us and so we feel at ease
doing it. Because of that, and because of the increase of computers and
people, I believe it will just grow and grow. You canít stop the power
Another film you
are about to release is The Stone - No Soul Unturned. A few words
about that one?
A much bigger production set in the grounds
of a beautiful but derelict mansion. Whatever the main story is you see on
screen, the underlying story is one of our own inner demons. All the
things that cause us to grieve, feel guilty, envious etc. The Stone
unlocks this within each of us and releases them physically. Itís the
Currently you are in the middle of
Haunting - The Curse of the Blue Moon Inn. Anything you can tell us
about that one yet?
Well, this one is a good old-fashioned
Hammer House style film with some modern twists in filming techniques and
effects. Itís based on some very ancient, even Pagan, myths and gives
alternative explanations for the term once in a Blue Moon and why Matthew
Hopkins, the witchfinder general, did what he did. Big cast, lots
happening and very weird. Weíve shot some scenes already and Iím
looking forward to really getting going on this one.
Any other future projects you want
to talk about?
I shall be making another intense film after
Blue Moon with a cast of two! The Madness of Mary. A psychological
thriller of twists and turns that gets into the mind of madness Ė
something that fascinates me.
Your films all seem to have some horror
theme to them. Is horror a genre you are especially fond of?
since as a kid I saw The Omen (original) Iíve loved horror films with
more depth Ė religious, mythical stuff. I prefer things that arenít
normal, boring life. When the budget comes along Iíll do a fantasy or
going into feature filmmaking, you made tons of documentaries, often on
supernatural subjects, and also wrote a few non-fiction books. What can
you tell us about that aspect of your career?
about because Iíd written books on various subjects such as the Holy
Grail, Ark of the Covenant and even life-after-death. I met up with a big
record producer in LA and we were chatting on his mountain about this and
that. It just came up in conversation that we ought to tell some of these
tales in film. So we did. We started out with a cheap camcorder and a web
microphone! Now years later we have built up a massive store of equipment,
over 200 documentaries and films and got contracts with Warner Bros and
others. Weíve ended up being the biggest in the genre. But it is damned
words about Reality Entertainment, the company that produced most
of your documentaries?
Reality is a great company now
covering everything from esoteric to bird watching! Because of the growth
it now means that Reality can get good distribution for independent
filmmakers and thatís a real bonus I love.
With quite a number of
documentaries to your name, what made you eventually go into
I think it was because of the
creativity. Iíve always loved being artistic, creative and to be able to
create something with light and sound, telling a story with some power and
meaning, just seemed the right thing to do. I now take everything Iíve
learned about the mind, about mythology, about religion and of course,
marketing, and try to create something special Ė that hopefully sells
How did you get sucked into making
movies in the first place?
The death of books. Simple
really. Looking at the future, looking at book sales and realising it
wasnít getting out there as much as Iíd like. You might sell a few
thousand books, but you get across to more in film.
Directors who inspire you?
Knight Shyamalan, Alfred Hitchock, Lasse Hallstrom.
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
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The links below
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Lord of the Rings, Chocolat,
The Happening, Star Wars original 3 films, Close
Encounters, Jaws, The Omen, Exorcist,
... and of course, movies you really
Star Wars Ė all the new ones! Almost any remake
of an original film you can think of including The Italian Job, Charlie
and the Chocolate Factory etc.
Your website, Facebook, whatever else?
personal website is www.gardinersworld.com.
But thereís a ton! www.reality-entertainment.com,
else you are dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
Yeah. This industry in my opinion is full of divas in one form or
another. That drives me mad. Iíve turned down huge amounts of money from
executive producers to make films because they want to bend the way you do
things and force you to take on an actress or actor that is so far up
their own ass they have forgotten what itís like out there in the big
wide world. I want to champion unseen talent Ė real talent. Whether
itís actors, musicians or whatever. Thatís one of the biggest things I
enjoy most about my job and thatís what Iím going to continue to do.
Nobody knew who those guys were in Blair Witch or
Paranormal Activity, but
they were successful. Itís about content, storytelling and acting
ability. Not stardom. Thatís my two cents anyway!
Guys like No Redemption for instance. A band that write and perform
great rock music. They deserve to be seen and heard. Producers like Nik
Spencer or John Symes. These guys not only act, they do everything else
too. Together, all these folk make a film, not the Director alone, not the
guys with the money who want to maximise their yield, but hard working
skilled individuals that come together as a team to create something from
for the interview!
And thank you for asking!