Your upcoming movie Last Weekend - in a few words, what is it about?
Last Weekend is about six youngsters, 3 guys, 3 girls, all friends,
who for their own individual reasons embark together on a camping
trip to the English West Country. They set off in an old VW microbus and
head for the countryside. En route they stop for a break at a rural pub
near the village of Gallowbrook. The locals seem friendly enough, even
if a little odd.
There's an altercation in the pub with a few of the locals and the
youngsters are back on the road, deciding to camp at Crow's Wood.
They relax at first, but the night brings a series of unnerving events
that escalate to violence and terror from which there seems to be no
What were your sources of inspiration when writing Last Weekend?
Initially the movie wasn't inspired. Someone asked me if I thought I
could write a horror film. I rose to the challenge, but knew it had to
be something we could shoot on a relatively low budget with the right
mix of death, psychological fear and humour. I didn't want cheesy, but
not too serious. Just something tongue in cheek. Nor did I want a
throwaway film done on a whim. I wanted to have at least some shelf life,
so hopefully have aimed right at the cult market with an iconic
I guess the influences that come across will be Halloween and
Friday the 13th, that kind of thing.
Do talk about your movie's approach to horror (as in suspense vs
sudden shocks, atmosphere vs all-out gore)?
There's violence and death, but I wouldn't say loads of gore. It relies
I guess on the atmosphere, suspense and shocks.
However, I've started an early draft of Last Weekend 2 - Blood Sport,
which we intend to be a real gore fest.
What can you
tell us about Last Weekend's overall look and feel?
for the overall look and feel of Last Weekend, I have to admit at this
stage I haven't seen the final edit, but from what I have seen to date
it's looking very promising and we're all happy so far.
also appear in front of the camera in Last Weekend - so what
can you tell us about your character, and about yourself as an actor?
Yes, I do appear in front of the camera in Last Weekend. Just in a
couple of scenes. I play Bob, one of the odd local brothers who run the
village pub. Not sure I can describe the character really, he's just Bob,
one of the collectively odd village locals. His brother John is played by
my own brother Adie J Brown.
You ask about myself as an actor. I love it! The buzz is like nothing
else. I've always been a massive film and TV buff, but, wrongly, only
stepped into the acting side about 9 years ago. Since then I've appeared
in walk-on roles in TV shows, festival award winning shorts and a few
talk about the rest of your cast, and why exactly these people?
whole cast & crew were an amazing bunch to work with and made my job
as a director so easy. We ended up as more of a family. Some even stayed
after their release because they loved the experience so much. The cast
were chosen because they were deemed to be the perfect mix we needed and
so passionate. What more do I need to add?
With Last Weekend being a mostly outdoors movie, what were the
challenges there, and what can you tell us about your locations as such?
Yes, Last Weekend takes place mainly outdoors in a fictional place called
Crow's Wood. We did anticipate having to deal with the odd plane flying
over, but in the main we assumed we were the only ones that had booked
the private woodland for the week. Imagine our shock when we arrived on
the Friday to find that a troop of Scouts had also been booked in for an
adventure weekend. It was tough and frustrating, but somehow we coped.
We also secured a hostel on the site to house the cast and crew. We
anticipated some ruffled feathers with everyone living together for a
week, but it was actually great. Everyone bonded. We all became like a
family and this transposed greatly into the production.
Our other main set was a rural pub about an hours travel away. A great
find. Little to zero footfall on a weekday making shooting very easy. We
even roped in the landlady's son to appear in the film. The three home
scenes were all filmed in one single residential property before we left
for the woods.
talk about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
sure all concerned will agree that on the whole, the shoot went a lot
smoother and was less stressful than any of us anticipated. I believe this
was due to the personalities and professionalism of the combined cast and
crew. I really mean that! We naturally encountered a few hitches, but
literally everyone pulled together to find solutions. Everyone felt that
this project was theirs combined and a piece of them. I love that passion!
The overall atmosphere on set was just a massive buzz. No-one wanted to
are currently in the process of running a fundraiser for Last
Weekend - so do talk about that one, and with the film already shot,
what will the money go into?
Yes we are currently running a fundraiser on IndieGoGo. Not our first
one, but this will be the last for this project. None thus far have
reached their funding goal. We have tried many approaches, but to no
avail. I think people are reluctant to contribute to crowdfunding
platforms recently due to unscrupulous people launching campaigns,
taking the money then the project never sees the light of day. Really
screwed it up for those of us that are dedicated and sincere.
Luckily we have some backing from Beatriz Urzaiz [Beatriz
Urzaiz interview - click here], an actress in LA and
a local businessman, Wayne MacGowen. The funds raised to date will be
nowhere near enough to recoup what I have personally put in financially
or the time of the team, but we knew the risks and were determined to
make this film. We should at least be able to cover the cost of
certification and entry to as many festivals as possible.
The $64-question of course,
when and where will the film be released onto the general public?
is a tough one. In an ideal world we would like to be able to release the
movie on DVD and V.O.D. as soon as possible after edit, try and recoup some
financial loss and move on to the next one. However, we feel we could
still benefit from something that gives us more credibility and will
hopefully drive eventual revenue, so general distribution will wait until
we have completed the festivals. We will however be having at least two
exclusive screenings locally. Again, we hope this will help generate good
critique and interest.
future projects you'd like to share?
Well we have a fair few of our own feature scripts of varying genres in
various draft stages, so stay tuned for those. We are currently in early
production stages of a short sci-fi drama titled Anomaly by Heather
Thompson who also penned Fragments of an Ancient God & The
Inbetween. We are also in talks with a local filmmaker about
collaboration on a WW2 web series and two short horrors as well as talks
on a crime feature by a writer in Sussex.
Corporate video is another thing we undertake, either as a contract or
in return for investment or sponsorship via services.
What got you into
filmmaking in the first place, and did you receive any formal training on
I think I fell into it, but I guess it's always been in me. For as long
as I can remember I've always written and family and friends always
urged me to do something with it. That was back in the days before the
internet or really the digital age in general. It was harder then and in
hindsight I should have found the drive. I've always loved TV and movies,
but having a family at an early age and being self employed for so
long, I guess I always found excuses to put any artistic ambition on
the backburner. About 9 years ago I found myself in a dead end, mind
numbing job. I always need mental stimulation so along with my brother
Adie I joined a theatre club and an agency that supplied SA's to TV and
film. I made contacts, picked brains, observed and learned and honed
my acting ability with walk-on roles and some main roles in student
films and some indie features.
I then started writing again. This time scripts and with a team of
equally enthusiastic and dedicated people we decided to start producing.
The driving force is not money, although it's always welcome. The
inspiration is to showcase the art. I call the buzz the Frankenstein
effect. You have a concept, create it on the page then when you shoot
you watch life breathed into the characters you have created. There's no
feeling like it!
To your question regarding any formal training the answer is an honest
no! As Tarantino said: "I didn't go to film school, I went to
And I'm constantly learning, but as a writer I can visualise what I
want on set.
What can you tell us about your filmwork
prior to Last Weekend?
Too much to mention here if
you mean the stuff I've appeared in. You'd have to look up my IMDb. Own
productions however are four shorts: NightFall, Dinner As Usual,
Another Job & Sweets. We have obviously shot Last Weekend and
currently working on Anomaly. We have also shot a corporate video for one
of our backers and prepping to shoot one for another. A script that is
ready to go pending finance is a British gangster thriller titled Narrow
How would you
describe yourself as a director?
Describing myself as a director is a tough one. I know what I want to
see and as long as I get that I'm happy. I certainly don't stand around
barking orders though. I guess I'm lucky to date that the role of
director has been an easy one. Cast and crew have been so on top of
their game that they pretty much need no direction. I rarely state that
my decision is final either, but when it is, IT IS!
To be fair, it would be better to ask others how they thought of me as
Filmmakers who inspire
Quentin Tarantino, James Cameron, Alfred Hitchcock.
Those are the ones that spring immediately to mind, but I can be just as
inspired by watching any random movie. For instance, I can watch
something and think "Hey that's a great technique / shot / angle etc."
Your favourite movies?
what my favourite movies are is a tough one. I'm a bit of a film fiend and
love anything with a good story. If pushed I'd probably say Love, Honour
& Obey, The Wid Geese, Face, Going Off Big Time,
HardMen, Zulu, Gallipoli, Hostel,
Eden Lake. Those are just off the top of my head, but
I could carry on listing films.
... and of
course, films you really deplore?
This is obviously my own
personal opinion and taste before anyone decides I need lynching, but:
The Blair Witch Project, Open Water, Shrooms and most things with zombies
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
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website, Facebook, IndieGoGo, whatever else?
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Links to our other work and most info about us can be found via the
above links. Anything anyone would like to know, but can't find please
contact us. We're very approachable.
else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
We are always actively seeking investors and sponsors to help us get our
projects out there and would love to chat to anyone about how we can
collaborate and help each other.
Also, if you are a scriptwriter with a project you think we can help
with feel free to contact us.
for the interview!
Thanks for the interview.