Your film One Hour
to Die - in a few words, what is it about?
The darkness of the human soul, that we are all players in a game of
death, switching alliances and making new enemies on a daily basis, all,
ultimately, desperately alone. Or another reading is that its 6 friends at
a party, and someoneís poisoning them all, punishing them for perceived
wrongs, a bit like Saw,
What can you tell us about your experience
working on One Hour
wrote an article for Awesome
Magazine - http://www.awesomeonlinemagazine.com/
- about no-pay acting, which is what 99% of Ďfledgingí actors have to
do to get a foot on the very bottom rung in the industry (and Iíd say
only 1% of them end up getting off that rung). To get experience; build
your CV up and put together a show reel; that will hopefully lead to
gaining paid work, you have to get involved in projects that you do for
free. In the article I give pointers at how to make the right choices and
avoid the dud projects, which end up being a complete waste of time. 6
months before writing that article, One Hour
was one of the first ever projects I got involved with, before I even
found out about dud projects, and it remains the best thing Iíve ever
attached myself to.
may not be the best movie ever made (itís not even the best movie Phil
Gardinerís ever made [Philip
Gardiner interview - click here]),
but itís now a DVD with a printed disc, a proper case and a sleeve, that
you can order off Amazon, and itís got me in it and my name on the
front. There are very few fledging actors that can claim that, but most
people who have worked with Phil Gardiner can.
been involved in projects that you might say had more artistic value, or
were on a bigger, more ambitious scale, but all of them so far remain
unreleased. If there is one thing you can say about working with the good
people at Chemical
-, itís that they follow through on their promises
[Interview with Chemical Burn's
Warren Croyle - click here].
for the making of One Hour
to Die, it was
fun, and a challenge. I have done lots more filming since, and as most
actors will tell you, working on films is, for the most part, intensely
boring. You wait around for hours, and then when you do get to perform,
you find your mark, get the lighting and sound levels right, repeat your
lines a dozen times, and obviously, act out the story non-linear and piece
meal. This all rather detracts from the experience in theatre, where
youíll be trying to feel every bend and straight of your characterís
journey. I recall discussing this with a terrifically talented actress Eva
Thorne, on the set of the as yet unreleased Ghost
Train - http://www.ghosttrainmovie.co.uk
-, and she said in theatre, the most important person is the
actor, but in filming, they appear to be the least important.
Robert Holden, Anna B., Rob Ireland
point I am making, is that this was not the case in One Hour
to Die. Itís a very unconventional way of filmmaking, but we
improvised around the plot for 90 minutes, from start to finish, producing
a very unique and exhilarating experience for all involved, which I hope
comes through to the viewer. Obviously to make a film this way leads to
losing a lot that could be achieved through editing, music, camera angles
(although I think the fish eye adds a lot of atmosphere) and other
cinematic devices, but it was extremely experimental, and I think what you
are left with is an unusual, interesting and arresting piece of work.
To what extent could you
identify with your character, the rather square banker, to begin with?
I donít share much with Nate,
other than that heís quite similar to me facially, about the same height
and build, and like him Iíve got a very good-looking girlfriend. Unlike
him, Iím not already related to her (spoiler alert!).
can you tell us about your co-stars and the on-set atmosphere?
was lovely. We filmed over three days, most of which consisted of three
good looking girls walking round in their bras and knickers! An actorís
life for me!
still got all the cast on Facebook, and I message them occasionally.
Itís interesting to see what theyíre up to. Melanie Denholme [Melanie
Denholme interview - click here], as you
know, has been working on A Killer
Conversation (incidentally, I was originally offered the part of Karl
on that film).
Holden is the Actorís Actor (we were all taking the mickey out of him
for doing his vocal warm ups before the shoot!), and always seems busy
down in Brighton. Heís always posting invites to come to fringe shows
that heís performing in, or directing, or both, but unfortunately Iíve
not been able to make the 500 mile round trip to see one just yet! He
would hate it if I didnít mention the fact that heís done a lot of
professional acting work, as well. So I wonít!
Rob Ireland, Anna B.
Anna B. [Anna B. interview -
click here] is in a YouTube soap called Platform
I saw her in an episode recently in just her underwear, it evoked memories
of my time with her in the Lake District!
Messenger [Jessica Messenger
interview - click here] I have actually worked with since.
was actually her first
ever acting job, she had been a glamour model by trade. We both appeared
in another Phil Gardiner production [Philip
Gardiner interview - click here], which was, amazingly, another Ďone
take wonderí, Awesome
Jess played the complete opposite of a model,
and produced a very funny turn as a failed ventriloquist, so itís great
to see sheís stretching her acting meter (but wonít complain if she
takes on more roles like she did in One Hour
to Die either!).
As for Phil, as you know
heís been filming The Exorcist
Chronicles - http://vimeo.com/45981808. I donít know much about it, as I declined to be involved
over other commitments, but the photos coming out on the internet are
making it look like his biggest film yet.
Anything else you can tell us about the actual shoot?
Hard Times, Library Theatre
We shot dream sequences that were meant to go in the film before each
character died, that revealed their true desires or fears. They are in the
trailer, and I canít think why the director left them out of the final
cut because I think theyíd have added to the film tenfold, but what do I
know! Nateís sequence was about being his sisterís protector, and it
involved me dragging an almost naked Anna B. along the corridor, whilst
we were pursued by the rest of the cast. As she was topless, her boobs
were rubbing against the wooden floor, so she poured olive oil on them to
ease the painful friction. After the scene, we saw there were two thin oil
trails along the corridor made by her nipples. How we laughedÖ
Any future projects you'd like to talk about?
Loads of my fledging
actor friends are always posting legends on Facebook along the lines of
ĎI may never make it as an actor, but when I look back on my life,
Iíll think, at least Iíve triedí (probably after someone has
questioned them doing it, or theyíve had yet another rejection). But
will they? I doubt Iíll wish Iíd spent more time in the office on my
death bed, but Iíll probably be glad if I spend less time in the job
I start the answer like
this because, after probably less than a year of trying to become a
professional actor, about 3 months ago, I had to reassess my situation.
Iím 34, Iím a single parent and I have all the responsibilities and
worries attached to living in Coalition Britain. To establish myself as a
professional actor would probably take years, and a lot of no-pay acting,
which means losing money at work as well. I know a lot of professional actors, and
very few of them are Ďcomfortableí, most spending more time out of
work than in it. I was in a play with the Library Theatre in Manchester,
as a member of the community cast, and one of the professionals who had
been in the business for 20 years, including long term roles in Emmerdale
and Coronation Street, told me, at 50 years old, he was struggling to make
£12k a year. After hearing too many stories like this, I decided it
wasnít fair for me to keep pursuing what is ultimately a very selfish
profession, and gave up on the dream.
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
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However, I wanted to keep
my hand in, as I love the craft. It was difficult for me to do fringe
theatre, as it required a lot of time for rehearsals, and this wasnít
very fair on my son. About the one thing I could do was Murder Mystery
Dinners. When performing in an MM, you are sent the Ďscriptí (which
isnít a script, because you are improvising in character around a plot),
and usually, just turn up an hour before the performance, so there is very
little time required.
After performing in a few
of these, I thought, why not strike out on my own, and To
Die For Entertainment -
- was born.
So Iím now the Creative
Director of my own Murder Mystery Company. The reports of my acting death
were clearly over-exaggerated! We performed our first show in August to a
full house and to great acclaim. Our second is at the end of September,
and we are almost sold out for that. I am actually making a profit from
this venture, as are my actors (an achievement rarely experienced as a
fledgling!), and I hope that one day in the not too far distant future I
can actually give up the day job to do it full time.
Another thing which is
brilliant about being in charge of the project yourself is that you
donít have to pretend you are working on something brilliant, and arse
lick the producers, when you are working on an absolute load of crap,
which is a position most fledglings find themselves in more often than
not! That release is probably better than getting paid!