What was your inspiration behind the film?
Well it all came from Tom posting on Facebook looking for a writer, what for I had no idea at the time but I said I was up for a challenge. Then he explained that he was (at the time I think) looking for a play to illustrate the point of the then unnamed Actor Awareness campaign. I suggested a film as it is easy to share and that was that! As for the content it all comes from personal experience. Though I’ve never lived with a Simon I have certainly met them; people who have just been able to go to Drama School because their parents just paid, and they have no idea a lot of the time that there are people like us out there. That’s not a criticism of such people, why would they be aware? But in that last scene, John I think is very much mouth piece to my own frustrations as an actor; so that piece was very personal to me, and I agonised over it, treading the line between making the point pissing people off. It just had to be clear from the word go that this was not a demonising film, and I think by-and-large we achieved that.
What was the biggest struggle?
Oh so many. We were funded very generously by our supporters on Indiegogo, but still the budget was tight. We had expenses all over the place and people coming from all over the country, so trying to make a no-expense-spared film with so-many-expenses-spared was up there. But biggest of all we had some pretty catastrophic technical issues in Post and lost a huge amount of footage. Thankfully James (Hayman) of Flawless Films in a genius in the edit suite and was a genius on set so he managed to create the film anyway, but it set the release date back about a month or so.
What message do you think this film sends to the industry?
I think the message has to be that art, in all its forms but in this case acting, should not and cannot be dictated by money and finance. We find ourselves in a situation now where casting directors are writing articles titled, ‘Where have all the working class actors gone,’ and national treasures like Julie Walters are coming out very publicly and saying she would not have made it if she started out in today’s climate. Can you imagine an acting world without Julie Walters? And how many Julie Walters are there out there right now thinking, “I’d love to be an actor but I can’t afford it,” And because of finances, the next generation is robbed of great and wonderful talent of that Julie-Walters-in-the-making. I think that has to be the message of the film; change or we all end up poorer for it. To quote the film, “It’s in their own best f***ing interest.”
Tell us more about Type40Films and future projects.
Type40Films has grown out of ‘The Industry’, and so it has at it’s heart that will to make films for good, rather than making them for the sake of making films, not that there’s anything wrong with that! I want it to have an intrinsic conscience to it, and I can’t give much away at the moment, but our next big project well and truly follows that. It is in conjunction with a charity supporting a very very worthy cause and that will be what the film is about. It’s going to be quite an arty film I think, different tone to ‘The Industry’. It will be longer so we’re looking to push a few more boundaries! Keep tuned in to our Twitter and Facebook feeds because there will be some news coming very soon about how you actors might be able to get involved.
Having said all that there is some talk of shooting a tiny little horror film, just for fun! So again, watch this space!
Finally, if you could change one thing in the industry right now, what would it be?
I think it would be extend the student loan system to Drama Schools. So those fees don’t go away, the same as Uni, but it becomes available to wider variety of people. I can’t see why it would be an issue really; they still get their money, student finance of various areas still do business, in fact more. So what’s the issue?
And stop charging people to audition. I mean, seriously? Very strange thing to do.
Here is link to the film, please go and watch