1. Where do you see yourself after this movie?
Less stressed I hope, and I might even have a chance to take a holiday. ha ha.
I also run an events and pr company and have some fashion related projects in the pipeline.
I do have two more films in development. One set in Brazil called “Almost Angels” with some good friends of mine.
And another set in Venice. But hoping to find funding to start production this year.
Making your first feature is always the hardest but I feel especially lucky to have
International distribution on my first, which is always the hardest part with indie film making.
I have also learnt a lot from Hedda, and have made many friends through it, as well as attracting new partners and colleagues that I have a great rapport with, as well as forging new alliances. So I am looking forward to the next two films, as they should hopefully be much easier.
2. “A poet needs a pen, a painter a brush and a director an army,“ said Orson Welles. Could you tell us how you approach your art/craft and what productions have you seen recently that you feel have been overlooked.
A director needs a big army. That is the key to a good film. I never realised how many people with different skill sets and personality would be needed to make a film.
How I approach my craft? I never say never.
If you feel it is right, you will always find a way.
Productions that have been overlooked. I am not sure how to answer this. But I have fallen in love with two period drama series – The Borgias and Marco Polo, which I felt were axed from the TV stations far too early. But then I do understand the financial pressures of Period Drama projects. They are vastly more expensive then other forms of media.
3. The State of the Film industry today is seemingly in disarray, would you agree with this ?
Not completely as categorize the whole film industry, is not possible. For example the struggling UK film industry is vastly different from the American Industry. In it’s financially terms and culture of people.
I also started quite young in film and media, and even though this is a double edged sword, Technology and social media have made it easier for young people to break into the industry, which they wouldn’t have necessarily had the opportunity some ten or fifteen years ago.Technology and social media have made it easier for young people to break into the industry, which they wouldn’t have necessarily had the opportunity some ten or fifteen years ago. Matthew John Click To Tweet
Talking from a British point of view. I do think the British Film industry is in dire straits, which I find very upsetting, as the UK has a long history of great design, culture and art. Yet the UK is all about the banking and property industries, now.
UK is a city based on money. Los Angeles is a city based on dreams and passions. And yet it is ironic that LA is the more successful.
4. Weinstein? A consortium of women have bought Weinstein’s film company, what will this change if anything …
I would not have the knowledge to know, however as someone who has had celebrity friends who have had difficult times in their lives, I know better then to judge people based on situations I do not know of much about, from my own first hand knowledge.
I am not agreeing with what Harvey Weinstein has done, and definitely think that the situations should be addressed, and the women affected compensated for what they went though, and preventions put in place to ensure this doesn’t happen again. But as an independent film maker, I also appreciate that Harvey Weinstein and his company have done more for the independent film industry than all of the Hollywood studios houses put together. That was not an easy feat. And one I am sure, Harvey went to great lengths and at great personal expense to himself to help ensure that people continued to work and to earn a living from the film industry.
5. When your inspiration is waning when your creativity is flagging, what do you do to keep it fresh ?
Unfortunately I think most my friends would say I permanent state of insanity helps the inspiration process. And as those who know and work with me, will testify, I tend to get more insane and inspirational when I am tired. Haha!
It is difficult to say, because when things do get difficult or life gets tiring, the only way to fix problems is to persevere, by finding even more strength and courage from somewhere deep inside you. And the freshness comes with the energising happiness of success, that naturally inspires you to go onto new projects.
6. Why does European film differ so much?
As everyone knows, it is Cash, Plan and simple!
But that isn’t always a bad things, as I believe people are forced to become most creative when they are trying to achieve the impossible.
The debate between different film companies does interest me significantly, as one of the thing I love about the film industry is that it is an international medium and there are still so many different cultures, societies, countries and characters that need to be seen and not just in Europe, but all over the world and from different eras. But sadly, Hollywood is now all about comic book characters and rich Beverly Hill families.
My favourite film is The Last Emperor of China. Because not only was it visually stunning but taught me something new. USA is now all about how to create even bigger illusions and fantasies.
7. Television is doing some great things these days, are you interested?
Very much so as I am a complete TV series junkie. They are my guilty pleasure. And I weep for weeks when my favourite series comes to an end.
This is one thing which I do love about Hollywood industry.
They are MASTERS of good TV drama’s.
8. Like a painter, How do you know when your story is finished, when to walk away ?
You never walk away from a film or a story, even when it is finished.
It’s impossible. It’s like a child, that stays with you for life. The people who helped you make it, stay with you for life.
The memories stay with you for life. The impact it has on people stays with you for life.
Art stays forever. Memories and Friends shape the people we are today. Money and Power are but fleeting.
You never walk away from a film or a story, even when it is finished. Interview with Matthew John. Click To Tweet