Interview with AD Lane of Indywood Films

I first learned of Antony Lane’s Indywood Project when he began following me on twitter in May 2009. I followed him back and joined the project soon after. I have stuck by him for the past 2+ yrs because of his undying and infectious enthusiasm, which definitely comes through in the following interview:

Tell us a little about yourself: who you are, where you’re from, what you do.

Hi, My name is Antony Lane, I’m 32, and a filmmaker originally from Grimsby, now living in Kent where I have set up my film production company… We currently have a lot of exciting projects on the go; 2 features, a TV series & a reality show with a difference in the pipeline.

When did you first become interested in film?

As far back as my memory takes me, I have always been obsessed with films, right from being a kid, I remember being a kid & being handed the video remote & learning to master it, this would be my friend growing up… haha, for many years my only friend…

Who are your biggest inspirations and what about them inspires you?

I personally find inspiration from people, like for example, when I watch a movie like ‘THE AVIATOR’ or ‘ED WOOD’ or even ‘FORREST GUMP’ where you get to know a character & their journey & you feel what they feel, that really inspires me. With ED WOOD, I am inspired by ED’s passion for making films despite the fact he was no good at making them…

Frank would like to know: What made you decide to make a zombie film?

Most of my film going life has been spent watching the original ‘DAWN OF THE DEAD’ it seems only fitting that my first movie should be ZOMBIE related, I love the genre & 9 times out of 10, I am not impressed with the films being produced. I love the original ROMERO movies & just love the idea of making the perfect ZOMBIE film, but with my project evolving, so have my ideas, so expect something different, but then also something very familiar…

What is your favorite zombie film?

‘DAWN OF THE DEAD’, but this is only just followed by John Carpenter’s ‘THE THING’

Do you prefer fast zombies or slow?

I LOVE slow zombies, to me you can create a lot more fear & tension with them being slow, to me fast zombies are the MTV generation that has to have 2-3 second cuts, and things moving fast, it’s for the youth of today, for me it’s all about OLD SCHOOL zombies & gore, none of this CGI gore & explosions making everything look unreal & cartoony, let’s take things back to when HORROR movies was good fun & real…

Without giving too much away, can you tell us what makes IOTNQD “Not Quite a Zombie Movie”?

If I told you that, then you would know why it wasn’t quite a zombie movie, hence giving away a major twist, but what I can reveal is, me doing my no sleeping twitter film fundraising marathons actually plays a part in the film storyline, meaning, our characters cannot go to sleep… damn it, I just revealed too much… lol

Was there anything about writing of the Invasion of the Not Quite Dead that convinced you it was the project to pursue?

It took 2 years to really develop my idea for ‘INVASION’, the problem was, I was marketing it very well as this NEXT BIG THING, very unique & never been seen before, even before I knew what that was myself, so I really put pressure on myself, luckily that pressure made me think very hard & really go to a different place with my writing, but once I started showing people a rough draft of the script & getting incredible feedback from people like KEN RUSSELL, I knew I was heading on the right track…

How did you decide to fan fund?

When I was in my final year of university in 2006, I began testing the water with a fan funding idea, and I kind of became obsessed with control of my vision & the film in general & also with it being 100% fan funded, the only problem was, back in 2006, it was a very new way of funding films & every idea & new website I put online, didn’t work too well as a funding model, the marketing of each idea was bringing in a hell of a lot of attention, even celeb support, but very little money, it wasn’t until MAY 2009 that I decided after 5-6 failed attempts to have 1 last go…

Why did you decide to use twitter?

In May 2009, I set up a fan fund-raising site & also made a twitter account to really just keep people up to date on the progress of the project in real-time, within the first day on twitter, I was interacting with horror fans & telling them about my struggle to get my film made & within hours money began to come in, I soon found that where I had been going wrong in the past was I wasn’t connecting with my audience good enough, with the help of twitter, I was able to interact in real-time, getting people excited & wanting to donate to see this film made & released, setting up a twitter account on MAY 1st 2009 was the best thing I ever did…

In what ways has twitter made things easier and in what ways, if any, has it limited you?

Twitter makes it a lot easier to connect with the fans & really just talk to them about my film project, it really is inspiring to see them get excited about something that hasn’t been produced, but instead to see them want to help to bring it to life, there isn’t really any limitations to raising money on twitter, the only limitations are that I’ve set on myself, which is using any regular funding model, like for example, investors, studio support, funding bodies, basically anyone who can take away my sole vision for the movie & besides, I love the idea of just keeping it 100% fan funded, really makes this a personal project, from me to the fans who helped make it happen…

What other tactics had you tried and why do you believe they did not work?

I have in the past set up websites offering producer credits & sponsorship, I personally think a lot of the ideas I had didn’t work was because it was at a time before the world became comfortable in just giving money out online, not just that, but there was much of a past to my project, unlike now, when you look into my film, there is a lot about it online, so I think its good to gain people’s trust when they are about to donate to you & your film, there are too many con men out there, so having a project that has a past online, really can help…

What has been the hardest part of the project so far?

The hardest part is the NOT knowing if money will keep coming in to keep the film alive, its something that scares me daily, my problem is, I have a very ambitious film & I am determined for it to look as professional as possible, which means paying out a lot of money on things that just can’t be ignored if you want to proudly put something out at the cinema, so the hardest part is fund-raising & sometimes there just isn’t a lot of money coming in… so patience is required, but it can get very frustrating, but then it goes the other way, when the project is finished, we can proudly say we never gave in & it is 100% a fan funded film…

What has been the most surprising or rewarding?

My biggest surprise has been from 2 amazing people who donate large sums of money every month during my fund-raising marathons, John Daamen & Larry Fleming who have both donated a few thousand pounds each now & to have their support each month is the best feeling in the world, they are so supportive of the project, without even trying to get anything in return, that’s something that inspires me & makes me proud to have this project, so it can be very rewarding at times…

I think it’s important our readers understand that film is not all glamour. What was your day job when the project was getting started?

When I originally started the project in 2007, I was in my final year of university, then after leaving uni, I worked at a train station M&S store, then working full time at a BED company doing telesales, until 2008, so the truth is, I could of given up on the project & got a job in the industry & made use of my film degree, but instead, really just became stubborn & kept working part time on my film project & ended up working 2 bit jobs to just cover rent & bills, that’s the reality of chasing a dream, giving up on a good career & regular income, to working in a job you hate for pennies & never knowing if what you have spent years working on will ever see the light of day… the realism of following a dream is a scary one…

What is the film industry like in England, and have you ever considered moving to somewhere with a bigger film presence to further your career?

Our film industry is pretty much non existent, the majority of films being made over here are independent films being funded by rich investors & European money, I guess moving to the US would increase my chances if I wanted to work from the ground up & go after funding in the traditional sense, but doing what I’m doing in the UK, independently means I stand a much better chance of standing out from the crowd, as ENGLAND has a lot less people than America, so I can stand out a bit easier here, I personally wouldn’t change this for the world, I am very proud about battling the odds & attempting to put some fresh life in the UK film industry…

You shot the teaser back in February and are moving forward with principal photography in the next few weeks, was it always the plan to shoot as you got the funds or has the plan had to change to fit the needs of the project?

We wanted to shoot the intro sequence in FEB, but certain problems occurred, so it was delayed until APRIL 2011, and this was the actual INTRO sequence we went to Bulgaria to film, what has been put on YOUTUBE was just a teaser of things we shot for the 5-8 min intro sequence, which has been getting an incredible response so far, but with intro shoot being a huge problem & many many things going wrong, it has meant for us to do a re-write, so now there will be a few additional bits filmed in June 2011, to tie it all up, & not just the problems from Bulgaria, but, the script is always developing & evolving, this actually happened with the INTRO, even whilst in Bulgaria, we came up with an idea to just make it even more EPIC, but to answer your question, we are filming it in pieces, first of all the intro, then as soon as we have enough raised, we will do the remainder of the movie at the end of the year, then 2012 we will fund-raise for the post production, when you’re raising pennies when it needs to be pounds, you have to just role with the punches, and as frustrating as that is, at least its always moving forward, and that’s something I am eternally grateful for…

When I approached you to do this interview, you were in the middle of another of your no sleep tweetathons: What is the most important thing to get you through those?

The number 1 thing that keeps me awake & going & inspired is the FEAR of not raising enough money to make the best film possible, the fear the money will just stop & we have to make a very ambitious film for next to no-budget, that can actually keep you happily awake for a good 60+ hours & it can be just the motivation you need, lol…

If you had just one sentence to win over someone who’s on the fence about joining. What would it be?

I always say to people I just meet, pls spare a few minutes to visit: http://indywood.co.uk have a read about my 4+ year battle to see my film made & check out the film project & if its something that inspires you, then please join us & become a producer & share in the success with us, this is a horror film, made by a true horror fan for horror fans, this isn’t a corporate company wanting to make a horror film cheap & by the numbers so it is targeted by the most people, this is a true independent horror movie that has 1 vision, that vision is clear & won’t be violated by someone wanting to make the most money…

How does one go about joining your project?

Visit http://www.indywood.co.uk & then choose a producer package, they range from £10-£500 (approx. $16-$820) then just click the DONATE button & you will become a hero to the project instantly…

Is there anything you’d like to say to the people who took a chance on your project in the very beginning and have stuck with it for the past 2 years?

I am blown away by EVERYONE who has ever donated, which is over 1000 people from 26 different countries now, but my real inspiration comes from seeing the producers who donated in that first week in May & people like yourself that have trusted me & my project from the beginning, its amazing & a great feeling to know that you can connect with people on twitter & through a website, so all I can say is THANK YOU everyone who has supported me, PAST, PRESENT & FUTURE…

What are your plans after IOTNQD? I recall you saying that it’s the first of a trilogy, do you plan to fan fund all of them or will you wait and see?

Yeah, this is a planned trilogy & my goal is to use ALL profits made from IOTNQD to fund part 2, & we will also be doing the producer packages which will even include PART 1, so it will still be 100% fan funded again, so this will be my life for many years to come… haha… I am also working on a feature documentary on the band WHEATUS, which is a real inspirational story & can’t wait to get that out into the world, and I’d like to do more feature documentaries in the future…

Wheatus

If you could go back to May 2009 and start over, is there anything that you would change?

Not a single thing, everything I have done has been with the best interest of the film, sure there have been mistakes along the way, but you only learn from your mistakes, so I am happy to make them as long as I can come away with a much bigger respect & understanding for everything, this is all one big learning curve, this is my master class… & I am but a student…

Do you have any advice or encouragement to give someone who is just starting out or is struggling with their own project?

My advice is never give up, and there will be many times you want to & many things will happen to really make you want to, but if you want this bad enough and like BACK TO THE FUTURE has always told me, “If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.” A quote that stays with me every day & has got me through some very dark days, but I really do believe that if you give it your all, one day, you will have your time to shine, just do everything in your power to make it happen…

Is there anything that we have not covered that you would like to mention?

My last words are to anyone chasing a dream, just please don’t ever give up, if you feel uninspired, come talk to me on twitter @INDYWOODFILMS it always helps when you have a small group of people online who are going through the same things to keep the inspiration alive, I am always around to offer advice & pick me ups to those who need it, just swing on by…


Antony can be found on twitter, facebook, youtube, and at his website, indywood.co.uk

Advertisements

One thought on “Interview with AD Lane of Indywood Films

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s