One Day Removals Glasgow Film Festival Q&A
After the screening of One Day Removals (Filmstalker review) at the 2009 Glasgow Film Festival, a screening to a sold out cinema packed with an enthusiastic and a laughed out audience, we heard from the writer and director Mark Stirton and producer Kerwin Roberston - a man whom I remember from the Robert Gordon's Student Union...what happens in the Union stays in the Union, unless it's on YouTube!
There weren't many questions, but I did pester Kerwin, Michael and Mark (when he was briefly around) about the film and what they were working on next, as well as revealing that One Day Removals was going to be opening the first, soon to be created, Aberdeen Film Festival.
Yes, I said that right. There's going to be an Aberdeen Film Festival, or rather I think it's going to be an Aberdeenshire Film Festival, and since that's the place I've lived for quite a bit of my life I'm dying to find out what's in store for the Festival, and perhaps even offer my services! It's great news for film fans in the North-East of Scotland, keep your eyes open for more news on that, and great news for the team behind One Day Removals who are going to lead the opening of the first ever Aberdeenshire Film Festival.
That aside, the Glasgow Film Festival could have been a little nicer to the One Day Removals team, aside from the poor presentation of their film, they didn't tell the audience beforehand that there would be a Q&A with the director and producer afterwards, and so there were a number of people leaving during the titles. What's worse is that there was no director to be found. It seems that after a bad screening at one festival he decided never to sit in on the screenings, and so he was outside in the bar. A quick dash by Kerwin and he was retrieved.
It's also a shame that only Mark Stirton and Kerwin Robertson took to the stage, for one of the leads was there as well as a couple of supporting actors. It would perhaps have made for a longer Q&A had they taken to the stage too. However that's who were there and we got a little from them about the film.
Mark said that one of his main influences was Laurel and Hardy and had been wondering what a film would be like if it was a Laurel and Hardy film which had an effect on the human body, and the multiple killing story came about.
Initially the story had been made into a short film, but they wanted to make it a little more commercial.
They had the money to make the film after getting deals to sell The Planet (Filmstalker review) in America and Japan and wanted to do it in Doric from the beginning, not through any particular reason other than they wanted to. It wasn't so much defiant against Hollywood but just not changing the way people talked and setting it in a real location with real people talking in a real way.
Mark said he was really the intended audience for making the film.
Discussing the violence of the film Mark said that it really wasn't that violent, it's comic and slapstick.
He went on to discuss how he prepared for the film, what he watched, what he used as influences, and his answers were rather interesting. Restless Natives and Dr. Strangelove, both for how dark comedies worked, looking at the timing and comic set-up of them.
They had approached Scottish Screen for funding but they wanted to cut down the language, in particular the swearing, and Mark said that just made him want to increase the amount rather than tone it down. However it was just the way the characters spoke.
The great news is that they already have deals for America, although the moment when one of the characters calls God the big c-word might well be difficult to sell! He did confirm that the U.S. version will definitely have subtitles, perhaps even Doric ones to go along with the U.S. English ones – now that might be good, teaching people to speak proper Doric at the same time!
The bad news is that there are no Scottish distribution deals as yet, which is a real shame and says a lot about the Scottish marketplace.
There's a new project on the go right now though. They met some lovely people at the British Independent Film Awards and they're looking at doing a new film. They have a script and are looking for the funding, however they are going to London for bigger name actors. They were all quite honest really that they were selling out, and why not if it gets the films made that they want to make?
Afterwards I managed to grab Kerwin Robertson, one of the producers, actors and special effects guru for Stirton Productions, as well as being a face recognisable from my days at college (in particular the college bar and “nightclub”. We had a wee chat and while I can't tell you half of the things he said to me, there are some interesting comments to be had.
The new film is going to be something very different to what they've already done.
The U.S. distribution deal for One Day Removals is signed.
Despite not having a Scottish or British deal, One Day Removals is loved in Aberdeen, particularly in the crowd of offshore workers as it seems just about every single oil rig has a copy of the DVD and they have been getting a great response from them.
Despite all this success Kerwin, and the other producers, still work their day jobs between making the films. He has time for his family and two kids, so I assume there's no time for sleeping, or even a third!
What was the most revealing is that despite a new cut for this film which was tighter and played much better, there's a further cut coming which will be the U.S. distribution cut. That has a further two minutes off the run time and some new footage added in. I'm desperate to see the next film.
It was a great showing at the Glasgow Film Festival, despite the poor sound and the miss of the opening by the projectionist there, something they should be thoroughly apologetic for. However despite that the audience loved it and there were plenty of laughs. The screening definitely went down well.
What I'm hoping for is more information about this new film, I'm in touch with the producers and director and I hope to get you the news as soon as they pass it to me (and allow me to tell you!). I already know a bit and it sounds bizarre and a fair leap from where they today, and I can't wait to hear more – Kerwin/Mark/Michael, take note, and remember that set visit you promised Kerwin!
In the meantime go get yourself a copy of One Day Removals from their official site. It's a great low-budget film that shows they have a lot more to bring, and once they get those bigger budgets we're looking for bigger and better things.