Was Nicholas Hope always the first choice for Thomas?
Nicholas was always very high on the list – and he was always a consistent contender. As the script became more and more refined, he seemed to be the natural choice for the character. And he really owns the character! It was great to work with him.
I hate to ask this but was the audience member who collapsed in a screening at Dungog an excellent marketing ploy or for real. Are they OK?
The audience member collapsing during the Dungog screening was completely real – no marketing ploy (but it has given us some ideas)! The screening had to be stopped and paramedics called. Yes, as far as I know the guy is fine. But perhaps we need to consider including a health warning with “Redd Inc”.
After the call out for web cam contributions, did you get inundated with videos or did it take time for word to spread?
It began with a trickle, and soon turned into a flood. The quality of the submissions ranged from the very talented to the very enthusiastic. It was a great way to cast roles and get extra material for the film. I believe it had never been done before “Redd Inc”. And that material is included seamlessly in the film.
How much of an impact did legend Tom Savini have on the cast and especially the make-up crew? Did he have stories to share, good or bad?
The presence of Tom Savini on set was an inspiration to us all. He’s the consummate professional and has so much passion for his art and craft. The make-up crew were stoked to be supervised by him, and the rest of us on the set (cast and crew included) were entertained by his stories of the many iconic films he’s worked on. Tom isn’t someone who seems to be aware of his “legendary” status – he’s a person who loves telling a good story and sharing his knowledge of the business. Working alongside him was a great experience.
Did the low budget restrain you from any directing decisions or cutting of scenes?
No, the script was written with the budget very much in mind, so the fiscal restraint was always there from the genesis of the project. The real challenge for me, from a directing point of view, was to take a story that is largely set in one room, and make it visually and dramatically interesting.
Kelly was a powerhouse, stood out in every scene, was she as confident at risk taking as she seemed? Did she ever suggest any tweaks to Annabelle that you took on board?
Kelly is a consummate professional and a very open and giving actor. From her first audition, she had the character nailed. We saw a lot of very talented people for the role, but when Kelly Paterniti walked in, she was the character. Kelly had ideas for Annabelle’s costume and styling, and also the character’s attitude. Before shooting began she knew the character better than the writers or I did. It’s a boon for a director to have an actor that is all over the character in such a way.
Did Anthony write or did you film an alternate ending?
No, there were no alternate endings written or filmed.
Or, any particular scenes that were hanged from the script because they didn’t quite work?
Some scenes were changed due to practicalities of the location, but the changes weren’t big. For instance, the scene where William cleans up after the Sheena character is dispatched. Originally William was sitting at his own seat and cleaned her work-station from there. But because of the practicality of being chained to the chair and desk, we decided it would be more workable, and creepier (!) If he woke up in Sheena’s work-station and was forced to clean it.
Do you see Redd Inc as a simple parody of horror or as a trajectory of frights?
While there are elements of parody and satire in “Redd Inc”, I think the film has something deeper and more profound to say about the modern workplace. People are metaphorically chained to their desks more and more all over the world, whether they work from home or go into the office. Rising debt and consumerism is forcing more and more people to work longer hours, and “Redd Inc” in a small way reflects this burden many people carry. And let’s face it; we’ve all worked for a boss that we’ve not been too fond of!
Influences to become a director or favourite films of this or any genre?
The directors who initially influenced me to pursue a career in filmmaking were Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorcese and Alan Parker. “Midnight Express” is one of my favourite films, and was a big influence on me both as a writer and a director. I don’t really have a favourite genre, I just like a good story that is well told.
Are there any individuals you would like to work with if you had the opportunity?
I’ve always been a fan of Harrison Ford, so he’s up there on the list. Other people I would like to work with are Emily Blunt, Ben Mendelsohn, Marisa Tomei and Steve Buscemi.
What’s up next for you, a sequel or continuation or another project?
There’s talk of a Redd Inc sequel, and I’ve also got a bunch of other projects on the boil. There’s been some interest in one of my scripts from one of the US studios. So fingers crossed something comes of that.
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