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MIdlands Spotlight Archive - Louise James & Open Image Films

By midlandsmovies, Feb 7 2014 05:12PM

Midlands Movies speaks to Louise James – a producer for Open Image Films based in Derby. She has been married for 25 years to actor, writer and director Lloyd James and she speaks to Editor Mike Sales about her involvement in the regional film scene.

Born and raised in Derby, Louise has moved around from the Isle of Man, Scotland and Wales but had always planned to return to her natural home in Derby and it was here, many years ago, she first helped her husband by typing up his scripts.

Asking how that is even possible, Louise explained to Mike that literally, “He would act out the scenes and describe what was happening and I would type it all down”. It was later during the making a film in 2007, and just after having their second daughter, Louise was then asked to do all the behind the scenes work such as scheduling, casting calls, getting cast and crew together which subsequently resulted in her receiving her first producer credit

Having worked in administration for over 20 years, Louise picked this up quickly and since then she has been asked to source locations and help with scheduling on shoots that Lloyd has been involved in – including some that are not their own projects.

After many years in the industry, Louise explains that each of her projects has been self financed but this creates an obvious hurdle to overcome. “It takes a long time to raise the necessary funds to start a project. We try to avoid making anything until we have at least enough money to provide food and travel expenses for cast and crew”.

Currently, Open Image Films Limited only produce projects that her and Lloyd write so they have total say in what they do. With 2 original feature films coming up in the new year called 'The Journeyman' and 'The Lazarus Project', they certainly have their hands full in 2014.

Whilst not always present on set for the whole shoot due to the children being at school and college, Louise tells us that she always tries to make sure she can spend a couple of hours on set making sure everything is going to plan and if not, to see what can be done to work around any problems. I ask her what that entails and ensuring her priorities are managed she replies “I always make sure there is enough tea, coffee and biscuits for the cast and crew!”

Often involved in the catering she provides plenty of sandwiches, spuds and soup which guarantees a much happier crew before I then turn the conversation to any heroes within the industry.” I love Frank Darabont and Drew Barrymore - both for their acting and producing, Sandra Bullock is a good comedy actress and I like Angelina Jolie too”. Following this, she explains that she loved Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile and the fantastic writing of Edgar Wright’s Hot Fuzz

Although not sticking to a particular genre, Louise has always favoured the horror genre and hopes Open Image can produce more horror in the future. Her love for horror stems from her enjoyment of the original 80s American Werewolf in London due to the practical special effects, which she echoes again with another of that decade’s classics, The Thing. UK wise, she’s also a fan of A Matter of Life and Death, Stardust and Kick-Ass (“even though it's British/American”, Louise adds.)

Louise is most proud of the first script that she co-wrote with Lloyd, “10 Grams”, which was turned into a feature film and picked up with a distribution deal. Also in the pipeline are the 2 features already mentioned and future work alongside Darren Lynch and Lynch Films, also from Derby.

As the conversation draws to a close, Louise tells other budding filmmakers to (like Nike) “just do it”. She says she remembers Lloyd talking to a young director who was asking him for advice and Lloyd explained you cannot control the weather so if you can't shoot because of a rainy day then don't get so hung up about it, shoot something else and come back to that at a later date.

Louise always abides by these wise words and finishes our chat by adding that “if you believe in the project and are passionate about it, hopefully you should attract people who can see what you see in it. If there are any set backs don't let them get you down, the main thing to do is get the planning right and have back up plans”.

To find more about Open Image Films click on the links below:




'10 Grams'. http://oifilms.wix.com/10-grams

YouTube video of 10 Grams - http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=vZQ9-wIourA

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