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By midlandsmovies, Sep 19 2017 10:07AM



Midlands Professional - Birmingham actor Andre Pierre


Our Professional series continues as Midlands Movies chats to Andre Pierre – an actor form the region who shares his background and experience in the industry.


Mike finds out more about his past projects as well as his new major 2018 film “15 Minutes of War” directed by Fred Grivois.


The Midlands

Andre Pierre is a professional actor from Birmingham (West Midlands) and is represented by IPM (Imperial Personal Management). With over 7 years of acting experience, including workshops at The Crescent Theatre and Millennium Point, he took his experience to the Birmingham Theatre School before moving into short and feature films, TV and theatre.


“I have a variety of upcoming films coming up including sci-Fi drama “Graycon” directed by Duaine Carma Roberts, superhero TV pilot “Lucid The Dreamwalker”, an action thriller feature film “TONY” and an urban drama feature film called “Blitz In The Bitz” which are all premiering in October”.



Acting beginnings

“My foundation for acting in general started when I was 13. My first role into films was an educational short film called “My Life My Choice” and it was the first time I auditioned for any kind of film project. At the time I had no clue to how big and how much attention this film was going to receive”.


The trailer to the film went viral which was closely followed by a premiere at Star City in Birmingham. Andre Pierre continues, “Being part of this made me realise the power a film can have on people and was the turning point for me to become a professional actor. Since then I’ve had numerous leading and supporting roles”.


Exclusive Shot From Short Film “Last Night In Freedom” Directed By Click Jones Coming Soon
Exclusive Shot From Short Film “Last Night In Freedom” Directed By Click Jones Coming Soon

Overcoming Hurdles

“Staying committed regardless of how many no’s you receive sounds like a cliché but it’s very true in this industry. You have to have thick skin because part of your job is dealing with criticism from your audience, critics, directors, casting directors etc. You are going to judged by everyone and it’s something you cannot get past so you have to whole heartedly believe in yourself, believe in your talent and believe in your work ethic to reach the goals you set out for yourself”.




Superhero TV Pilot "Lucid The Dreamwalker" Directed By The Johnson Bros Coming Soon


Acting methods

“I always analyse the script and talk with the director first and foremost to make sure what direction they want the character to go in. But I always bring honesty and authenticity to my performances so want to make sure that you see the truth in the characters I’m playing. This needs to be related to the story so you are invested in them along their journey. I always try to see how my character moves and talks, how does he react in various situations etc so a lot of research in one or another. I always want my characters to be relatable, interesting and as grounded as possible to give the best performances”.


Challenges faced by actors on local films

“There are so many challenges it varies but it could be from noise being too loud on the location, actors dropping out at the last minute and filming days going on longer than expected. I would say, for actors, just prepare yourself for anything on an independent or short film because it’s all training grounds for the bigger platforms and it only helps you to get better at your craft when you go through these experiences”.

Andre Pierre Playing James From Feature Film “TONY” Directed By Jack Veasey
Andre Pierre Playing James From Feature Film “TONY” Directed By Jack Veasey

Acting experiences

“I think my best acting experience was filming in Morocco for the feature film “15 Minutes Of War” (15 Minutes De Guerre). It has been my first role filming abroad but also my first big role on a film on this scale with so much action, working with a Hollywood actress and rising movie stars as well as a critically acclaimed director. It’s been like nothing I’ve ever done before. I was developing the character, learning the language and filming the first week in Casablanca before shooting the rest of the film in Marrakech in the desert which was challenging within itself but also a pure joy I will never forget. The worst experience was not being fully prepared for an audition when I was starting out. It was so horrible [laughs] but it was also a learning curve for me to always to be ready and give yourself enough time to prepare for auditions in the future. I made sure that never happened again”.


Advice for beginners

“The best advice I can pass on is to try and get some form of training whether it’s in drama or theatre school, performing arts courses or acting workshops. This training gives you the foundation and tools to become the best performer possible. Using Star Now or Mandy (Casting Call Pro) are good for getting started to find some form of work as well. Another alternative route is to find friends that are making films and get involved - or even just create your own films”.


Best advice from others

“I was told to ‘risk everything’ and what I take from that is you have to risk looking like an idiot at times to bring out the best performance. There’s been many times where either the director or I had to push myself even further to bring out my full potential and sometimes you might think that’s not normal or you might be self conscious. That is the very thing what pushes it from good to great so I would always say push past your comfort zone. Now, when I’m usually fearful of something I haven’t done before, it only encourages me to do better and discover new skills about myself I thought I didn’t have”.


A Shot From Short Film “The Glove Game: Beginning” Directed By Josh Bliss
A Shot From Short Film “The Glove Game: Beginning” Directed By Josh Bliss

Future plans

“The future is looking very bright for next year and beyond. I’ll be in a lot more feature films and TV shows. My work is already opening up more opportunities than I ever imagined so I will be in fewer short films than before. The journey has been full of many surprises and I feel very blessed and thankful to be in this position right now”.


Final words

“I would say that you have to believe in yourself first and foremost and love the craft because this journey won’t be easy. It’s not going to happen overnight so enjoy the process, enjoy the journey and learn as much as you can from other creatives. Don’t wait on that big opportunity to come to you work towards it now whether it’s being part of theatre or short and independent films but get yourself out there and make your career happen!”.


Check out more from Andre Pierre on his Spotlight page here: https://www.spotlight.com/interactive/cv/0811-3493-3372


A Shot From Horror Short Film “Bless You” Directed By Daryl Grizzle



Midlands Movies Mike

By midlandsmovies, Aug 6 2017 07:15PM



Who Put Bella in the Wych-Elm: The Untold Secrets


Pre-release Screening, 4th August 2017, Stourbridge Town Hall


The question of who put Bella in the Wych-Elm has both baffled and captivated the public since 1943, when the body of an unidentified female was found in the innards of a tree in Hagley Woods in the West Midlands.


Director and paranormal investigator Jayne Harris set about trying to solve this long-standing mystery and uncovered some shocking revelations along the way. Stourbridge Town Hall sold out early with four hundred people wanting to be the first to see the film that documents her findings.


A director’s introduction detailed the evolution of the project, from YouTube clip to documentary feature before the audience was introduced to the case. Harris opened the introduction with claims that she isn’t a filmmaker. This is an assertion which needs to be reassessed.


The sheer wealth of material that has been excavated and created is staggering: Soaring aerial expositional shots of Hagley and its surrounding areas situate the audience slap-bang in the middle of the crime scene; ‘misplaced’ post-mortem documents were dug up and acted recreations were used effectively, never once evoking that unintentional ‘Horrible Histories’ feel that hampers some documentaries. Seamlessly put together, exhaustively researched and passionately presented, this wouldn’t look out of place under the Documentaries tab on Netflix.


Talking heads interviews with case experts and witchcraft aficionados translate as authoritative and impartial and are all the more engrossing for it. However, the medium’s insight does ask a lot of the audience, leaving this pragmatist somewhat sceptical and wishing the film was five minutes shorter.


However, depending on your inclination this and the eyewitness accounts of ghostly figures in the area will either send you running for the Wychbury hills…or running for the hills.


Although a few audio issues with the venue detracted from the presentation, it was inspiring to hear so many audience members discussing their thoughts and theories in the lobby after the film. This is clearly a case which captures the imagination and to see it in such an environment (a stone’s throw or two from the crime scene) separates this from your run-of-the-mill multiplex experience.


That the story invites such engagement is unsurprising; it’s delightfully dark and rich for exploration. Who was Bella? A prostitute, a traveller, a German intelligence agent? What about the actual killer? Was it ritualistic witchcraft, a local cover up or even Mi5 influenced? You’ll have to see it to find out for yourself.


Bella will haunt Stourbridge Town Hall again at a further screening on the 31st of October. Links to tickets will soon be available here


The DVD of Who Put Bella in the Wych-Elm is available to order here with bonus features which include copies of the original police files/photographs and an interview with Director & Producer Jayne Harris.


Robb Sheppard

https://twitter.com/RedBezzle

By midlandsmovies, Jun 19 2017 01:43PM



Europe's Largest Indian Film Festival returns to Birmingham this month with 11 independent films, 2 music documentaries and a host of talent over 10 days in 3 cinemas.


The Bagri Foundation Birmingham Indian Film Festival (BIFF) returns to the city this summer in partnership with the citywide USTAV celebration of South Asian culture. Sister to the Bagri Foundation London Indian Film Festival, (LIFF) it is regarded as Europe’s largest Indian film festival and will run from Friday 23 June until Sunday 2 July 2017.


The festival opens on Friday 23 June at Cineworld Birmingham, Broad Street with a glittering red-carpet Birmingham premiere of the historical epic, The Black Prince by Kavi Raz, a powerful UK-produced film launched at Cannes. It stars Punjabi singer Satinder Sartaaj, who will be guest of honour on the opening night, iconic actress Shabana Azmi (The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Fire), Jason Flemyng (Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, X-Men:First Class) and Amanda Root (Jane Eyre). The film dramatises the true but little-known story of the last King of Punjab who was abducted by the British Raj to be mentored by Queen Victoria.


Back into the 21st Century for the closing night, on 2 July, mac Birmingham will screen the surreal Malayalam road-movie thriller Sexy Durga directed by Sanal Kumar Sasidharan. Winner of the prestigious Tiger Award for best film at Rotterdam International Film Festival Sexy Durga set in Kerala tells the tale of a hitch-hiking couple who try to escape a road to hell after accidentally getting into a car of deranged gangsters.



The acclaimed festival features new and exciting cinema featuring cutting edge films that reaffirm the festival’s position as the ‘punk-rock of Indian cinema’ and is an edgy tie-in, to UK-India Year of Culture and complementing the BFI’s India on Film programme,


Further screenings include the regional premieres of Tamil comedy, Ticket - The Movie (Raaghav Ranganthan, 2017), anarchic Bollywood comedy Badman (Soumik Sen, 2017) and N Padmakumar's inspirational Mumbai drama A Billion Colour Story (2016). The festival experiments for the first time with horror with the disturbing Hide and Seek (Vishal Furia, 2016), plus the Regional Premiere of Pakistani gangster thriller, Whirlpool (Harune Massey 2017).


The Bagri Foundation Birmingham Indian Film Festival will also host an exclusive ‘In Conversation With’ including Bollywood Director, Ashutosh Gowariker who directed Bollywood superstar, Aamir Khan in the Oscar nominated Lagaan: Once Upon A Time in India (2001) and the epic historical romance Jodhaa Akbar (2008) starring former Miss World, Aishwarya Rai.


Cary Rajinder Sawhney, LIFF & BIFF Director, says: “We are delighted to bring Birmingham audiences a carefully curated selection of the very best new Indian and South Asian independent cinema; all films are English subtitled, offering a rare window into over a billion South Asian lives. This year's selection includes premieres of new comedies, gripping thrillers, shocking horror and insightful true-life documentaries as well as bringing together UK previews of major award-winning films from the world's greatest film festivals."



New venue partners for this evolving festival continue to help it serve a broader diverse audience and this year the festival is delighted to welcome The Mockingbird Cinema and Kitchen, based at the Custard Factory in Digbeth. The festival’s long-term venues include Cineworld Birmingham Broad Street and mac Birmingham.


The films screened are in a wide range of South Asian languages to reflect the linguistic diversity of Birmingham’s Indian and South Asian communities and all films are subtitled in English.


Check out the event's official websites to purchase tickets and find out even more information about this exciting Midlands event: www.birminghamindianfilmfestival.co.uk




By midlandsmovies, Jun 19 2017 01:27PM



Who Put Bella in the Wych-Elm? – The Untold Secrets


First Official Screening. Friday August 4th at Stourbridge Town Hall.


Have you heard of the Wych-Elm legend? Nearly 75 years ago, the remains of an unidentified female were discovered in a hollowed-out tree in Hagley, giving birth to a murder mystery which captivated the West Midlands and soon spread much further afield.


Addressing questions left unanswered since 1943, local Director Jayne Harris attempts to solve a mystery that eluded the authorities, unearthing Nazi Espionage, Witchcraft, and the Supernatural along the way.


You can see the trailer here:




With previously classified MI5 and police information uncovered for the first time and local residents breaking their silence, maybe the mystery of "Who put Bella in the Wych-Elm?" can finally be put to rest.


The first official screening takes place at Stourbridge Town Hall: a venue the director chose for its Victorian elegance and its proximity to the site of the Wych-Elm.


Tickets cost £3 and are available here.


http://purchase.tickets.com/buy/TicketPurchase?agency=DUDLEYMBC&organ_val=21216&perfcode=3ABA02&perfsubcode=2017


Keep your eyes on Midlands Movies for a review soon.


Robb Sheppard


By midlandsmovies, May 21 2017 08:34AM



The House of Screaming Death (2017) Pat the Bull Films & Lightbeam Productions

Directed by: Troy Dennison, Rebecca Harris-Smith, David Hastings, Alex Bourne


A collaborative group of fright-filmmakers have pulled together and created a new Midlands made horror anthology – The House of Screaming Death – and, in a Midlands Movies first, we review this local horror feature with two (!) of our writers in conversation.


Taking a slightly longer format than before, Editor Mike Sales speaks to site feature writer Marek Zacharkiw about these multiple tales of terror in a collaborative format akin to the film itself.


To set the scene, The House of Screaming Death utilises the horror staple of an anthology film set around the same location, in this case it’s another recognisable feature of the genre – that of a spooky location – which is a great concept (not to mention realistic in terms of scope and budget for an indie production - Marek). Here it allows this group of filmmakers to display their individual talents while linking the tales together using themes of time, personal journeys and tackling the ‘ghosts’ of the past. Each of the 5 directors (4 tales plus the director of the wraparound sequence) brings their horror-tinged stories to screen using new occupants as well as both the familiar and the unknown.


The film opens with a suitably gothic red ghoulish font reminiscent of classic Hammer Horror and we are then introduced to Ian McNeice (Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls) as the Architect. He’s the perfect foil to deliver an eerie performance as he introduces each segment. There’s also a great score from Matthew Calvert which mixes a dash of the recent Stranger Things with urgent strings to create a pumping tension at the beginning. And with that, Marek and I got stuck into the film…


MAREK: I have to say the idea of the film really appeals to me and I think this is in part because the film makers have presented it in a way reminiscent of the older Amicus and Hammer horror anthologies which I am a fan of. The opening and casting of Ian McNiece as The Architect, also lends the film a certain air of gravitas in regards to the professionalism of the picture, by which I mean you do not often get such recognisable faces in these smaller productions. Although the actual story introductions were somewhat lacking I felt.

MIKE: Absolutely. Without putting a downer on so early in the proceedings, the first story was “The Lady in Grey” from Troy Dennison but it was hard to work out any of the story names as McNeice doesn’t give the audience the titles. There’s only a date – in this case 1943 – so I thought a name card could help.

MAREK: I fully agree here simply because it primes us as a viewer and to be honest I feel it helps audiences get into the mindset or world of the unfolding story. “The Lady in Grey” to me came across almost as an attempt to visualise an Edgar Allen Poe story but unfortunately fell short for me as the script and pacing just did not have enough to hold my attention throughout. However I did feel that the concept fit perfectly into the location and credit must be applied for how the crew brought that time period to life.

MIKE: Yeah, the tale had great costumes and the rooms of the house had great set/prop design with suitably old fashioned sets for the varying time periods.

MAREK: As we see across all genres, the choice of an interesting location, and particularly in this case its incorporation into the story, can really help the filmmaker make the most of limited production budgets but in this opening segment I feel that it was a missed opportunity. .

MIKE: Agreed. The story is straightforward and the lighting was good. I was a bit unsure of starting the film with a monologue sequence and tension was only created by the music and not particularly the pacing or editing.

MAREK: I think that explains the issues perfectly, it was difficult to get into as a starting point (for the whole anthology) due to the narrative choice which relied too much on a script that while functional was not simply not engaging enough to hold my sole attention.

MIKE: Multiple speeds of pacing keep interest up but the one-note speed in this segment didn’t reflect the drama being described.


MIKE: The second tale was Rebecca Harris-Smith’s ‘The Witch in the Mirror’ set in 1934 and then 1974. As I mentioned, it was now 18 minutes before any dialogue had been delivered which made me think the order of tales could be reversed.

MAREK: After quite an intriguing start I found this one a little confusing in terms of tone although the opening aesthetics, in particular the costumes, did grab my attention.

MIKE: I loved the steampunk-esque plague masks of the necromancers. The main couple’s real-life argument in another room heard by the guests was a great parallel twist on hearing ghostly sounds through the walls.

MAREK: Exactly and it is in this manner that I hoped the story and style would develop. Although I felt the pacing was a bit disjointed and while, again, the script was functional that every time it built up momentum it became bogged down in the minutiae of everyday conversation.

MIKE: A well-lit dinner meal used creepy candles as we see a couple spend a night in the inherited house. I enjoyed the nods to ‘typically’ horror set ups, again harking back to their retro influences.

MAREK: See for me this was one of the areas that missed where the real interest of the story lay, rather than uninteresting bickering of some confusing characters, confusing in the sense of motivation, I wanted to discover more about the supernatural.

MIKE: I found the structure a little strange as we flash-forward at the story’s start and then at the table hear a story from the past. I kept wondering, as the film switches time periods anyway, which date are we on now? But the reversal (mirrored, if you will) ending nicely linked up the two time periods which clarified the crossover.



MIKE: So we move on to the third story titled ‘The Vampyre’ from Dave Hastings set in 1888.

MAREK: For me this was the highlight of the anthology, a strong concept that was well delivered and engaging throughout.

MIKE: This segment had my favourite characters for me. The vicar delivered a good performance and enjoyed the stereotypically burly locals nonplussed by the city outsider and the central villain of the segment as well.

MAREK: I fully agree, it knew what it wanted to achieve and set the characters out to deliver that with a few nods to the past.

MIKE: A pub scene was notably quiet with no background “hum” and also no score. It was like the audio was missing rather than a stylistic choice. The silence was unnatural but not in a supernatural way.

MAREK: Sadly this appears to have been a theme that frequently reoccurred, to a greater or lesser extent, throughout and did make a difference taking you out of the created world although thankfully this segment was strong enough for me to manage to survive.

MIKE: There were a few scenes in the forest that were really dark and possibly under-lit but it certainly kept it realistic for the time period it was set in.

MAREK: Now I think that final part you mentioned is key but we also need to remember that this story utilised the outdoors a lot more as well as shadows to perhaps hold the mystery a little longer in regards to our villain and I felt this was handled very well in what must have been some difficult shooting conditions regarding lighting.


MAREK: For the final, we are whisked to 2017 (by way of 2015) for the ‘The Diabolique’ by Alex Bourne.

MIKE: Here, we have a lady investigating the disappearance of her brother which leads her to the house.

MAREK: Like the previous segment I thought this was a strong, engaging concept and serves the additional purpose to bring us back to present day.

MIKE: Again, classic horror tropes like a ‘haunted’ doll and cult like images help cement the anthology’s love of the past and this tale wears it’s influences on its sleeve which will attract the fans of the that genre to it all the more.

MAREK: Although everyone deserves credit, perhaps this segment is the best acted out of them all and it helps bring it together.

MIKE: Agreed. It had the best pacing of the sequences for me too and the set of shorts ended on a high note as the tempo had really sped up by now.


MIKE: So in conclusion, what were your favourite parts of the film and which did you think needed improving?

MAREK: I felt the final two stories were undoubtedly the strongest, with ‘The Vampyre’ being my favourite. However I have to say that I do worry that the overall story order is wrong and certain viewers will not stick with it.

MIKE: For me, and I think I’ve mentioned it in so many reviews now that both independents and mainstream blockbusters have a current trend to make everything 2 hours plus, no matter what the content.

MAREK: Exactly and while this film at around two hours might seem like it would break down into four 30 minute episodes it does not play out that way in terms of an even split, and perhaps was overly ambitious based on the resources.

MIKE: Yeah, I sadly feel it’s also magnified by a lower budget. If resources like locations, money and some technical aspects are limited then it makes sense to me that these limitations could be extended to the length. A short, punchy, tightly-edited film often has more impact. In comparison, the recent mainstream release XX had 4 stories coming in at 80 minutes.

MAREK: Sometimes less is more but perhaps with a little tighter editing and post-production many of these qualms can be answered and all of a sudden it becomes a much more enjoyable film.

MIKE: Maybe a re-ordering of the tales would have helped so as to draw the viewer into the exciting beginning of tale 2 before the more mournful reflective narration of Story 1.

MAREK: Exactly, and I think this is perhaps where I am doing a disservice to the opening story but to me it does not set the anthology off on an engaging note and its sparse, bleak tone then permeates to the viewer making for a dry and unfortunately slow start.

MIKE: There’s definitely much more to recommend it than the few areas of improvement we’ve discussed and the anthology format works well for tales of camp-fire horror.

MAREK: Certainly and I think it is just a few minor tweaks required which will perhaps even come as the experienced directors continue their edits. There are of course plenty of positives to take from this and enjoyment to be had, particularly from the last two stories.


So ultimately House of Screaming Death is a retro-infused horror collection that it is more Inside No.9 than Amicus/Hammer but there is a lot of promise and clear genre knowledge behind the camera. One area which anthology films often get wrong but was perfect in this, was the wraparound story which worked exceptionally well and deserves credit. And with 4 exciting directors honing their craft both of us are looking forward to the next terrific tell-tale terrors they have to offer.


Midlands Movies Mike & Marek


Find out more about the film and its release at the Official Website: http://onabeamoflight.wixsite.com/screamingdeath/the-stories





By midlandsmovies, May 16 2017 08:47AM



New Midlands Film Festival Hopes to Leave you Feeling Good


Midlands Movies Mike introduces a brand new film festival for the region that is looking for submissions from talented filmmakers for their first ever event.


West Midlands-based Sutton Coldfield Movie Makers are about to launch their first ever ‘Film Fest’ and are encouraging filmmakers from the area to get involved.


They are hoping the region’s talent will submit films (no longer than five minutes) on the theme of ‘Feel Good’. Films will be screened at a special event at Highbury Theatre Centre on the big screen, at 2pm on Sunday 16th July.


Seeing the event as a celebration of local film, it will also be an opportunity for people to meet other filmmakers informally, as well as allowing film makers to invite friends and family to see their films in a cinema setting.


Committee member Debbie Daniels explains, “We originally had the idea as Sutton Coldfield Movie Makers make films mainly for competitions and we wanted an event that was celebratory in nature”.


“We will have films from our club, and hopefully other clubs, but we are very keen to involve any lone filmmakers out there, or young people who are making films, for example”, Debbie adds.


Tickets will be available to the general public for just £2 and with their film theme of ‘Feel Good’, Debbie and her team are aiming for their audiences to leave very much ‘feeling good’.


For details check out the organisation at www.suttoncoldfieldmoviemakers.org.uk where there is also a link to more information about Film Fest.


In their first year they are hoping to share this event out to a wider audience of movie makers and it complements the already exciting calendar of film festivals in the Midlands.


By midlandsmovies, May 4 2017 11:20AM



Tony Gibbons is an established actor hailing from our very own region with a string of prominent roles in Midlands films and beyond. With award-winning Checking In and the forthcoming House of Screaming Death already in the bag, Tony is now developing his career in America. In this new interview, Midlands Movies Mike speaks to the actor about his influences, method and forthcoming projects.


Midlands Movies: Hi Tony. How are things in the Midlands for you right now?

Tony Gibbons: Great thanks Mike!


MM: I know you’ve been out in Los Angeles recently so are you from the region at all?

TG: Yes...I'm born and bred in Wolverhampton! But now spend a lot of my time in Los Angeles working on projects there.


MM: That must have been quite the change from Wolverhampton?! Which do you prefer, Hollywood or The Midlands?

TG: You could say that! I actually love both. Obviously Wolves is my home but I lived and worked in Manchester and London, too, before making the move to LA...and I've started to make a home out in the sunshine, too.


MM: And what about the work? How does working in Hollywood compare to working in the Midlands?

TG: Right now most of my work is in the US, and I feel really lucky to be working on bigger and bigger projects and getting to work alongside amazing acting talent and film makers, but I love working back home to work when I can, too. We have so much talent in the Midlands! I think some of the best film makers in Europe are from the Midlands. I've been fortunate to work with Dave Hastings on 'Checking In' and 'The House of Screaming Death', and that whole team is a credit to our area and the industry, and I think Liam Banks is one of the most exciting young film makers out there today – and I got to work with him, too, on 'The Copy-Writer'! I'm hoping to work with them both again soon.


MM: Do you (or the projects you choose) specialise in any genres?

TG: I love working on all types of projects and never planned to work in just one genre, but if you look at my recent credits it certainly looks like I specialise in horror and sci-fi! I did the US TV show 'My Haunted House', then 'House of Screaming Death' with the wonderful Dave Hastings back here in the Midlands, and 'Rogue Warrior: Robot Fighter', a sci-fi action epic that's about to be released in the US, and another US feature I just booked the lead in is very sci-fi, too!


MM: Any particular faves though?

TG: I have to say I have been enjoying the action/horror/sci-fi stuff – it’s a lot of fun to shoot! - but I also enjoy working in other genres, and love anything with true to life characters and emotion, like 'Checking In', which was very much a character driven drama.


MM: Spreading yourself across a wide range of projects – and geographical locations – you must have come up against different challenges. What has been the most difficult one you have overcome?

TG: Actually, for me it was probably “coming out” as an actor. I was a sports kid, and wanted to be a footballer most of my life, and then went to University to do a Law degree. So when I told my parents – half way through my degree – that “I think I want to take acting classes”, it was definitely a shock! I had never shown any interest in drama at school, but I felt this pull towards acting that I couldn't really explain. Once I started training, and working, I never looked back, so I'd say to young actors to follow their hearts and put the work in. Oh, and be patient!



MM: How do you like to work with directors? Any good (or bad) experiences?

TG: I must have been very lucky because most of my experiences have been overwhelmingly positive. I've heard some horror stories from other sets, but I've never had a problem with a director. When I was starting out I used to always want more direction. Like, they wouldn't give me any so I didn't know if what I was doing was good or not, but now I love working with those types of directors. If they've cast you, it’s because they like what you do, so it becomes much more collaborative, letting you do your thing as an actor and bring your own contributions to the table. That's what I've experienced on all my most successful projects, like 'Checking In', 'The Cup of Wrath', and 'Rogue Warrior'. There's probably good reason why these directors are award winning!


MM: Out of your many, many, film and stage projects, what has been your greatest success?

TG: Playing Macbeth on stage, early in my career is something I don't think will ever stop being a highlight for me. It was a wonderful experience and something that has stayed with me throughout my career. Over the past couple of years I have been so lucky have worked on projects that have had massive success. Winning Best British Film at the London Film Awards with (the Midlands made) 'Checking In' was incredible, and being invited to attend the Cannes Film Festival with 'The Cup of Wrath' is the sort of thing every actor dreams about. I feel extremely fortunate to be able to do something I love as a career, and honestly, every project I work on feels like the next achievement.


MM: And besides acting, what else have you been up to?

TG: I'm actually really excited because I was recently asked by a couple of industry publications to write 'expert advice' columns. My first article was just published on Backstage, and I'm going to be writing some more, both for Backstage and a couple of other trade outlets. I'm also really excited to be part of the Birmingham Film Festival. I'm working with them as a judge, and get to watch lots of great movies in doing so!


MM: And looking over the horizon, what’s in Tony’s future plans?

TG: Work, work, work! I just recently booked an amazing role in a movie that I'll be shooting this Summer in the US, which I can't wait to start work on. I have a few other US projects lined up after that, too, but also hope to pop back home some time to work on something else in the Midlands!


MM: That sounds perfect to me and the region and its talent would more than welcome you back with open arms. All the best for the future.

TG: Thanks, it’s been great.


Check out further information on Tony and his latest projects by clicking and following on the links below:


http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2971362


http://www.allstarsactors.tv/listing/tony-gibbons/


https://twitter.com/tonygibbons5?lang=en

By midlandsmovies, Apr 26 2017 08:12AM



Midlands Feature - Birmingham filmmaker Duaine Carma Roberts


Midlands Movies features Birmingham based filmmaker Duaine Carma Roberts and his upcoming sci-fi short Graycon.


Running the past 3 years, Duaine Roberts set up CarmaFilm in the West Midlands and it was not too long before the talented filmmaker had attracted the talents of Birmingham cast and crew to make his first films. First up he created a mystery-drama called Curiosity Calls whose success was followed by a drama Cleo’s Choice.


The filmmaker jumped into both projects with two feet as rather than shorts, he created hour-long films with Cleo's Choice also entered into the Black International Film Festival. This prestigious event is part of the MVISAs which take place annually in Birmingham. Both films are also available to watch via the CarmaFilmUK account on Vimeo and Midlands Movies is pleased to include the full feature Cleo’s Choice here on our site.


Roberts’ new film Graycon is a short drama, with a hint of sci-fi,about two inventors who start work on a time device in hopes that it can reverse personal tragedies for them. They face challenges from people in the film who would rather have the device for their own personal gain.


It stars local talent Andre Pierre, April Nerissa Hudson, Adaya Henry, James Edge, Romayah McCalla, Ackeem Gibbs and Nisaro Karim. Most of these actors have performed in theatre as well as having a variety of TV credits.


More recently, Adaya Henry won Monologue Slam and is part of Channel 4s new scheme to work with talent in Birmingham which Duaine is particularly pleased about.


With a premiere of Graycon planned in for the Autumn film festival season, Duaine is well on his way for further accolades and is one to watch in the exciting world of West Midlands film.


Please check out the film above and follow progress of Graycon here https://twitter.com/CarmaFilmUK







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