Alan and Jamie met at uni four years ago. ‘We didn’t do the same course,’ says Alan. ‘We met through our mutual friend Jim and got on well. I was studying History until I dropped out but always preferred to hang-out with the Film group. I couldn’t imagine how boring those History parties must have been!’
Find out more about the boys and their upcoming film, I Have a Bad Feeling About This, below.
Tell us a bit about yourselves…
Alan: I co-wrote and directed I Have a Bad Feeling About This. I graduated from uni in 2010, where I studied Film and TV Production. I’ve always been obsessed with films.
I’ve worked my way up as a runner on shorts and features; I’ve worked as a camera assistant and recently as a first assistant director. I’ve got a great deal of ambition and a genuine thirst to express my self creatively. At the moment I work part time in a pizza shop to fund my projects.
One night I couldn’t sleep and I started listening to an interview with filmmaker Kevin Smith on The Nerdist Podcast. The advice he gave was simple: ‘Just go out and make a movie’. I called Jamie the next day and said, ‘We should try and make a feature film’. Anyone else would have said I was mad, but Jamie was onboard right away! It was handy because we had already started writing a feature, for fun really. Just to see if we could do it.
The film’s about two friends trying to get hold of a pair of Star Wars tickets to see the original movies, back-to-back. They end up going on an adventure across the suburbs, meeting lots of unusual characters along the way.
We knew we didn’t have enough money to make the full film, but we thought if we shot a trailer, and showed people just what we intended to do with a full feature, we might be able to raise the money our selves on crowed funding sites like IndieGoGo. Fast-forward six months and the trailer is set to be launched IndieGoGo on the 26th February. We’re both really excited.
What are your inspirations?
Jamie: When Alan asked me if I wanted to work with him on the ‘Bad Feeling’ script I knew we were looking to make an uplifting, feel good, film. The things I watched when we we’re writing to get inspiration we’re films like Scott Pilgrim, Kick Ass and Superbad. That’s the kind of vibe we we’re going for. Obviously as well, when it comes to Bad Feeling, sci-fi, and Star Wars in particular, has been a huge influence.
Alan: Nerd culture in general for me. I’ve always loved comic book shops, even when I was a little kid before I read comics, I’d just go in and buy the toys and stuff. I love the type of characters you see in them, so that was a big inspiration for me, nerd culture and nerdy people, it’s such an expressive thing, you like a bunch of things and you celebrate them, and that’s really what our film is. It’s a full on ‘nerd out’ about the things we love.
What is your favorite piece of work you have produced?
Jamie: Alan and I wrote a sitcom pilot last year called I’m a Liar that we’re looking to sell sometime in the future. We’re both really proud of it; it’s the kind of show where we as writer’s want to find out what happens to the characters, so I really hope we can do something with it.
Alan: I’ve got to say the trailer, we really excelled our selves and pushed the limits of what we could on a shoe string budget, we had a great cast and crew, so it was a good laugh too. I’d love to recreate that experience on a larger scale. I also got to shoot a lightsaber fight with my best friends, in the street where I used to pretend to play lightsabers as a kid. It was a bit unreal.
Who is your favorite ‘creative’ in your chosen field?
Jamie: My favorite writer is Steven Moffat. Obviously he’s famous right now for Doctor Who and Sherlock, which are both great shows, but some of his early work, sitcoms like Joking Apart and Coupling are just lessons in how to write comedy. Jekyll was also an amazing show.
When it comes to directors though, the best has got to be Hitchcock. I still get tingles when Raymond Burr first spots Jimmy Stewart in Rear Window, although Alan and our friend Graham think I’m nuts. If he made just one of Rope, Psycho, North by North West etc. he’d still have been a Great filmmaker, having made them all he’s like some sort of God to me.
Alan: It’s so difficult for me to narrow it down, because I act, write and direct. Got to agree with Jamie on his choices though. I think film-makers like Richard Linklater, Woody Allen, Hall Ashby, James L. Brooks, Billy Wilder, Kevin Smith and of course the likes of Spielberg, Lucas and Scorsese are all amazing.
For me though, my absolute hero is John Hughes. He made full on feel good movies about growing up, and often routed for the underdog. He was a filmmaker that wore his heart on his sleeve and you’ve got to respect that. I love the feeling you get from watching one of his movies. When it comes to acting though, I love Jack Lemmon and Peter Sellers.