Howard Gardener exclusive Blazing Minds Interview


Directors: Howard Gardner and Molly Brown

Writers: Howard Gardner and Molly Brown

Actors: (in order of first appearance) Georgie Lee-Robinson, Pablo Raybould, Molly Brown, Cy Henty, Howard Gardner, Ben Manning, David Fisher, Michaela Hunt

Synopsis: As this week’s group of wannabe entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to the Vipers, one or two things go wrong. Will any of them get an offer? Or even survive?

With The Southend-on-Sea Film Festival will be returning once again from Thursday 8th June to Sunday 11th June, I got an opportunity to ask co-Writer/Director Howard Gardner a few questions about the film ‘Vipers Nest‘ which has been selected to play at the festival on Saturday 10th June at 4pm

Q. What can we expect from the film VIPERS’ NEST?

A. Silliness, for sure. Maybe slightly dark silliness. I used to do a lot of comedy filmmaking and haven’t in ages, so I really enjoyed the opportunity to collaborate with Molly on this and make something I could have a really good laugh about!

Q. How did the idea for the film come about?

A. I’m struggling to remember! I remember Molly and I were working at an industry conference when we first came up with the film’s concept, but I can’t think which one of us first suggested a spoof of the Dragon’s Den TV format. Not that it matters I suppose, it’s one of those ideas that just seemed to instantly click with both of us. We could immediately see plenty of comic potential in that.

Q. What were some of the influences for the look and style of the film?

A. I think the writing was pretty much a 50/50 split between the two of us, although visually I think the film is more in Molly’s style than it is mine. I’m a visual effects artist and normally when I work with a client my aim is to make things as close to photo-realistic as we can get. Obviously we weren’t going for realism here though, as that wouldn’t make sense with the subject matter!

Q. Where there any elements of the original script which were adapted during filming?

A. Not a great deal, as I remember.  Molly has a distinctive animation style and right from the start I was mentally visualising all the scenes in that sort of aesthetic. There were some technical hurdles to overcome as we worked through the scenes but nothing was so problematic that we had to abandon it.

Q. What were some of your favourite moments whilst making the Film?

A. As with most animation work, I guess my favourite moments came quite late on, when the hours of hard work finally started paying off. Seeing the first rough cut from Molly with all the character voices for the first time was really magical!

Q. Did you experience any issues whilst making the film?

A. As I mentioned, most of my work over the last decade has been aiming towards a realistic CGI style rather than cartoony. Molly has a very particular methodology in how she animates and it took a bit of experimentation on my part before I found a way of dovetailing all our elements together and making the whole thing consistent and pleasing to look at.

Q. What do you hope people will take away from the film

A. I just hope it gives them a good laugh!

Q. Do you have any other projects which you are working on?

A. Several, but sadly I have NDAs which prevent me from talking about most of them! I did recently complete work on the visual effects for Coyote, which is the debut feature film by Kino London’s own Dustin Curtis Murphy. Look out for that in the near future!

I’m also making my own horror short titled Oracle, which is currently bogged down in post-production.

Q. If someone is looking to direct their first film, what advice would you give them?

A.  Get out there and have a go, it’s never been easier! Even if it’s with a smart phone or whatever, the longest journey has to begin with a first step. The technical refinements can come later.

You can find out more about on the websites and social media

The Southend Film Festival will run from Thursday 8th June to Sunday 11th June

You can find out more about the films and purchase tickets for the Southend Film Festival here

Exclusive Southend Film Festival Interview with VIPERS\' NEST Co-Writer/Director Howard Gardner

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