I recently got the chance to talk to writer, producer and director Bill Little about his new film ‘Revenge: The Movie’. Here Bill talks about how the idea came about in the first place and what it was like working with the cast and crew…
(Picture: Bill Little (L) on the set of ‘Revenge: The Movie’)
Hey Bill. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me. Of course we‘re here to talk to you about your new film ‘Revenge: The Movie‘ – coming out soon!
You wrote, produced and directed the feature – how did the idea come about in the first place? How easy was it to put into production?
Hi Matt and thanks for asking: I first got the idea when I wrote, directed and produced my female self-defence instruction DVD as I thought why not have an action film with a female hero in it who kicks butt. It was far from easy to put it together as I did not get any help from the so-called government bodies who apparently are set up to help with funding. To be honest they were a waste of time. However I am lucky in that I have a good reputation and I had a great cast and crew who wanted to work with me.
How would you say the film is different from other action films released this year? What tricks as a director did you try to throw in?
It is different because it has a female hero and it has a storyline that people can relate to – (people who have had a loss in their family), and it shows how our emotions can spur us on. Plus it shows the conflicts a female has to go through to survive in a brutal world of corruption. As for director’s tricks, well I would say, watch the film to find the answer to that question.
How has the reception been to the film so far?
At this moment in time, it is rated by IMDB at 19,000 in the world and that is just on the basis of stills photos and small teasers, it has not been edited yet so that is remarkable. We have fans in America, Canada, South Africa, Hungary, Turkey, Asia, Germany, Spain and of course in Britain and we have around 3,000 fans on a Facebook fan page, so I think you could say it has a very good reception and there is a great buzz about it, makes you wonder what the big studios will think when it is edited and beats their films in popularity.
The film stars Mike Mitchell, Gary Cross, Roberta Childs and Stuart Falconer – what was it like working with the cast and crew?
Well I have known Mike Mitchell since he fell over my sword when I was working on Mel Gibson’s ‘Braveheart’ film and he has now become a big star in Turkey, even though he comes from Aberdeen. Unfortunately my good friend and brilliant actor Gary Cross had to pull out and be replaced just before filming, that was a big blow as he had been with me from the beginning. Roberta Childs is a great actress and will go very far, I expect she will be snapped up for a lot of films after this and she has had success before in Europe as a singer. Stuart Falconer is a good character actor and has numerous other projects to work on. The rest of the cast and crew were all either hand-picked, recommended or asked to work with me and they were very professional and sometimes had to work in difficult situations, but they gave 100% every time and listened to my direction and advice.
Let’s talk a bit about you Bill. What made you want to get into the producing and directing chair in the first place?
Well the directing is not new as I said previous, I did the female self-defense DVD and I directed and co-produced a feature film called ‘The Fighter’ – plus I directed 47 episodes of ‘The Tonight Show’ on LTV. It was a natural thing for me to do as I am getting a bit older now and I have my own ideas and so I wanted to put them into practice as I have 20 years’ experience working in front of and behind the camera.
What advice would you give to people wanting to pursue a career in writing, producing and directing?
Make sure you get plenty of experience first and get used to rejection, plus get a trade or good job behind you as you will get periods of being out of work and you will need to earn a living. Don’t think you can leave college or university with a HND or degree and think you can walk into a job. Just because you have a piece of paper it does not mean your better than the guy who learned the hard way, from the ground up, so you will have to prove yourself and you’re only ever as good as the last thing you did, so don’t rest on your laurels.
What films have inspired you as an artist? Do you have any favourites?
I like different films for different things, like ‘Braveheart’, ‘The Godfather’, ‘Rocky’, and ‘The 39 Steps’ to name just a few.
If you could invite three historical guests to dinner, who would they be and why?
Sir William Wallace as he is my descendant and he fought for the people, his beliefs and his country and not for fame or fortune. John Logie Baird as I would have loved to work with him when he discovered television as that would have been fascinating. John F Kennedy because of what he was trying to achieve in the world as he was a fascinating talker and people listened to him.
We should also mention that you’re a stunt performer and co-ordinator as well – how did you get into this part of the industry? Is it hard to do?
I was a professional kickboxer and won 3 world titles and then I had to retire through injury. My agent got me a job arranging a fight scene in a bar for a TV show and I was introduced to the stunt coordinator. Because of the qualifications I had from my Army career, I already had most of the qualities needed to learn stunts and after 3 years as a probationary stuntman, I had learned the rest of my trade and became fully qualified – the rest as they say is history. Yes it is very hard to become a stunt performer and that is only right as you have to obey the safety rules and be very professional as other people’s safety could be in your hands. However I think it is harder to qualify now because some of the test levels are really stupid and set too high.
What has been the worst injury you’ve had so far?
I have not really had any really bad injuries, I suppose a broken shoulder, a broken leg and a couple of broken ribs have been the worse.
What’s coming up for you in 2011/12?
Well I will still be editing and doing post-production on ‘Revenge The Movie’ and I’ve just finished as the lead actor and stunt director on a concept episode for a possible new TV series called ‘Call To Arms’ by a new Scottish production company named WLB Productions. I have also signed a contract with Marlene Mendoza of American company Gilt Entertainment to direct and co-produce five of their films, starting with a supernatural one called ‘Night Of The Witches: The Beginning’ plus two of my own films called ‘Trained To Kill’ and ‘Realm Of Darkness’. I am also co-writing a script called ‘Knights Of Scotland’ along with Gina Lockhart of American company Rock Media Productions and I will be directing another film in Scotland called ‘Calgacus’ written by and starring Hamish Moir. So if all goes well, I am going to be busy for the next 4-5 years, so I am thankful and lucky to be in this position.
Thanks for the interview!