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By James W, Monday 10th June 2013
Ryan Andrews is an up and coming director of note who gave the world the superb shocker Elfie Hopkins. The film stars father and daughter Ray and Jaime Winstone in their first movie together and its getting its UK TV premiere on June 22nd on the Horror Channel. We spoke to Ryan about this movie and his plans for the future.
HC: Did you know from a young age that you wanted to be a director?
RA: From a young age I actually wanted to be a vampire hunter, I was obsessed. I carried a briefcase with wooden stakes and crosses, I was a bad-ass 7 year-old obsessed with horror. My VHS collection was insane from the age of about five. My grandfather thought horror was a good way for me to see the difference between good and evil. As for directing, I decided to direct after getting into video art. My work became more narrative and I decided to take the next step and go to film school. At first my aim was to make films like Matthew Barney, but that soon changed when I realised I wanted to tell stories.
HC: Do you have a favourite director?
RA: I love different directors for different things. I love Wes Craven for keeping me awake for the early part of my teens. Tony Scott and Quentin Tarantino for True Romance my bible to relationships, Harmony Korine for not giving a f**k and Ridley Scott for showing how important it is to create a world within your movie (Alien)
HC: Where did the idea for Elfie Hopkins come from?
RA: Well I was fresh out of film school and sick of saying I was a director when I hadn't yet done a film. I thought the only way I'm going to learn to direct features is to get out there and shoot something. I based the script on my youth as a wannabe vampire hunter.
HC: Did it take long to write?
RA: The original idea was fast then I got a co-writer Riyad to write the script with me as I'm not really a script writer.
HC: The casting is quite something, how did you get Jaime and Ray Winstone on board?
RA: I met Jaime years ago when I was a Camera Assistant and she was the lead and we became friends. She loved this short I directed called Fangula and we made a deal that one day we would do a feature movie. I met Ray through Michael Wiggs, Ray's agent. We made a short film together called Jerusalem about the artist William Blake. We became friends so it was natural for him to be in my movie.
HC: Do they approach acting in the same way or do they have different styles?
RA: They are so similar it's surreal.
HC: Were you nervous as this is your first feature film?
RA: Yes of course but you have to start some where. I just got on with it. It was a massive learning curve. But it's set me up with so much experience for the next film.
HC: Did you have much of a budget to work with?
RA: It was a very small budget with limited shooting time. We only got through it because I had such amazing support from my crew, family and friends.
HC: Who thought of the American title for the movie; Elfie Hopkins-Cannibal Hunter?
RA: The American distribution company. They know the market so I let them run with it.
HC: You must be pleased that it’s getting its UK TV premiere on the Horror Channel?
RA: As a huge horror fan and horror channel fan it's like a dream come true. For my first movie to be out there for horror fans to actually see is really exciting.
HC: So what are you working on at the moment?
RA: I'm actually working on a really raw new feature film. It's super exciting, based around the dark side of youth culture in London it follows one girl on macabre journey set over one night.
HC: Ryan Andrews, thank you very much.
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