(Filmmaker of the Week)
Were super lucky to have Neil on the blog this week. He answered some fun questions for the blog, and tells us about his movie “Wilderness” and it’s European film debut at the Dingle Film Festival in Ireland. Check out what he had to say and what’s next for him.
(writer Neil fox, executive Producer Kingsley Marshall and director Justin Doherty )
Synopsis of the movie:
John is a touring jazz musician who has never met a woman like Alice. That’s because there aren’t many women like Alice. Their love is urgent and physical and they have made heady declarations of devotion to each other.
Blowing out of the city like a whirlwind in the night, Alice and John flee to the coast. However, over the course of this romantic weekend getaway, they come into contact with strangers and friends and the bubble threatens to burst as they discover the vulnerabilities, flaws and manipulations that were previously masked by the blissful waves of new love.
What Genre is the film?
Who is this Neil guy?
Some know him as Neil Fox – writer/producer
Why did you become a filmmaker?
I started out wanting to be a filmmaker to make the kinds of screen stories I loved and to be part of the magic of movies, to tell visual stories to audiences. Both Justin and I, who have now worked together for nearly 20 years, fell in love with movies young and wanted to be part of it. As I’ve got older that hasn’t changed, but my tastes have changed and my love for what cinema is and can be has shifted somewhat. Now, on top of the above, I want to tell screen stories that connect to people, that communicate something to people, that resonate, while never being anything but cinematic. That’s why working with Justin is so rewarding. We’ve grown together and he is an incredibly cinematic director.
(On set with writer Neil fox and director Justin Doherty)
Who inspired you?
Early on the likes of Scorsese, the Marx Brothers, Jim Jarmusch and the Coen Brothers. In recent years and as I have become the filmmaker I am now I am as much if not more influenced by filmmakers like Abbas Kiarostami, Mia Hansen-Love, Tsai Ming-Liang and John Cassavetes.
How did you find this story?
Through setting myself a number of limiting factors in terms of scenes, locations, characters and pages and through not being scared to unearth some of my biggest fears and mistakes regarding love.
Did you have a casting call to find your actors? How involved were you?
We put out a call for professional actors to play the two lead roles, John and Alice, knowing that we could likely cast Charlie and Frances from the same pool and that’s how it turned out. Justin and I are close collaborators so I was involved throughout the screening and casting process as writer and producer. We worked with a small number of actors intensely, to find the right combination and are so happy with the way it turned out. We think James and Kat are incredible in the film.
Thankfully we avoided the nightmare that is crowdfunding on this one.
Do you have a full-time job besides your work as a filmmaker?
I am a senior lecturer and course coordinator in Film at the School of Film & Television at Falmouth University. I teach the practice and theory of film. I also run a successful podcast and write for various sites about film including The Quietus, The Big Picture and Directors Notes.
What is your definition of indie film? We know everyone has their own definition and it is always evolving.
“Made by people who love movies, purely for the love of movies and to share movies with an audience, where financial gain is a bonus but not a motive.”
What tips can you share with the next filmmaker?
Never think you can’t solve a problem or make something happen. The definition of cinema is much broader than we have been led to believe of late.
Where can we find you?
TWITTER @drneilfox, @BaracoaPictures
We just had our European Premiere at the wonderful Dingle Film Festival and are hungry for more…