Interviews

The Age of Distortion

August 10, 2018
Anthony Vander

Although funding from arts organisations within the U.K has reduced in recent years this hasn’t stopped an emergence of filmmaking creatives within the U.K self-funding their own projects and utilising available self-distribution platforms to release their work.

Producer, actor & director, Anthony Vander, is the founder of Distortion Entertainment. The London-based production company is among. Fresh off the back of releasing Season 1 of his web series Housemates, we caught up with Anthony as he gears up to release his debut feature-length film.

Big Picture Film Club: Creatively, how do you juggle being a writer, director and an actor on your projects?

Anthony Vander: It took some while getting used to. I’m still a work in progress in all those fields. I would say find a collaborative team of people who are as passionate about your vision as you are.

BPFC: With the success of internet web-series’ like Venus vs Mars, Brothers With No Game and more recently Dreaming Whilst Black, self-funded web series’ about different aspects of black British life have grown increasingly popular and have found a dedicated audience – what do you attribute this success to?

AV: The biggest attribution to this success would be content and representation. All the shows that you mentioned are of high-quality. They tell a story which is relatable and for the most part not always being shown on television screens this side of the pond. I also think one of the aspects of this success would be accessibility. YouTube and other VOD’s is the new TV. Most people watch YouTube more than they watch television.

BPFC: How has the reaction been to the Housemates web series, since it’s release in June?

AV: The reaction has been fantastic. I’m very humbled not only to the cast and crew but also to people who have given their time to watch our show. I’ve received a lot of positive feedback and also questions with regards to season two.

BPFC: What can we expect from Housemates Season 2? Will it still take place over a single day like Housemates Season1?

AV: I’m playing around with a few ideas. Filmmakers on our shores (such as RM Moses, Sebastian Thiel, Monet Morgan to name a few) provided much inspiration for season one and their content continues to do so. It could possibly take place over a single day but nothing has been set in stone yet. Once we look at the character’s arch and explore lineage then we can start thinking about duration and setting.

BPFC: The film industry is going through a period of rapid change: from sources of funding to available distribution platforms. What are your current thoughts on the state of the UK film industry?

AV: I feel the UK film industry is on the rise. We have a lot of prolific filmmakers young and old. Like anything I always feel that there is room for progression especially within the UK film industry. The rapid change is one of ownership, which I believe is in the hands of the artist. A major key is not to seek validation but rather create and build your own vision. I learnt about the industry on the job. I went to acting school, not film school. I feel the funding is there but its accessibility is another factor altogether.

BPFC: You’ve just wrapped up your debut feature-length film: Scales. Can you tell us a bit about the film and How did it come together? When will Scales be released?

AV: Scales is a tense, claustrophobic drama that spends one evening with four characters, who are trapped in a combustible boiling pot of an apartment.

I always loved the idea of a single location film. Not just for budget reasons but the fact that we could create character-driven stories. When I approached Joe he was very excited about the possibilities and began writing. We managed to find an incredible director in Nathan Hannawin who took the film to a whole new level. We are currently doing the festival circuit then the film will have limited theatrical release during mid-2019.

BPFC: What other projects can we expect from Distortion Entertainment?

AV: I’m currently working on a short film Spar, which focuses on the challenges of female boxing and the overcoming of adversity. I have a few other ideas for other shorts. I also a feature film called The Tutor which I have in development, so hopefully, we get that made.

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Big Picture Film Club Co-Founder Loves film, music & science! Over 10 years experience in events management and previous work within the charity sector. Always looking to connect great people with great experiences. Currently training in Muay Thai.

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