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Gordon Kennedy and Hayley-Marie Axe in The Gun Man

Gordon Kennedy and Hayley-Marie Axe in The Gun Man

Stories into Light film night

Glyn Carter from local film making company, Stories into Light, invites you to a screening of short films at The Palace Bar on 7 February. Glyn, who’s been making films for a couple of years now, mostly with local talent, aims to tell good stories with real characters. Deeper themes seem to emerge, he says, but accessible entertainment is the watchword. Mostly comedies, some were adapted for stage in the Hastings Fringe in August. HOT’s Zelly Restorick asks Glyn some questions about his film experience.

Tell us about your film evening at The Palace Bar.

It’s a showcase of what Stories into Light has produced over the last couple of years. There are twelve in all, with six comedies, including four short films from the ‘Pillow Talk’ series. There’s a film about a 60-something man who has discovered that his wife has been having an affair with an even older man. That started life as a comedy, but then it said to me “no, this is serious”. Local actor, Sid Kean, gives a heartbreaking performance.

Some of the films saw life as stage plays and went down very well in the evening we did last summer. The climax is called The Gun Man, with Gordon Kennedy (who’s in ITV’s The Halcyon) as a gun enthusiast who befriends a young woman, as his ex-gangster pals become suspicious of her motives. This was made to get as close as possible to feature film values and to be a calling card for investors in a full feature.

Is that where you want to go – into feature films?

It’s the only place to make a living from narrative film (as distinct from corporate and advertising). I have a ghost story called This Way Madness, which I truly believe is as marketable as the low-budget genre stuff you see in supermarkets and on Amazon. I have a script, actors and a director and I’m now working on raising the finance. You can follow progress on This Way Madness.

What catalysed your interest in making your own films and starting up Stories into Light?

I realised that no-one had ever made a feature film about the most famous date in English history, a date that’s recognised even in America. And it’s such a great, epic story. So I decided I’d write a screenplay and pitch it to Ridley Scott. I mean, how hard can it be? Then I discovered that three big companies were developing the idea, and one was even using the writer of Gladiator, William Nicholson. I met him at a talk in Brighton and he said it was sitting on a shelf somewhere in Hollywood. And I thought, if his script can’t get made, then what chance does mine have?

However, I’d got the writing bug and loads of story ideas. I’ve written six feature scripts and just about got the hang of the craft. And a couple of dozen short scripts. The next reality check was that if I wanted to see any of these made, I was probably going to have to make them myself.

But you can’t make money from short films – and you can’t make a feature from a standing start, so I set up ‘Stories into Light’ as a production company to make videos for local businesses’ websites, as bread-and-butter income.

Heather Cairns and George Johnston in Full English

Heather Cairns and George Johnston in Full English from the Pillow Talk series.

Where do you get your ideas for films from and how do they develop?

That’s one tough question! I think this is one of the tests of being a storyteller. Ideas probably come when the real world strikes a chord in the subconscious, but it’s best not to over-analyse. Film, especially short film, is great for surrealism and magic and I find that train journeys allow those kinds of ideas drift into my head.

Sometimes you have to work to create ideas, by asking “What if?”. What if two people who shouldn’t be in the same bedroom, somehow are? This is the premise of the ‘Pillow Talk’ series of comedies. What if someone is confronted by their deepest nightmare? Who are they, what is the nightmare, and how could it come into their life? Answer those questions, and you have the germ of a story. All I can say is that I have more ideas than I can see to completion.

What’s brought you to Hastings? What do you like about here – from a creative perspective?

I came to Hastings to work for the council, which I enjoyed, but I had to make an existential decision: so I left to join the creative circus. Hastings and St Leonards are brilliant – there can’t be anywhere else in the country with so much going on culturally, in such a variety of art forms, in such a tiny area. We were always strong on music and visual arts, but now theatre is growing too. So many creative people live here, but have to work in London. The next step is for more work to be produced locally. On the one hand, technology allows this, but on the other, so much is done via networks, and London is still the magnet in the film industry.

image004Stories into Light, screening of films

Venue: The Palace Bar (ex-Pig in Paradise), White Rock, 7.00 for 7.30, on Tuesday 7th Feb. £5 on the door.

Mostly comedies, some drama and a couple of mini-documentaries: about 90 minutes of films in all, plus a break to top up your drinks. The highlight is the local premiere of The Gun Man, showing here prior to going on the festival circuit.

Some of the comedies are 15-certificate/post watershed equivalent, so please bear that in mind if you’re thinking of bringing children. 

Go along and see what Stories into Light has been up to! 

Stories into Light 

Twitter: @storiesin2light Facebook: storiesintolight

Posted 18:04 Wednesday, Feb 1, 2017 In: Film

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