Where did the name Bang Average Films come from?
My friend is from the Liverpool area, and he always refers to stuff he doesn’t think is great as ‘bang average’. I like the phrase, and thought it would be a good name for a film collective that was making films that give good bang for little money. They’ll probably be bang average as well, which works too, I guess.
What is your background in film?
I’ve been screenwriting since I read the script for Pulp Fiction when I was 15. I didn’t realise ordinary people made films until I saw Shane Meadows’ early work around 2004. I started writing shorts immediately, and finally got around to shooting the buggers around 2009.
Where do you see Bang Average Films going?
Rehab. Seriously though, I think we’ll attract a solid audience if we keep our productivity levels high and we work with a core group of actors who we know and love and who will make us look like we know what we’re doing.
What kind of films do you want to make?
Comedic shorts varying between 2-8 minutes in length. I made a straight drama short around 2014 and it wasn’t as enjoyable an experience as when I made comedies, and dramas with comedic elements. They are usually the kind of films I enjoy, and certainly the kind we would like to make.
What are your favourite films?
Changes every day. But my stock answers over the last few years have been: The Third Man, Once Upon A Time in the West, Dawn of the Dead (1978), Magnolia, A Room for Romeo Brass, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Assault on Precinct 13, The Thing, Aliens and The Terminator.
If you’re going to specialise in comedy, what are your five favourite comedies?
Wow. Like my favourite films, it changes all the time. I would say, off the top of my head: Blazing Saddles, 40 Year Old Virgin, Monty Python and The Holy Grail, Animal House and Airplane!
Describe Bang Average Films in three words?
Get. Stuff. Made. It’s the ethos and what we’re all about. Getting films made and growing our audience, whilst working with a core group of actors who are up for anything, anytime, anywhere.
What is your view on the future of filmmaking – and more specifically – low budget, independent filmmaking?
Baby Driver showed the studios that you can make a fun, original film at a decent level and make money. I think that film has made people sit up and realise that, and hopefully that will lead to the £1-5 million budget filmmakers getting a chance with a budget of £20-50m, and so on.
Christopher Nolan and Quentin Tarantino will continue to make their movies on film, but the more the technology improves, the less filmmakers will do the same. It’s a shame, but not everyone has the weight of a major studio behind them. Having said that, when they make a film, I’m the first one to buy a ticket.
I think there will be more remakes and reboots, and most will be shit. Remakes get a hard time, but two of my all-time favourite films – The Thing and The Fly – are remakes. The difference between those films and cookie cutter remakes is that they found a new way to approach the idea, rather than making a homage. I think what is happening now is that studios are worried about losing money, so they make calculated gambles on existing IPs. But you could do the same thing with original ideas and fun spins on the original. You just have to find someone with the talent to pull it off, and a studio prepared to let them do it.
At grassroots level, I think it’s only going to get better. Technology is getting more and more affordable, creatives are working together and the outlets (festivals, YouTube, Vimeo, etc.) are multiplying all the time. Some of the sketches I see on Instagram are funny than anything Funny or Die have ever done, so there’s plenty of opportunities for folks to get their stuff made and out to a huge audience. It’s exciting times for people with no money!
What would your dream project be?
I am also an author, and it would be a dream come true to one day adapt one of my books for the big screen. I’ve written a rom-com for guys, a comedy-drama about small town heroes, a kids’ book about a magic sketchbook that brings to life anything that’s drawn into it, and a 90’s set detective comedy.
My books are all cinematic, so I wouldn’t care which one was made. All of them would be nice, so I could retire to the Hebrides, grow a beard and walk hills and mountains for the rest of my life.