Releasing 29th August 2014 - The Guvnors has received rave reviews at the Edinburgh film festival.... We caught up with Cass Pennant, co-producer of the flick and pinged a few questions at him.
Full details to the films official Facebook and Twitter pages can be found at the foot of the page.
GOING BEHIND THE SCENES WITH CO-PRODUCER CASS PENNANT
G-C - What’s the story behind the film
CP - Well I’m probably better known as the book author publisher but past few years I’ve been working away trying to make my mark within the film industry. I’d got to know Jezz Vernon of Metrodome Distribution through one or two film projects ideas I’d pushed to him. He said there was a project of their own being worked on that they need filled out and made authentic and that they was putting a team together, would I take a look as it be an hooligan drama with a difference. Well I didn’t need to look behind me to see whom he is talking to did I?
From watching the trailer and not seeing the film in full, it seems you have two generations battling it out with the youth coming across as liberty takers. Would that be fair to say
Yeah that’s what you see in the all singing and dancing trailer, awesome trailer by the way but when you see the film you will see it takes a closer look as to who these people are, what makes them tick, are they fucking normal with normal feelings and what do they want to achieve from all the violence at end of the day.
The film is based in South East London… Where did you film around that neck of the woods
The shooting schedule was divided between Thamesmead SE28, which is mass sprawling concrete estate with strong film ties. Misfits is filmed there and I can remember back to the seventies when Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange was filmed there. The other and just as important location was The Misken Theatre in Dartford and I will go on record and say the film would not be what it is without the help and goodwill it received from both set locations.
How did the locals take to it
The reaction was amazing from the locals because the glamour part of the film is the end production, the making is where time does not stop the camera rolling in on your daily lives both night and day with cheeky calls made on its residents for every favour and ounce of goodwill going. The secret is respect your making movies in someone’s backyard where the idea of a movie is not the be all for them as it is for you, what you do is involve them, take time out with them to explain what you doing and be interested in their lives too. Hence we had a couple get their David Essex LP personally signed, as that was the music danced to when they first met and got married some 40 years ago. Harley Sylvester knocked on a resident’s door to use their toilet; he politely asked and left the neighbours daughters in seventh heaven. Then there was Joe who was the onset security or insurance cover because, he could make even parking tickets disappear.
From the initial idea how long did the film take to produce
Well first discussions began in January 2012 then following plenty of script drafts and meetings we were shooting by mid September 2013, after post production spring 2014 we were more than ready to take it out to the UKs cinemas everywhere from 29th August with a west end premiere, so like the film action fast and furious.
The Guvnors is based on the casual movement as well as the youth of today. How does the film differentiate with what we have seen before
Because it goes behind what we see, tries to explain their outlook and view they take with the world even if not one that be agreeable with most, who are they as people, what are their vulnerabilities, is there really a person there and any message in the madness, can you ever escape what you are or who you become or are you a product of your own environment?
What with Doug Allen (The Firm – Gangster No 1) there is a great line up of actors? Harley Sylvester has pulled in rave reviews for his first screen appearance. How did you manage to rope him in for the part
Harley Sylvester was already known to the director Gabe Turner who is also the script writer, the director wanted Harley and Harley wanted to do it after reading the script. Harley also suggested Charley Palmer-Merkell (Patsy Palmer’s son) who is also going to surprise and is another one to watch, both are destine for in-demand futures.
How would you describe Doug and Harley’s characters
Simply Doug is old skool train of thought with its unwritten codes and laws and no matter what life they chose to live there is always one eye on the future, he’s a leader, a leader always knows his path of destiny and will have a vision, an hard bastard. Harley is a menacing character without vision or destiny, hence his every move and call is without thought of the consequences because he does not believe he has any future to go to, dangerous scum.
What scene in the film stands out for you
Small uneventful scene it may appear but when you see the irony of who these guys are and if you knew they were all once fierce rivals and here they all are making movies together, in respect together, surely it’s a message in itself, a positive maybe a inspiration to know there can be a respect. The director and me refer this scene as the Top Boys one, the real guvnors.
First showing was at the Edinburgh Film Festival, how well was it received
Edinburgh was amazing for those like myself who attend its world premiere and the good thing about it, was that the public could buy a ticket and rock up so we got a full house mix of festival attendees and locals. You could hear a pin drop let alone pop the popcorn with nobody daring to leave their seat for the toilet until the film end when everyone was standing up for a standing ovation. So yeah, it was party time that night June 24.
What message do you want the film to portray
Let the film be a wake up call to any gang member who watches ‘The Guvnors’ and food for thought for the rest of us because on the street the hunter can always become the hunted and abuser can also be the victim, trapped by his environment in which he lives.
What do you think the public will take from the film
Its very rare you watch a film and go away and debate its merits for a week, today’s film industry is about entertainment pure and simple, a film is either good, bad, or just alright, before you watch your next movie selection. I’d be surprised folk will not thinking anything less than the thought the’ve just watched a good movie that has tried something different for films of that genre.
What would you like them to take
That here is a film that has not just gone with the usual; you’re a mug, crash, bang, wallop, same-thing again with just another title. That the film does have a story, has tried something different, get’s it right on the button on when people start saying does the word respect exist anymore, what is the meaning of that word today and was the old days as bad.
Cheers to Jake for arranging the interview and to Cass for taking time out to answer the questions. Good luck with the release lads!
View the official trailer for Meet The Guvnors below