Friday, 15 March 2013

Sara Sugarman interview "Vinyl"

In a whirlwind week which sees the release of the much anticipated film "Vinyl" we catch up with co-writer, Producer and Director Sara Sugarman to talk about how the film came together...

How long has it taken to get "Vinyl" into the cinema?

77 years from the first meeting!

When did you first hear about the project?
From John Williams (Shrek Producer in Hollywood)

Did knowing Mike help in your decision to take on the project?

We simply could not have done this project without Mike. Our producer in the trenches Preston Clay Reed thought there was a catch involved when Mike and Jules said "How can we help" and meant it! They gave us all we asked for then suggested more!!! Insanely helpful and the kindest most positive "can do" people you could ever wish for!!!

How quickly did the story come together?

The story was the easy part. Writing the script was great fun and Jim Cooper is lovely. My co-writer who's idea it was. He is a brilliant man. Very capable talented writer.

How many drafts did the script go through?

We did about seven drafts. So not many!!! Then in editing we cut it down again. Also, when we had a tiny budget...I had to make cuts! But it worked!!!

How close is the finished film to your original vision?

The story is totally the same. The actors were terrific, made it all real and ad libbed but 90 percent is as was. But edited there was more of a Jules sub-plot with the baby. We took it out.

When did you first meet Mike?

I was 13. At the Bistro in Rhyl. I thought he was so cool. It was like meeting The Beatles to me.

What are your memories of those early Toilets gigs?

So buzzed!!! It was like I found my voice. Aged 14 on a drum kit in a club, night club!!! Wow! With stage lights! Supporting the Toilets!??? OMG!!!!!

Did you always envision having a large amount of Toilet tracks in the soundtrack?

No. It was Mike's brilliant idea!!!!!!!

What brief did you give him regarding the music you wanted for "Vinyl"?

Make it work!!!! Keep it raw and early punk.

When you were casting you said you were lucky to get all your first choices, were the roles written with those actors in mind?

No. And there was talk of shooting this in L.A. with a Welsh cast! Like they'd all got washed up over there but the budget wouldn't stretch so once I went English I went with Perry cos I'd known him since a kid and loved him. Then the rest is history. They were like the 3 musketeers.

Was any musical ability a prerequisite when you were casting the Weapons Of Happiness?

Yes!!!!! I needed the real thing. It had to be people who cared about music.

When did you make the decision to run the film as a micro budget movie?

When I looked at what was in the bank!!!!! No, I am just a story teller. Give me ten quid and I will try to make it work. I never think about money. I think about stories.

How difficult did it make things and how did you find having to raise the funding?

It made it great fun! A challenge that I rolled my sleeves up on. I love working like this cos actually I get more power. Whomever raises the money gets the power to spend it and I raised the money but I could never have raised it without Preston Clay Reed, John Williams, Jim Cooper, Al Carter, Neville Hughes etc!

Do you think ultimately this worked in the films favour and gave it some of the charm it has?

Defo!!!! I do!!! It would have been different, more polished, if we had money and then casting would have to justify the money. So John Travolta could've been Johnny Jones...hmmm....not bad!

How did you go about finding the Single Shots, was it a mix of people you had in mind as well as open casting?

I love finding new talent. Even if we had money I would defo have chosen all I did. The only sad part was Jack Flute McLean shoulda been in it, an amazing kid! But we only had so many parts and he could not play an instrument. He was amazing! He sadly passed away but he is in the movie. He gets a great laugh in the audition scene, looks like Johnny Rotten!

Simon the Policeman...legend! Discuss!

What a legend!!! He is the other star of the movie!!! We love Simon!!! Simon the Policeman! He was amazing!! He also helped us through logistics of shooting in North Wales. What a gent. A brilliant actor and advisor. Simon the Policeman! Let's get the T-Shirts printed!

What local support did you receive when shooting the film?

Every single person we met in Rhyl, Dyserth, Prestatyn and Bodlewydden were amazing! Again, our Producer thought something was gonna go wrong! He'd never come across such amazing people who made it all happen at every turn! The Mounds at Robin Hood Camp, Steve Goddard at Faenol Fawr Ivan and Lynne Goddard, Mike and Jules, Glan Clwyd Hospital, Steve Allen Jones, All of em!!!! Mental! Amazing!!! Joann Rae, Paris Williams, Ali Carter. Daft...It was amazing!

Has the reception to "Vinyl" surprised you?

No. I believe in this a million percent. It surprised the others, but never me!

Was it a pretty tight shoot or will we see a bumper collection of deleted scenes on the DVD and Blu Ray release?

A pretty tight shoot sadly! But we are getting what we can together.

Was there anything that you wanted in the film that you couldn't pull off?

Meg Ryan! She said yes, we couldn't afford even her plane ticket!

What are your expectations for "Vinyl"?

World domination! Or a classic in your DVD collection, worldwide!

Cymru am byth!!! More film in North Wales!!! I will make it happen!!! Cos North East Wales is aces!

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