SCOT WILLIAMS was one of the guests on this week’s podcast and told us about his forthcoming movie ‘Hard Boiled Sweets’, out soon. How soon depends partly on you. Read to the end and please give the powers-that-be a nudge to get it on a big screen near you.
We’ve also got some EXCLUSIVE artwork from the film. Neil Atkinson was asking the questions.
Hard Boiled Sweets – how good is it?
You know what, I’m not just saying it, it’s fantastic. It’s seriously good. The director (David L.G. Hughes) is an award winning editor and this is his first movie (as a director) and he’s put his heart and soul into it, the producers have allowed him to work his jigsaw so for a director to be allowed to make the film he wants to make is quite rare.
Certainly as a debutant…
Yes, and consequently he cast the cast he wanted. There were no auditions, they were all straight offers and he got in an ensemble. Everyone was happy, there were no egos – and you can tell when you watch the film.
He’s also really stylised it, he’s into hard-boiled fiction, hence the title; it’s based on the American crime novels. It’s just about nine individual criminals and it’s set in Southend in Essex.
What I loved about it – as we’re in Liverpool and it’s great to be home by the way – is that four of the actors are from Liverpool. There’s Ian Hart, who’s one of my heroes, Elizabeth Berrington, myself, Phil Barantini and Adrian Bower who’s from down the road in Chester. Because of that we’re going to try and do a big premier up here for local charities, for Claire House and for Clapperboard.
As a movie it’s great, it’s very stylised, it’s kind of film-noir but kind of modern film-noir. I hate to use the word ‘Tarrantino’ but it’s very similar.
So David’s very much placed his stamp on it then, he wrote it, it wasn’t an adaptation?
Yes he wrote it he directed it he edited it and I kind of feel a bit guilty because we weren’t sure when it was coming out, so we’ve been talking about it for long time.
The amazing thing is for a first time writer, as a first time director, it’s been picked up by a Hollywood Studio, a big Hollywood studio, I can’t say which one.
So the producers are optimistic you’re going to get a strong release for this?
This is the thing, what they would ideally like is for people who like the sound of the movie to kind of influence this Hollywood Studio as to what to do with it now they own it.
What I noticed is that the iconography is absolutely fantastic; the gun made of sweets, the posters that have come out – it seems to have such a strong visual identity even just off its marketing material.
Yes, it’s a company called Klor – originally the movie was called ‘Crikey Villains’ but the Americans don’t know the concept of the word ‘crikey’, they don’t know what it means, so they changed it to ‘Hard Boiled Sweets’. But I always thought ‘sweets’ was ‘candy’ in the States!
So they used that and each character is an individual sweet.
You mentioned Tarantino, is it non-linear, do the characters overlap?
Yes, they do, it is non-linear but it’s nine individual criminals going after the same suitcase full of loot.
There’s an old-school criminal played by Peter White, he’s old school in that he doesn’t trust the banks, he goes everywhere with his money and he’s collecting his protection money, or his racket money, all across the south east and all these criminals get wind of it and they all try and dupe him. And they’re all plotting against each other. It is old-fashioned in that way, I can’t give the end away but it’s got a fantastic ending.
It was a very different role for me because I took a massive gamble with it. David likened the character to the ‘Man with no Name’, from the Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns, so a very, very still performance.
I took a massive risk because I was basically posing for 24 frames a second and I could have come across as a right idiot, but, I trusted him.
Important to have a director you trust?
I think a good director does 80% of the work in the casting suite and once he’s got the right cast you trust him – and as long as he shares your vision and doesn’t edit the bits that are important to you.
You said earlier he went out and got each of you individually?
Yes, it was funny, I did ‘Backbeat’ with Ian Hart – it was my first movie 18 years ago and we’re really good mates – and this was originally a short film called ‘A Girl and a Gun’ and Ian Hart played my part. But he couldn’t play this part because he’s over in America doing a series with Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte (‘Luck’). So I had to phone him up and say, ‘Look mate, I can’t take your part without getting your blessing,’ and he said go for it.
And he ended up being able to do Hard Boiled Sweets as well?
Well he did, but he did a smaller part that he was available for and it was nice, I got to do a scene with him which was great.
As Scot says one part of producing a film that is very difficult is convincing people to put things on in cinemas and if you do want to see this at the moment it’s almost certainly going to be better and more engaging than 60-70% of what’s on at the Odeon. It’s going to be something that’s really special and it deserves a run. As the public we can say to distributors this is what we want.
As promised on the podcast these are the links to the Hard Boiled Sweets Facebook and Twitter pages:
Facebook: Hard Boiled Sweets.
So get on them. Follow the accounts. Leave comments. Send tweets. Say “WHY” you want to see this film. Say “WHERE” you want to see it. And in the meantime enjoy the artwork: