Light 'em Up

By sizemore Last edited 180 months ago
Light 'em Up

Here's a little something to warm your cockles on a less than sunny Friday morning:

The short was put together by Damien Wasylkiw and Phil Stoole. Let's have a natter with them about it after the jump.

Londonist: We'd already seen your work for the Sunshine website. How did that come about and what else had you worked on before hand? Do you both work and live in London?

Phil: Before Sunshine we hadn't worked together. I 'd worked on various features in varying capacities for over ten years, from Sense and Sensibility to Mission Impossible to Fantastic Four and the Rise of the Silver Surfer. Prior to Sunshine I'd been writing a feature script based on an award winning short film I'd made. I've lived in London nearly all of that time . Sunshine was a great opportunity to get back on a film set and make films.

Damien: I'd been working as a VJ and video artist for about 3 years with an artistic collective called Medlo. We'd performed visuals for Roots Manuva and 65 Days of Static as well as putting on our own audio-visual shows at clubs, bars and festivals. Gia asked me to work on videos for Sunshine because she wanted someone who wouldn't create the usual EPK style behind the scenes material. I think she realised she'd got more than she bargained for when she watched me spend hours, painstakingly stabbing the Cillian Murphy interview tape with a knife just so I could create a really glitchy effect. I moved to London about four years ago and don't think I'll ever tire of the place.

Alex Garland loved your video. Has Danny Boyle seen it?

Yeah, he loved it too, said it was great. The guys at DNA are a real inspiration to us and have been really supportive of all our crazy ideas. We had this idea to film short fiction pieces alongside the main shoot, to exploit the production value of the feature. Not just using the props and sets, but actually putting our own actors in our own story alongside whatever scenes were being shot. The beauty of it is is that you are in a great location you could never possibly afford, surrounded by 200 extras , armed soldiers, Infected, etc. and for brief moments, and with the right know how, it's all at your disposal. It is a tricky proposition, because you absolutely cannot get in the way of the main production. It requires many years of film set experience on our part and a great deal of trust on the filmmakers part to make it work. We call this 'surfing the main unit'. We will upload some examples of this sort of work as we complete them. Watch this space.

So with DNA and Fox Atomic behind you, do you consider Light 'em Up as viral marketing for 28 Weeks Later or something more?

We regard 'light 'em up' as something much, much more than marketing material. It was an opportunity we seized upon as filmmakers. We had a great team behind us with Laurence Glover producing from Glover Films and also the amazingly talented visual effects people at Big Buoy who did a fantastic job of setting London ablaze for us. So i guess we regard 'light 'em 'up as our Lawrence of Arabia, our Citizen Kane, our Plan 9 from Outer Space. Our calling card if you will.

Where did you shoot and how long did it take?

We shot on primrose hill at sunrise for about 3 and a half hours. Breakfast and post production took a good deal longer than that.

Have you seen 28 Weeks Later? If so, is it any good? :)

Yeah, it's really good. As Aliens did as a sequel to Alien, 28 Weeks ups the ante on the action thriller elements. It is also pretty horrific. We love horror movies, but there is one sequence in particular which is truly disturbing. But we can't really talk about that as it is a bit of a spoiler.

What are you working on right now?

A huge movie from the director of Monster House called 'City of Ember', 'Son of Rambow' which did really well at Sundance for Hammer and Tongs and a remake of Sleuth starring Jude Law and Michael Caine directed by Kenneth Branagh. Oh, and more 28 Weeks short films as well.

Rage virus aside, what about London gets you angry?

Overcomplicated parking restrictions, traffic, litter, forgetting to pay the congestion charge and dog eggs in the parks (I love dogs but hate the irresponsible owners who can't be bothered to shift the shit).

Why do you think 'end of the world' movies are so popular? And why do we enjoy seeing London all fucked up?

Phil: Because it reminds us that although our everyday lives may seem banal and boring at least we are not facing some awful catastrophe. it makes you think 'thank god things are ok, thank christ that's not me.' a bit like watching news reports from countries devastated by natural disasters or war. Or the Jeremy Kyle show.

Damien: I think many of us have fantasies about more turbulent and dangerous times. The idea of walking around an empty city or fighting off monsters to save the girl is a childhood dream of many a red blooded male. Films give us the opportunity to experience these fantasies without actually breaking a nail or messing up your hair.

Any advice for Ken Livingstone?

The rage. It's in all Londoners. Don't push it.

We have a regular question in most of our interviews along the lines of 'The world is ending and you're in London. What would you do?' Your film seems to already answer that. Or is there something else you'd rather be doing?

Making a film about it!

Thanks to Danny and Phil for taking the time to talk to us and the ever awesome Gia for introducing us.

Last Updated 04 May 2007