Steve Davis set up an independent film company back in 2010 with the intention of supporting aspiring, independent filmmakers around the Kent area. Kent Independent Films has proved versatile as it constantly producers a wide selection of features, shorts and music videos and has teamed up with Indywood Films in order to do so. With an interest in the horror genre Steve currently has a slasher Santa film in pre-production titled Christmas Slay, which he describes as “modern” but with the heart of the stalk and slash flicks of the 70’s and 80’s firmly in place, the feature is expected to be released in 2014, so we will have to wait patiently like all good children on Christmas Eve before we can unwrap this festive piece of carnage! With plenty of projects in the pipeline Steve took time out of his busy schedule to talk independent filmmaking, fan funding, horror, Christmas, his inspirations plus working with Emmerdale’s Dominic Brunt (Before Dawn).
1. Your production company Kent Independent films offers a versatile range of media forms, can you tell us a little bit about what you do?
Steve Davis: Well i suppose we try and do a little of everything within the industry, we do offer a few services to assist other filmmakers but to be honest we barley get time to do anything other than our own projects, our main aim is to produce quality independent shorts, features and documentaries which cover a wide variety of genre’s, so their is something for everyone.
2. How did you become involved with Indywood films?
SD: I became involved with AD Lane, IndywoodFILMS and his EPIC movie project INVASION OF THE NOT QUITE DEAD a few years back now after stumbling across his fan funding website, like hundreds of other people across the world i LOVED what AD was doing and the way in which he was funding his project so i became a VIP Executive producer to help support the film, a while later AD and myself got talking on Facebook and it turned out that we both lived in Kent so we arranged to meet up for a chat and we clicked, the rest is pretty much history, and we have been good friends ever since, i am now Co-Producing INVASION OF THE NOT QUITE DEAD with AD and assisting with all aspects of the film.
3. What film projects are you currently working on?
SD: Quite a few and it seems to be growing lol, the biggest project at the moment is of cause is the EPIC INVASION OF THE NOT QUITE DEAD, its very exciting times for us at the moment, we have already filmed our intro over in Bulgaria, and filming will continue here in Kent this September and November and finish in February of next year, i then hope to start fan funding for CHRISTMAS SLAY via Kickstarter from April, and fingers crossed if funding goes ok we will be able to film our intro towards the end of next year and the bulk of the film in Bulgaria in February 2014, but during our two films i will also be taking on a small part in a great film by Ogy Stoilov called MADE IN LONDON which is about an Eastern European crime family operating in London, and i am also going be an extra in our friend Dominic Brunt’s next film project THE DEBT COLLECTOR, which i am very excited about.
4. You have projects planned up until 2014, the latest one being Christmas Slay? Is there anything you can reveal about the film at this stage?
Yeah lol my website seriously needs updating, i think between myself and AD we have probably got film projects planned for the next 10 years, if not more, both INVASION OF THE NOT QUITE DEAD and CHRISTMAS SLAY will be having sequels, plus we have several World War Two films planed and a really nice music related film called JOURNEY IN TO DARKNESS, not to mention various other features and shorts.
CHRISTMAS SLAY is the first feature i have written, and is going to be my first attempt at directing, i am very excited about it but also very nervous.
‘CHRISTMAS SLAY’ is a unique take on the slash and stalk genre, a film inspired by so many great movie such as FRIDAY 13th, HALLOWEEN, A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, and so many other cult horror classics of the 1980’s.
Our aim is to make an original slasher film franchise with a modern look and twist which stays true to the genre’s original roots.
The story of CHRISTMAS SLAY begins on a wintery Christmas Eve, the horrific murder of a loving family, and the capture of a Santa Claus obsessed blood thirsty killer.
One year later, a group of collage girlfriends decide to get away from it and relax and party over the Christmas holiday, they decide to escape to the idyllic Mistletoe Lodge nestled within the beautiful snowy mountains of the Scottish Highlands, what starts off as the perfect festive getaway of fun in the snow and a glass of eggnog or two, suddenly descends in to gruesome blood bath of terror and a fight for survival.
5. You tweeted you have some amazing cast and crew involved with the film, what can you tell us about that?
We certainly do, we have some AMAZING cast and crew involved but unfortunately at this very early stage in the project i am very restricted to who i can mention, and i am trying keep those attached hush hush until the CHRISTMAS SLAY website goes live this December, all i can say is expect to see some new talent and some tv and film favourites.
6. Would you say the film is inspired by Christmas themed classics such as Black Christmas or will you be putting your own spin on the sub-genre?
People are going to hate me for this but i am not really a fan of BLACK CHRISTMAS at all, its beautifully shot, and the cinematography is AMAZING its just a little slow paced for my liking, even the original doesn’t do anything for me, film wise my inspirations are movies such as FRIDAY 13th and SILENT NIGHT DEADLY NIGHT, i just love the look and feel of 70’s and 80’s horror, i want CHRISTMAS SLAY to have that feel, and want the audience to feel like there watching a modern classic, but the real inspiration behind CHRISTMAS SLAY is not a film it was my good friend AD Lane, if it wasn’t for him i wouldn’t be living my dream, and there is no way i would be working on my own film, AD is the most passionate guy i know, and it is such an honour to be able to call him my friend, he has been through all the good times and bad times in my personal life and given me so much to look forward to, if it wasn’t for his encouragement CHRISTMAS SLAY would just be a thought in my head that would never get acted upon, AD is such a MASSIVE inspiration, not just to be but to hundreds the world over.
7. Are you a big fan of the horror genre? Which films would you say have left an impact on you in terms of style?
8. How long have you been interested in filmmaking and what aspects do you enjoy the most?
I became interested in filmmaking as a very young child at primary school, my Dad is a HUGE HUGE fan of Emmerdale, or Emmerdale Farm as it used to known back then, every year during the summer holidays we used to drive up to Yorkshire from Deal in Kent to watch two weeks of Emmerdale being filmed, and i LOVED IT, there’s something pretty special about being on set or location, and as a young boy i was hooked, i knew there and then what i wanted to do in life.
9. Would you say that creating short films and music videos are a very similar process?
With filming a short, the principles are the same as filming a feature, all the same rules apply, i haven’t really had much experience with music videos as yet, but i did joine AD Lane on several tour dates for the documentary he is doing on the AWESOME band WHEATUS, i only helped with a very little bit of camera work for this, but WOW what a difference, when filming a short or a feature, your the one that’s in control, but when filming live performers you have none what so ever, you have to be all over the place, there are no second chances, if you miss something, you cant ask a live performer to stop and do a re take, you need to be every where at once, its bloody hard work, AD went on three UK tours with the band and every time he came back he was that little bit thinner lol
10. And finally what advice would you give to aspiring filmmakers from your own experience?
DON’T GIVE UP, it my take time but if you really want it, it WILL happen, you just need to be patient 🙂
Thanks for taking your time to speak with Hayley’s Movie and TV Reviews and good luck with all your exciting projects.
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