It's almost six weeks until Rianne Pictures start shooting their new project, the female lead thriller Foxhole. With a female dominated crew, this will be the eighth film for the production house and in the usual style - the cast is full of females too. So what does this revenge tale have to offer? We spoke to the films Director and Founder of Rianne Pictures, Caris Rianne about why she's making the film and the challenges of crowd funding.
HOW DID FOXHOLE COME ABOUT?
After Extra Time had finished shooting in 2015 I had started writing a story about young women running away to this home in the woods to escape pressures of modern day society, especially social media. There are so many real life events out there where social media is incredibly harmful to young girls so that was the original concept, but the twist was that the 'sanctuary' they were running to was actually not that at all.
Over time the story grew, characters were added and removed, storylines evolved, the main ideal of these girls running away changed and Foxhole ended up being a feature film script, but I knew with the finance situation in the UK film industry we just weren't able to make a feature again at this time as a production company, so it was transformed into a short film script instead.
WHAT DID YOU EXPLORE IN THIS THAT YOU HAVEN'T BEFORE?
It's not completely about relationships, all my past work has been about the interactions between people. I feel like Foxhole is about the disconnection between people and how little we actually can know about someone. Film making wise, this is a thriller which is a genre I haven't stepped into before but I'm incredibly excited.
HOW WILL FOXHOLE CHALLENGE YOU AS A DIRECTOR?
There's a bigger crew. With each film I've made I've created more connections and you meet more people who want to work with you. But you also learn from your mistakes, whenever I start the process of a making a new film I write down everything that went wrong on the last one! Then you strive for ways to fix those errors and ensure they don't happen, more crew members who are dedicated to each department is one way of making that work. It's my job to make certain everyone does their job to the best of their ability...whilst doing my own! So that is always a welcomed challenge.
YOU'RE WORKING WITH ELEANOR BROWN AGAIN AFTER HER LEADING ROLE IN YOUR SHORT FILM 'COMING HOME', WHY DID YOU GO WITH FOR HER THE ROLE OF SYLVIE IN FOXHOLE?
Ever since I started writing the very early drafts of Foxhole, Eleanor Brown was always Sylvie the lead character. I was incredibly nervous when I sent her the script in case she said 'thanks but no thanks' We're all very lucky that she said yes! It's always wonderful to work with actors that you've spent time with before, there's a level of trust, admiration and communication there that you can rely on to get the best out of each other. Plus, this is a thriller, I get to direct these actors in a genre I haven't played around with before so it's going to be fun.
ELEANOR ISN'T THE ONLY RIANNE PICTURES FACE THAT IS RETURNING, DID YOU HAVE THE OTHER ACTORS IN YOUR MIND FROM EARLY ON?
As a writer I feel you always visualise an actor in your mind for each part, I've been very fortunate to have worked with some great up and coming actors and even luckier that they want to work with me again! I've worked with Jayde Manning on five films now so when writing she always finds her way into the story. I've been desperate to work with Kerenza Qayum, Lydia Lakemoore and Mumbi Ramoni again since we shot Demi and Extra Time so I'm really pleased that they've all jumped on board for another film.
YOU'RE ALSO WORKING WITH LOCAL ACTORS TOO, HOW DID YOU DISCOVER THEM?
Yes, Eloise Rust we found from Harlow College studying performing arts and Foxhole will be her third time with us. I know how hard it can be trying to get into the industry when you're not based in London, so I'm always trying to work with local talent to improve that and also offer opportunities. I worked with three other drama students from Harlow College for our promotional video to promote our funding campaign and I'm very happy that they'll now be working on the actual short film too.
WHAT'S THE BEST PART OF PRE-PRODUCTION?
I'm sorry! It's all fun and games really. I have the best team around me, I used to plan all of this all on my own when I first starting making films, but now there are five of us so it's an easier and more enjoyable process. I think my meetings with those people are the best part, the relief in all of our faces when we finally complete a task that seemed impossible is always a nice feeling and watching things slowly come together is a really lovely part of planning a film, but I can assure you it's hard work!
WHAT PART OF THE SHOOT ARE YOU MOST EXCITED ABOUT?
I can't wait for the violence. That probably sounds very bizarre but let me explain! There are some bigs parts of Foxhole that are violent, there's blood and there's fear. I'm looking forward to working with those concepts as a director who has grown up loving thrillers and now is finally able to make one! But we're also very cautious of the morals of this, there's domestic violence within Foxhole that is not a playful matter and we're working to handle that issue with the utmost care, just like we did with the attempted suicide storyline in Why Are You Sad.
WHY IS CROWD FUNDING IMPORTANT TO THIS PROJECT?
There's such a terrible lack of funding opportunities in the UK for independent film directors. For female directors it's not exactly an easy process either. Yes, there are schemes being set up here and there but these are often age limited and apply to those who do not have training. Crowdfunding is a great opportunity as it's pulling a group of people together to help support not only the arts, but projects that people are very passionate about but unfortunately lack the money to bring to life. It's hard work, asking people to give you money and your pride certainly takes a beating. But we were crowdfunded for Demi and that went on to get thirteen award nominations including three wins and a premiere in the USA, it's incredibly warming to see your dream work happen due to the generosity of friends and strangers.
Rianne Pictures are crowdfunding to reach their budget to make Foxhole happen, you can support this by donating to the campaign on Indiegogo here.
Here's the promotional video below, starring Eleanor Brown, Ben Charlton, Reanna Austin and Poppy Evans.