Wednesday, August 11, 2010
SPARROW'S THOMAS JAMES LONGLEY - A BADASS INTERVIEW
SPARROW'S THOMAS JAMES LONGLEY - A BADASS INTERVIEW
By: Mediasaurus Rex
There has been a lot of interesting underground noise about SPARROW, an urban legend horror film that recently was filmed in Poland. We have been clocking it in our forums, and we have seen a lot of pics from the set released. As its release gets closer (we're hearing Halloween), SPARROW is gaining even more of an underground buzz. The official SPARROW webpage is full if compiled interviews and tidbits. The film now has an IMDB page and an ambiguous teaser trailer. In our hunt for more, actor Thomas James Longley answered a few of our questions.
IMDB cites SPARROW as your first acting gig. Can you tell us about any other acting experience that you have had?
Well, I recently graduated from the National Youth Theatre in London, and before that I was doing a lot of stage work. I also did a few short films and commercials, but Sparrow was my first feature.
How did you get associated with the SPARROW project?
I was offered an audition by Shaun, the director, and eventually I had to meet with the producer. I then auditioned in front of him and he liked me, so I was offered a role. I was talking to Shaun the other day about this actually, and at one point I was being considered for Duncan. But Eric auditioned pretty darn well for that part, so I was bumped to Matt instead (laughs).
Can you give us a thumbnail sketch of the character Matt that you play in SPARROW?
Matt’s the nice guy—everyone’s friend—which is why he’s the leader, I suppose. He’s an all round fun guy, straight forward, but definitely in charge. You know, there doesn’t tend to be a lot of characterization in teen horrors, but Matt was sort of nicely understandable for me. Something to get my teeth into without there being too much to think about as an actor . . . which allowed me to do a lot of running about, shouting, looking scared.
Every movie set has its "ridiculous story" of either a series of mishaps or something really funny happening. Can you tell us the one for SPARROW?
Hmm, well there were a few days when there were a lot of technical issues, but I suppose the funniest was the amount of takes needed for certain scenes. I wouldn’t dream of giving too much away. Shaun would kill me. But there’s a scene involving Jack [W. Carter] that Faye and I were standing about for, since we were involved before and after it, that took a LOT of takes. It was very difficult for Carter to keep still, as I remember, and it went on all day. Thinking back, it was kinda funny, but it must’ve been so frustrating for him.
How many days was the shoot?
A month, but I was there for about three weeks of it.
What is your favorite horror film?
Oh wow! These kinds of questions are so difficult to answer. I loved THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT when I saw it. But I also really enjoyed SIGNS, you know, the M. Night Shyamalan film. Does that count as a horror? Oh, and there’s this little Canadian indie film called INCIDENT IN LAKE COUNTY that I really like. It’s quite similar to Blair Witch actually.
The official website basically states that SPARROW is about a bunch of high school kids on a camping trip where a historic murder has taken place. Can you add more to this?
To be fair it’s pretty standard teen horror stuff. But at the same time there isn’t really a lead character as such. And because of that, there’s a certain level of absence about the film—perhaps no obvious core—which allows the film to be more terrifying, more genuinely jumpy than an overtly based character piece with obvious leads. It’s hard to explain, but it’s quite clever, really. You’ll know when you see it.
Would you say that SPARROW is more BLAIR WITCH PROJECT or FRIDAY THE 13th?
Both, but possibly leaning more towards the latter. Without becoming too graphic, it certainly has a few surprises.
Is SPARROW more along the lines of psychological horror or will there be splatter as well?
I suppose the film could be split into different sections. For most of the movie that involves the teens, there’s a lot of developing tension, and it begins to get eerie. But of course, a few splatters are shown here and there. And then after a certain point, it sort of descends into chaos.
Is SPARROW drawn from an actual urban legend?
I’m not sure, but Matt, the writer, did say he was inspired by a few real ideas. Of course, it’s probably just an exaggeration of an already established urban legend. There are loads out there. So don’t go camping in the woods! (laughs)
How long has SPARROW been in production?
Wojciech Stuchlik bought the rights at the beginning of this year, I think, so not too long. Naturally, as the cast, we were brought into the production latest, so for us it’s all been quite the whirlwind.
How big was the budget for SPARROW?
Very small, actually. About £50,000, when I was last told. It may have risen since, though, due to post-production, but it was done really well and efficiently on a very small budget.
When can we see a US release of the film?
Well, it’s going to do the film festival circuit, so it should be hitting some pretty major US ones. Other than that, it’ll be released on DVD.
When will we be able to see a trailer for it?
It’s out now, actually. But it hasn’t yet been heavily promoted. It’s on youtube I think. [We found the teaser trailer here]
What is next for you as an actor?
Well, I have a few films I’m attached to, so I’m keeping myself busy. I’m looking forward to doing quite a few projects in the US, actually, so I’m excited. It should be a lot of fun.
Check the SPARROW official website here
SPARROW on IMDB here
More SPARROW production pics than you can handle here
MEDIASAURS SPARROW thread
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