Interview with competition Finalist Adam Awni

Following the music video screenings, I interviewed Adam Awni who had had two of his music videos shortlisted in this category of the competition. He is also attending the festival to promote his new short film; Bunny, which currently has an online treasure hunt across the Internet to unlock content, with only 24 days remaining.

He explained that he had entered the competition after hearing about the film festival from a friend. He said: “I work in London, so St Albans is quite nearby. I’d heard it was the first year of running and it’s really good”

As well as being lucky enough to have two entries shortlisted Adam is using the opportunity to publicise his new film project, “I’ve been using the opportunity to flyer and network with other film makers to promote Bunny” he says, and points out that even the t-shirt he is wearing displays artwork from the film and its social media promotion.

Bunny flyer

Bunny flyer

Bunny is a 20 minute thriller/horror that took four months to write. Adam calls it ‘this generation’s version of Misery’. I asked if it has any ankle-crushing moments like Misery, and he assures me there is at least one shocking moment that will stick in your head.

“There are some cool, gore moments. Our prosthetics  artist has worked on all of the episodes of Game of Thrones  and Prometheus, but Bunny is not all about the effects. I believe in a good film, the story should carry it, which is why it took so long to write, because I wanted a story that hadn’t been seen,” Adam said.

From our chat, the resounding message was that Adam’s big aim was to reach a fresh, new concept  for a feature film that would  make people afraid. As a blogger and social networking enthusiast, most interesting to me however, was the way Adam was utilising social media and re-examining the way we all use the Internet in our lives – on two levels.

Firstly, his 50-day media promotion, funded by Kick-Starter  (there is only 24 days left, so if you want to get involved, don’t wait around), uses social media.

It comprises of an online treasure hunt using media platforms such as YouTube, SoundCloud and Twitter to reveal hidden messages, which can be used as passwords and clues to unlock content. Adam says everything that is unlockable is content of the film, and for him the challenge was to not only use social media for the treasure  hunt, but to utilise the function of said media (music on SoundCloud, videos on YouTube, etc).

The second level of utilising the popularity of social media is to play on the rising popularity of dating websites: “Bunny uses a dating site in its plot to make us scared of something that’s real in life. The best, scariest movies play on a real thing that we can experience in our lives and social lives, and that’s what makes it scare us. The characters in Bunny meet through a dating website,  which has become more socially acceptable than in the times when Hard Candy was released.”

“We have even made this website which has ‘malfunctioned’ to make the private chat section of our characters public, so you are seeing the early relationship develop, which has involved extra  script,” he says.

My final 2 minute quick-fire round-up of the film (I had to finish up the interview in time for the next event)  was that:
– The final film is a bit secretive, there will be no online download as Adam wants it to be in cinemas – it is going to be screened in two cinemas in London, one in Birmingham, with some interest in Manchester (the full film is 50% funded already through crowd-funding).
– Bunny is a character (but I’m not allowed to know anymore)
– The film includes a horrific female villain, the definition of a femme fatal.
For more information please visit www.bunnythemovie.co.uk

Adam went on to win the award for Best Music Video.

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