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Blood Money – New Trailer, Stills & Interview

Blood Money PosterBritish thriller horror Blood Money, directed by Luke White, will be released on March 3rd, 2017. It will be available on all the major VOD platforms including iTunes and Amazon. The film stars Ollie Barbieri (Skins, Anuvahood), Klariza Clayton (Skins, Harry Brown), Scott Chambers (Chicken), and introducing Sabrina Hansen and Nicholas Bourne.

Blood Money Description

After a botched art heist in France, a group of friends are left with a body on their hands and the French police hot on their trail. They plan to hide the body, sell the painting, and return home. But as they wait for their chance to escape from their secluded holiday home, they realize the body has gone missing. Paranoia and fear sets in and the friends begin to turn on each other. Soon it is clear there’s a killer in the house and the group must figure out who is responsible before they all suffer the consequences.

Q&A With Director Luke White

How did Blood Money come about?

The first discussion on the film took place at the BFI Southbank centre with myself, my twin brother Edward who co-produced the film with me and our writer Rosy Deacon, who is very talented and won The Sir Peter Ustinov Award at the EMMYs just a year or so prior to Blood Money. The three of us sat down and what we thought was ‘right, we need to make something that we know we can sell’. From a creative point of view, maybe that’s frowned upon, but film is a business and we knew that we’d need to make the film a success both critically and financially in order to be able to make another feature -or features- down the line. Before the meeting we’d spoken with a number of distributors who all told us the same story, that the film had to sell itself- make either a horror or a gangster movie on the lowest possible budget, give it a good title and slick DVD cover and you’re away. The reality was pretty clear, the film didn’t matter but the packaging and the trailer did.

We took this advice on board, but at the same time we also knew that we wanted to make something more than just another generic indie horror; we wanted a greater focus on the characters and their relationships, the psychology, so we pushed the film over into the thriller genre some way. Given our budget on 40K we could only afford 11 shooting days with minimum crew and a single location. Finding the location early in the process was particularly important ont his project. Although we’d developed most of the basic premise in our first meeting at the BFI and Rosy had later gone away to draft the script over the following weeks, certainly a lot of new ideas stemmed from our recce in France.

What were the biggest challenges of the shoot?

There are always so many challenges with making any kind of film, even to make a short film can be a huge undertaking with a lot of planning and people involved in every department. We had a very limited size cast and crew, which in some ways is prohibiting and could slow us down but in other ways it was great as everybody got to know each other closely and support eachother, there was a real team-spirited feel on set and I enjoyed that. Given the limited time we had for our shoot (just 11 days), I did feel a constant pressure to make sure that we didn’t overrun as the possibility of any subsequent reshoots was virtually impossible. Fortunately our 1stAD Charlie kept us on track- some days we slipped behind but then we’d catch up over the next couple of days so it worked out, thankfully.

The weather was an unexpected challenge for us. Shooting in Northern France in the summer, we’d anticipated fairly stable conditions but in reality that was not the case. We had a couple of beautiful days that you can see in the film but around that, particularly during the night shoots we ran into trouble. The temperatures would absolutely plummet and we had some pretty relentless wind and rain come in over nights where we had actors travelling over from the UK and only scheduled to stay for the 1 night, so there was very little we could do but carry on. Most our of crew was also sleeping out in a mini tent village to the side of the property and given the sudden bouts of torrential rain, some of the tents would flood so that was an added difficulty just keeping warm, dry and getting a good night (or days) sleep.

Something else that I should really point out is how important good catering is on set. We were so lucky to have a chef with us from one of the best restaurants in the UK, so when the cast and crew have been working long hours and were exhausted, they always knew that a good meal was waiting and that’s a big boost to morale!

On reflection, what did you most like and dislike about the way the film turned out?

No matter how much you prepare and plan a shoot beforehand, things always change on set. When you’re rehearsing with the actors, often there are new ideas that will emerge about how the scene should play out or how it should be shot and sometimes it’s best to adapt and go with it, but at least in pre-production you made made a plan, so there’s always a backup.

As I’ve mentioned before about time pressures, they can force you to scrap some of your planned overage of a scene, so a few times we had to shoot a whole scene from one angle and about three takes but actually I’ve found that these are often some of my favourite shots because of the way the camera moves and the shot develops- there’s no need to overcomplicate by cutting to a new angle. 

What I also found satisfying about this script and the way it translated to screen was how, particularly in the second half, there’s such a sense that as an audience we are living with the characters in real-time, moving from room to room as the drama plays out; It has something of a theatrical feel about it.

For me, I find the early scenes the most frustrating to look back on. I’m aware that the audience probably want to see the heist take place at least in some detail and it’s not to say that the characters don’t have any development because they do, but I think as a viewer it takes a some commitment to buy into the plot very quickly and before the character’s backstories and motives are revealed as the film progresses.

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