INTERVIEW: Anthony Woodley, Director of Brit Sci-Fi Film Outpost 11

Not long ago we ran a trailer for upcoming the Sci-fi film Outpost 11 which the makers are describing as ‘The Thing’ plus ‘How I Ended this Summer’ mixed with ‘Videodrome’. After taking some time out from finishing off the film Director Anthony Woodley chatted to Geek Syndicate about the project.
 Set in an alternative past where steam power still rules the world, outpost 11 is the story of three soldiers manning a remote listening post in the Arctic Circle. One day the warning light goes off unexpectedly and their world is plunged into chaos. Albert , Mason, Graham must fight the isolation, madness and arctic spiders to survive.
Can you sum up Outpost 11 for us Anthony?

Outpost 11 is the story of three soldiers posted at the end of the earth. It’s a psychological thriller with a Cronenberg style sting in its tail. Cold weather + Isolation x spiders = Outpost 11

What attracted you to making a film in the Sci-Fi genre?

I have always loved the bizarre and the strange. I wanted to make a weird film and after uni I decided to dabble and made Arca –
I wrote two scripts last year, one I though I could sell (The Disappearance of Flight 86) and the other (Outpost 11) that was just for myself and possibly too different for audiences. We got the funding and I was supposed to direct ‘Flight 86’. Due to cold weather and my own doubts about whether ‘Flight 86’ was good enough, I decided to make Outpost 11 instead. 
You raised all the money for the project yourselves? Can you give us some background into how you went about doing that?

There are a lot of good things going for low-budget film making at the moment. The Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) is possibly the most important. If you are a serious about producing you should learn all about this. Also, embrace digital film making – the digital revolution is here and film is dead. It will save you a fortune and give you so much flexibility with your budget.
How long did it take to make Outpost 11?

The script was worked on for around a year and there was about two months of pre production and set building by volunteers, headed by the amazing art director, David Monypenny (one to watch out for). We had three weeks in the studio, three days in Scotland for exteriors and about two days of pick-ups, model shoots and green screen. We spent a month in the edit and a month on the sound design, VFX and music. All to be ready for the Cannes deadline.
What do you think are some the advantages of going down the independent route with filmmaking?

Freedom and creativity, but to be fair we couldn’t have done it any other way.
What would you say is the hardest thing about going the independent route and doing it yourself?

Finding a crew who is good and can work well together is worth its weight in gold. It has taken me years to find the right people and it saves you so much time and money on set when everyone has that unspoken bond.
How did Bernard Hill become involved and what role did he have in the film?

We originally approached Bernard for one of the main roles (Graham). He enjoyed the script and was trying to make it work but unfortunately due to other commitments he couldn’t work around our schedule. Luckily for us he was more than happy to lend us his voice for the role of Cranleigh. It was great to work with such a veteran of the screen and stage and it was very scary for me as a director.

You’ve already released a trailer for Outpost 11 What has the reaction been like?

The reaction has been very good. I have already had a few enquires from distributors and lots of little bits of press. 
 What advice would you give anyone wanting to follow in your footsteps?

Write loads because it costs nothing and it’s the first big hurdle. Just completing a first draft is a big step towards making your first feature and not many people even get that far. Find a good crew you can trust and make shorts with them every year, if someone doesn’t work physically or socially within the group dynamic, be ruthless and cut them loose – film work relies on everyone putting in 100% and you have to be of the highest standard. A stupid man once told me you can make a film by yourself and I disagree massively, the teamwork aspect in film making is essential and you are only as strong as your weakest person. Know about the benefits of schemes like the EIS and embrace the digital revolution, its sad to say but film is dead. Most importantly be your own boss, as long as you are working for someone else you will always be making them rich. It may seem hard and an epic up-hill struggle but I am telling you it’s not as difficult as you may think.
When can we expect to see the finished film?

It will be screened at Cannes this May and I imagine the official premiere will be soon after.

You are all part of the production company The Future Masters of Technology. Where did the name come from and how were you formed?

The name was created by Mike Pike our editor. It was for a previous film we made together, but it was just too pretentious. It hung around as a joke and it got out of control. It sounds like a bad Steven Seagal movie about internet terrorists.
What’s next for the future masters?

A new and improved version of ‘The Disappearance of Flight 86’. Think ‘The Road’ mixed with ‘The Langoliers’.
Source: The Future Masters of Technology
GS Reporter: Nuge

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  1. I am sure this film is going to be a great hit world wide. Philip L Moore

  2. i hope this film is going to be a great hit. sue wray

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