**** "A Psychotropic Daydream" - Total Film on Alex Taylor's debut feature Spaceship
We are delighted to premiere Alex Taylor's short film; Lily Goes To Kissland. For more 'Alex Tayor style', you must see 'Spaceship'; a tale of alien abduction and teenage angst, released in cinemas 19/05/2017.
The last time we spoke to Alex, he took over our Instagram account for a live Q&A about 'Spaceship' developed on our iFeatures programme. Since then, he’s been touring ‘Spaceship’ on the festival and cinema circuit, with the film receiving fantastic reviews, with 4*'s from the likes of Total Film, The Evening Standard & The Upcoming, on the back of their premiere at South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas 2016.
Prior to all of this, Alex directed a short film with 'With Teeth' which is premiering for the first time today! You can now watch the feature at the end of this page with a very recognisable face from 'Spaceship'.
What is Lily goes to Kissland about?
A 9-year old girl who finds out she is moving school to be with “other special kids”, becomes obsessed with the idea of turning into a robot. Her older brother, a wolf-loving dark metal singer and the only one who seems to understand her, starts to worry. When she leaves to find the elusive Kiss Land, he follows her.
Alex Taylor Q&A with 'With Teeth'
1. You're just ready to release your first feature, Spaceship; what was it like returning to make a short film for With Teeth?
It was very freeing but also quite weird, after being on a set with catering trucks and 40 odd people rushing about trying to satisfy your every whim, to just get back to the grassroot basics of making a film. With Teeth allowed that freedom and encourage - by it's very name - filmmaking which took risks and knew it would be accepted into the fold, no matter how 'out there'.
2. Your shorts and the feature all have an 'Alex Taylor style' - where do your influences come from, not just in film, but from elsewhere?
I think a lot of it comes from your childhood, feelings of wanting to disappear from school and re-appear in a more colourful place that let you be who you want. That's the power of cinema is you get to make a dream, the dream you want you life to be, the dream you don't want to be a dream. I don't get why so many other films, with this power of cinema you have, ends up being about knives, guns and crime. There's enough of that in real life.
3. how important was it for your With Teeth short, Lily Goes to Kissland, to have a character driven plot, rather than the looseness and multi-character aspect of your previous shorts?
Well, two reasons. Firstly, I wanted to take the strangeness, the floating multi-thought structure of my previous shorts, and try to explore that texture through one character. It's something I've never done, and it was amazing to work with an 11 year old - I love working with kids because they're so free thinking.
Secondly, if I'm honest, being in development and production now on feature films with funding from the BBC and the BFI, you have to focus really on character driven plots, because that's what a cinema going audience prefers to see. So my challenge, in Spaceship and in my second film which is now in development with the BFI, is to keep my voice alive but accessible enough to go to a wide audience on the big screen. It's not easy, that's for sure, and Spaceship is really getting strong responses - those who love it, adore it, those who don't...let's just say I'm happy if they keep their views to themselves.
Lily Goes to Kissland Premiere
Lily Goes To Kissland was made possible via With Teeth, a commissioning fund designed to prioritise the artists’ vision. With Teeth is the grant scheme conceived by the London Short Film Festival and supported by Arts Council England National Lottery Funding. With Teeth supports independent filmmaking that just won’t conform. The fund awards grants of £2,000 to three moving image artists, helping to bridge the gap between mainstream and experimental viewing sensibilities, as well as nurturing artists with the support to take creative risks. London Short Film Festival is looking for new artists to commission. Send dynamic, engaging moving image proposals that reference the theme ‘Possession’ to LSFF no later than 26th May. Apply here bit.ly/WithTeeth2017
You can watch Alex Taylor's debut feature Spaceship in cinemas 19/05/2017. For the full Q&A tour please find it here
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- Film Business Support