Adam J Spinks
Initiative Motion Pictures
It’s been a couple of years since we first talked to you, what have you been up to?
It’s great to catch up with you guys, thank you for taking the time out to get in touch!
What have I been up to? Well I went and made a feature film called Extinction (or The Expedition/ International titles of varying quality) ,which is now on general sale here in the UK and hits in the USA in a couple of weeks. That was an interesting experience, especially for a second time director but it was a learning curve for the future to say the very least.
Survivors itself is now completed and is rolling out to international markets later this year, with the USA coming first which is incredibly exciting for us all. The team has been incredible, I’m fortunate to have each and every one of them on board.
We featured Survivors last year and it’s being pushed out now, what challenges do you still face? Has delivering on the crowdfund promises added any unexpected challenges?
I think with independent film you always face the challenge of being heard and being taken ‘seriously’ because until somebody can hold a physical DVD in their hands, an idea is just that… an idea but for us, that’s the end game. To have and hold Survivors on DVD in our hands is just wonderful, after all the work and hours that went into telling this story.
In terms of crowdfunding, it’s no lie that the film took longer from pre-production to post-production than we might have liked and our backers have had to wait longer than we wanted to have this movie in their hands. Every day facing that responsibility was difficult but we knew that the film was going to be that bit better because we were taking such care over each part of it, why rush something out at a lower quality? Everything had to be and needed to be as good as it could possibly be before myself and my producers would sign off on it.
I mean, I was literally hands on with every aspect of the film to make sure it was exactly the film we promised our backers we were making as well as the story we started this whole process to bring to life. I’m proud to say it has exceeded my expectations and become something we’re all so pumped for everyone to see. Unlike a lot of commercial films, Survivors is the directors cut pure and simple, there has been no tampering or cutting down for any other reason than storytelling. I hope people love it as much as we have loved it!
Has your experience with Survivors changed your approach to independent film? Has it made you more or less likely to crowdfund future projects?
My approach has always been the same and I think always will be, it’s all about the storytelling. In independent film it’s harder to raise the kind of funds which mean we can level a city in the third act of our movie but then, by the same token and to quote Jurassic Park ‘your scientists were so pre-occupied with whether or not they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should’
Limitations make us more creative and so, in making Survivors, I’d say we pushed the envelope on those limitations and really delivered on our vision for the project- which was to prove it could be done and prove it could be done well.
Would I crowdfund anything in the future? It’s certainly something to consider because a lot of projects get made that are less commercial and more creative through the crowdfunding platforms and it helps to give new filmmakers a voice.
Although, based on my more recent experiences, it’s important to consider who you are crowd-funding with and whether or not those people share your beliefs and values, is this project really a home for your creative vision or are you a pawn in somebody else’s end game? Sadly, there is a lot of exploitation out there so it’s about whether or not you can call a project ‘home’ or not.
Where do you go from here? What future projects can you talk about?
I’m just about to get back in the Directors chair after almost a year without a project to shoot a short film called The Song Plays On about a family struggling with the development of their Father’s dementia. It’s a powerful script written by Laurence Timms and co-produced with the talented folk at Lowkey Films.
We’ve cast some amazing actors to appear in it including April Kelley (Soror, Flotsam) and Noeleen Comiskey (Eastenders, The Search For Simon) so that promises to be a wonderful experience.
Further afield, I’m working on a feature film about a mountain rescue team on a rescue mission in the Scottish Highlands, which we hope to shoot next year and somebody asked me if there’s a sequel to Survivors and… well yes there is but it depends on whether or not anybody wants to see it! It’s a great story and a surprising twist on the idea of a sequel so it would be fun to revisit that world from a different angle.
Official Selection- Frightfest 2014