Sunday, December 15, 2013

Filmmaker Sean Langton

 Sean started life out in the armed forces where he was unfortunate to become ill with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  After many years Sean came out at the age of 38 and found his passion was in producing film.  Sean's drive behind the company is to make  LGBT themed films by telling strong character driven stories.

As well as making film Sean wishes to make sure the ethos of his company is all about social inclusion and equality.

Sean was commissioned by Ceredigion Mental Health Forum to write a short play Army Surplus about ex-soldiers suffering from PTSD in the NHS. He participated in a collaborative writing project for theatre Town with No Traffic Wardens and his short play Dad was presented as part of Beginnings both for Aberystwyth Arts Centre.

Sean is the driving force behind Trebuchet Films, in 2012 he produced his first short film Legacy which went on to win the Cardiff Audience Choice Award & was a finalist in the Sharpies, Coffs Harbour, Australia.  Legacy received very positive comments and high praise from industry professionals for it content. For his second short Sean co-produced with Charlotte Woodhead & Director Stuart Fryer Ups & Downs.  For this short Sean managed to secure the services of two great and up and coming actors, Bobby Lockwood from the award winning show Wolfblood on CCBC and Edward Ashley from the BAFTA winning show Last Tango in Halifax, BBC ONE.  The film has gone on to be shortlisted for the Van D'ors & and excepted for the Cannes In a Van. It also had three nominations at this years London International Film Festival.

This year Sean produced his first feature film called Cruel Summer a brutal thriller inspired from true events in 2004. The film is currently in post production with the hope of a release in Summer 2014.

Sean now has in development three feature films one a book that he optioned called Cowboys Can Fly by author Ken Smith, Broken Boys a story that Sean himself has penned that already has three very talent young actors attached and has just received a letter of interest from the UK and Republic of Irelands largest LGBT distributor.  And Training Grounds, the story of a fight for survival of a Gay SAS soldier on selection.

What are the current projects you are working on?

There are several projects in development at present, Broken Boys a feature film that looks at the rise of violent homophobia in a world where its more expectable to come out younger, a kind of Gay Romeo & Juliet meets NEDS. We have the three lead cast attached, all excellent up and coming actors with experience in TV and Film.

Then we have an adaptation of a book called Cowboys Can Fly by Ken Smith which Dominic Carver a british screenwriter has just finished the first draft. The story is a lovely gay coming of age set in the countryside in 1960's Britain.

There are a few more but theses are the main ones I'm concentrating on for next year, if we're lucky enough to secure the funding.

Why did you name your company "Trebuchet Film Productions"?

Basically I wanted to call it SlingShot but it was taken, so I thought whats bigger and better, Trebuchet it was. Gives me something to aim for.

Why do you want to make films?

Simples, I love to tell great stories, character driven not special effects. I'm a great advocate of the British Independent Film scene. There is such a wealth of talent in our country in front and behind the camera.

What was the casting process like?

So far I've been really lucky to work with some great talented actors from across TV and Film and its not because I have millions to spend its because when the read the scripts or story the love the characters and story. I think actors love to play different roles they hate being typecast so if you can offer them that they will go that extra mile.

The big thing for me is if I see someone who I think would be great for a role then I find away to ask them. I find them all very approachable and helpful even if it's not for them. So, I guess the lesson is always ask the worst people can do is say no.

What is your opinion on crowdfunding?

I think its amazing! But its that and digital which have changed the landscape of film forever and I think over the next 5 to 10 years we will see even more changes to it. Already in the UK we now have a crowdfunding platform in return for equity now.

What's the indie film scene like where you live?

Like I said earlier we have a wealth of talent, but, its hard. As an indie producer finding money is difficult. We seem to have a culture of wanting to have a film industry but the industry isn't prepared to take a chance on new talent. I'm 47 and only been at this two years and I've had to fight for every scrap to get films made people look at me gone out, because of my age and lack of
experience. But I just use that above my desk I have a motto 'If someone tells me I can't do it. Then its my job to prove them wrong.

However, that said around us is an amazing lot of people like that and every-time they get knocked down they get back up again and particularity where I live the scene is very, very supportive of you. Hence I will always offer work on my films to students and others wanting a break.

What's one thing you wish you could tell your younger self?

Don't listen to your parents saying 'you can't do 'stuff' to do with art you need a real job'. It is a real job a very satisfying one too. That way I won't of wasted 30 years doing the wrong job. But hey we are all a sum of our experiences, so maybe that's what bought me to this point.

Is there anything you'd like to add?

Yeah, invest in Brit Indie Film! lol

Thanks very much for interviewing me for your blog. 

Sean Langton