Last year I was incredibly fortunate to be cast in a movie called Dead Ringer, a modern day version of The Prince And The Pauper where a man from humble beginnings takes over the life of a world famous popstar. Proudly British made, as this tale unfolds it asks the question could one man live in another mans shoes and actually get away with it?
On September 17th the Dead Ringer film premiere is hitting Leicester Square in London with a cast of the UK’s hottest talent including DJ Tom Zanetti, singers Luke White, Shide Boss and Jordi Whitworth, TOWIE’s Ricky Rayment, Eastenders Danielle Harold and plenty of models, actors, singers and celebrities to tickle your fancy. You can support the growing British Film Industry by getting your hands on a copy of Dead Ringer directly from Amazon and all digital retailers.
I caught up with the visionary director Richard Colton for his thoughts about this epic production and to heart his future plans.
Tracy – How on earth did you come up with such an incredible idea for a movie? What was your inspiration?
R.C – Ok, so back when we where shooting Dangerous Game, my Producer Amar and I got into a conversation about conspiracy theories. See, I once heard about a famous footballer taking part in an armed robbery just for fun and that’s where the idea for Dangerous Game came from. Well Amar asked me if i knew of any other conspiracy theories that would make a good story. The one that stuck in my mind was the Paul McCartney Beatles conspiracy, basically if you haven’t heard of it then some people believe that back in 1963, as the Beatles hit the big time, Paul McCartney had a car accident and died. However luckily for the group the management knew another singer that looked a lot like Paul and so substituted him in, however this new Paul and John Lennon didn’t get on and so from that moment on John tried to let the world know Paul was dead. Clues to McCartney’s supposed death could be found among the lyrics and artwork of the Beatles’ recordings of the time. How ludicrous that that might happen, it’s one thing to substitute a pop idol for his career but what about the other aspects of his life, in essence that’s what dead ringer is all about.
Tracy – Who’s responsible for pulling together such a monumental cast?
R.C – As a director I knew that if we were going to set a movie in such a lavish surroundings as the pop industry then we also needed to fill it with many Music, TV and film cameo’s just to give it that extra edge you wouldn’t expect to find in a British Indi film.
Tracy – I always have so much fun on your film sets – how important is it to keep the crew upbeat whilst working long hours? How do you all unwind after a long day of shooting?
R.C – As a new film director that has spent a lot of my career working my way in different departments of the production I believe that you lead a production by example. I have met many directors who behave very badly onset trying to control cast and crew with anger and aggression, basically bullying. However these directors are usually the ones who create a very poor product. Ultimately Amar and I enjoy the film making process and we want everyone else to feel as though they are in good, comfortable, creative hands, that way the final result will be good all round; it’s also why we called our production company Team Works. As for unwinding well over a 4-6 week shoot cast and crew tend to eat sleep and live together, we become family.
Tracy – With all of your locations which have been your favourite? The penthouse was pretty awesome!
R.C – yes the penthouse was awesome, but as I said before the whole scale of this film is huge, we set out to make it bigger than anyone will expect. We have an amazing drugs lab in Dagenham with loads of barely dressed pretty girls that was fun to film. We had a pop concert with hundreds of D5 fans and we even have a section in the movie set in Florida. Because it was my first time filming abroad, I guess filming in Florida has to be my favourite.
Tracy – With such a big team behind the scenes do you find it hard to remember peoples names? How do you keep everyone in check? Are you the good cop or the bad cop?
R.C – I hope I’m a good cop? You tell me you’ve been on my set’s on more than one occasion now. (Tracy – 100% good cop!) As for the people who work for me, I really do believe that film making is a collaborative effort, sure I’m the director but a film can’t be made by one man alone, everyone on set is a professional and everyone has a creative input on my sets. This is in my opinion the way to get the best out of people. As for remembering names it only becomes hard when an actor asks to always be called by their character name when the others insist on their real name.
Tracy – What’s your most memorable moment whilst making Dead Ringer?
R.C – There are so many moments it’s hard to name just one. I loved seeing the drugs lab come to life it’s so shocking and so fun it’s great to see. I also loved the scenes between Danielle Harold, Gary Webster and Luke White because their performances where amazing – these three went from humorous to sad to dramatic within about two minutes and they manage to take the audience along with them making you feel the same emotions.
Tracy – Is there anything you’d like to go back and change? Did it reach or exceed your expectations?
R.C – Of course! The usual is always true of independent film production as a director I want more money and more time please. However with the budget I had and the time I was given I am really really proud of Dead Ringer and my only hope now is the audience will love it too because I genuinely feel it succeeded everybody’s expectations and is highly entertaining.
Tracy – I’ve heard Dead Ringer 2 could be in the pipeline – will D5 be making a comeback or is it the turn of a super sexy girl band?
R.C – The truth is Dead Ringer 2 and 3 is written, you always have to make these films now with the hope that they will be successful and spawn a sequel or two. As for the band, lets just say I need to play that part close to my chest, however if it was a girl band in the next one would you audition for it Tracy?
Tracy – You certainly don’t wait for the dust to settle Richard! I like to think I’ve got a mix of Dolly Parton meets Sporty Spice with a cheeky little twist of Beyonce within me! So what’s the first thing you did after the movie was finished? How surreal is it to think that you’ve made a movie, celebratory port and cheese in the bath whilst listening to Beethoven after the school run perhaps?
R.C – You have a strange imagination of my home life, you made me sound like a British version of Frasier! Honestly the weirdest thing for me when I finish a movie is watching my imagination in full technicolour, it’s a privilege to be in that position and I will never forget that. However as the writer / director it can be a little weird too. I remember being at the wrap party for Dead Ringer and as I looked around the room I suddenly thought oh my god, I’m out partying with figments of my imagination.
Tracy – The cast, crew and a flurry of celebrity guests are set to grace the red carpet at this years premiere, where can fans get tickets to attend and meet them all?
R.C – Yes we have a very big red carpet premiere and after party set for September 17th, Leicester square London, this will be a mostly an invite only event due to the amount of stars attending however we will be running competitions to win tickets and if your lucky a small number of tickets can be bought, details of all this and more will be released soon on all social media.