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Blasting off with Spaceship

Ahead of a panel at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, Sarah Cooper caught up with iFeatures executive producer Tristan Goligher and Screen Star of Tomorrow Alex Taylor, whose debut feature Spaceship will go into production in August as part of the scheme.

“The whole process has been like an express train,” says Alex Taylor, one of three budding feature film-makers to have their projects greenlit as part of low budget film-making scheme iFeatures 2, run by Creative England along with BBC Films, the BFI Film Fund and Creative Skillset.

“Developing a script in such a short period, it’s been about working on instinct, there hasn’t been time to worry or get fed up, it’s been exhilarating,” says Taylor who admits that he “wasn’t expecting anything other than to enjoy each stage.”

Taylor is up Edinburgh, along with fellow writer-directors Guy Myhill (with his project The Goob) and Martin Radich (Norfolk) for a panel on the scheme, aimed at encouraging future filmmakers to apply for the next phase of iFeatures – iFeatures 3, which will launch early 2014 with a new angle to be announced shortly.

The nearly 400 submissions for the current scheme were initially whittled down to 16, then eight and finally - following an intensive nine-month development process – to the chosen three projects, which Goligher describes as “simultaneously the most unique but also the most fully formed at that point in the development process.”

Of the 13 other projects that got down to the workshop stage, but didn’t ultimately get selected, “about half of those either received further development funding or have received very serious interest from other financiers. It will be a longer journey, but hopefully they will get there,” says Goligher, who continues to produce for UK outfit The Burueau, as well as running iFeatures. He is gearing up to produce Andrew Haigh’s next feature project in the spring, following their collaboration on indie hit Weekend.

Based on his own award winning short of the same name, Taylor’s project Spaceship is an “offbeat drama” which started with a “flash of an idea about somebody faking an alien abduction in order to disappear. It relates to how teenagers find funny ways of saying things and doing things,” says the young British director.

Loosely based on his own experiences of growing up in a small town in Surrey, and incorporating the latest trend

Taylor is up Edinburgh, along with fellow writer-directors Guy Myhill (with his project The Goob) and Martin Radich (Norfolk) for a panel on the scheme, aimed at encouraging future filmmakers to apply for the next phase of iFeatures – iFeatures 3, which will launch early 2014 with a “new angle” to be announced shortly.

The nearly 400 submissions for the current scheme were initially whittled down to 16, then eight and finally - following an intensive nine-month development process – to the chosen three projects, which Goligher describes as “simultaneously the most unique but also the most fully formed at that point in the development process.”

Of the 13 other projects that got down to the workshop stage, but didn’t ultimately get selected, “about half of those either received further development funding or have received very serious interest from other financiers. It will be a longer journey, but hopefully they will get there,” says Goligher, who continues to produce for UK outfit The Burueau, as well as running iFeatures. He is gearing up to produce Andrew Haigh’s next feature project in the spring, following their collaboration on indie hit Weekend.

Based on his own short of the same name, Taylor’s project Spaceship is an “offbeat drama” which started with a “flash of an idea about somebody faking an alien abduction in order to disappear. It relates to how teenagers find funny ways of saying things and doing things,” says the young British director.

Loosely based on his own experiences of growing up in a small town in Surrey, and incorporating the latest trend to come out of Asia – cosplay (where people dress up and inhabit characters) - Taylor hopes the film will have the sensibility of an American indie whilst celebrating British regional culture. “I was fascinated by the idea of commuter towns, which are a bit too far away from anything, so teenagers have to find their own trouble.”

Currently out for casting, shooting will begin in August in Surrey, on a budget of £350,000. The team hope it will be ready for a spring festival next year.

Meanwhile Taylor is already thinking about his next feature, which will focus on “how the internet is screwing up everyone’s relationships”.

“I left Facebook for two years, but I had to go back on to promote the film. It’s reminded me of why I didn’t want to be on it,” laughs Taylor.

iFeatures - Meet the Directors will take place on Monday June 24,  2.45pm – 4.15pm at the EIFF

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