December 14, 2017 avander

An interview with Anthony Vander, producer/actor of Scales

Scales is a tense, claustrophobic drama that spends one evening with four characters, who are trapped in a combustable boiling pot of an apartment. American boxer, Darnell, his PR manager and girlfriend, Maria, Forbes-fallout Adam and drug dealer Keith are forced to question their relationships and loyalties, as sinister secrets come to the fore, threatening dangerous consequences.

First and foremost, congratulations on being nominated by Karen Blackett OBE (CEO of MediaCom UK) as a top ten trailblazer for Black History Month.

Thank you. It’s a blessing – I’m over the moon and very thankful for the nomination.

How would you evaluate this year?

It’s been a very busy one. I produced and acted in my second feature film ‘Scales’, which I’m mega excited about. We also launched our first web series, ‘Casting Directors’, which received great reception – over 15,000 views for episode one. Also, I have a short film, ‘Spar’, in pre-production, so yeah, fair to say it’s been a pretty busy year!

How is ‘Scales’ looking?

It’s looking fantastic. Nathan has done an incredible job as director, and the cast and crew were fantastic. The film is in its assembly stage and over the next couple of months, we’ll be putting the finishing touches to it.

Do you feel pressure to top your first feature film, ‘Sweetboy’?

I’ve given this a lot of thought and come to the conclusion that they are two separate entities. ‘Sweetboy’ was an education. I had no idea what I was doing. Even though there was an amazing team involved, at times I tried to do everything myself and failed forward. It was a learning experience and thankfully the world embraced its potential instead of its flaws. ‘Scales’ is the product of mine and Joe’s evolution as artists. Audiences believed in us and we got the film crowdfunded. We have an exciting team and I believe we have an incredible film on our hands.

Can we confirm you are filming a second season of ‘Casting Directors’ and, if so, what can audiences expect?

Yes, we will begin filming season 2 in early 2018. We have a fantastic director attached and also some new cast members on board for this season. There has been awakening in the industry, many exposés, scandals and revelations. This season won’t hide from it and we are not holding back.

I guess you are talking about the various scandals erupting in Hollywood? What are your thoughts on this?

The truth always reveals itself and I’m angry about the whole thing. I still have many questions but I’m glad justice is finally being served.

You act, direct and produce. Do you have a preference? 

It’s actually a question I get asked a lot and the answer is I honestly have no preference. It’s a challenging process but I work hard on my craft and try to be smart. Throughout the years I have found they go hand in hand. For example It’s hard to get roles as an actor, so you create your own roles. It’s challenging to secure funding for film projects, so you invest in your own projects. There is no preference, I just try to be great in each thing I do.

Any advice to up and coming creatives?

Be the hardest and smartest worker in the room and also try to work smart as well.  Have a side hustle to fund your dreams. When i was making Sweetboy i worked four jobs (teacher, film tutor, drama tutor, cinema visitor services) at the same time to fund it.  I averaged about three hours sleep a day. I was super hungry and the hard work is paying off. I still have my side hustle, that way i’m making my dreams a reality. Collaborate with people who are passionate about their craft and inspire you. Also try and work on as many skills as possible, i.e. writing, directing, producing, sight reading.

Finally, what are your 2018 goals?

I put my health and happiness first, and likewise for my friends and family. I’ll definitely be looking to travel more, as I didn’t leave the UK in 2017. I’ll be looking to expand Distortion Entertainment overseas. As a actor and filmmaker, a personal goal is to breakthrough in America. God willing, it will happen. And, of course, unleashing ‘Scales’ on the world, which I’m very excited about!