Although funding from arts organisations within the U.K has reduced in recent years this hasn’t stopped an emergence of filmmaking creatives within the U.K self-funding their own projects and utilising available self-distribution platforms to release their work. Producer, actor & director, Anthony Vander, is the founder of Distortion Entertainment. The London-based production company is among. Fresh off the back of releasing Season 1 of his web series Housemates, we caught up with Anthony as he gears up to release his debut feature-length film.
Big Picture Film Club: Creatively, how do you juggle being a writer, director and an actor on your projects?
Anthony Vander: It took some while getting used to. I’m still a work in progress in all those fields. I would say find a collaborative team of people who are as passionate about your vision as you are.
BPFC: With the success of internet web-series’ like Venus vs Mars, Brothers With No Game and more recently Dreaming Whilst Black, self-funded web series’ about different aspects of black British life have grown increasingly popular and have found a dedicated audience – what do you attribute this success to?
AV: The biggest attribution to this success would be content and representation. All the shows that you mentioned are of high-quality. They tell a story which is relatable and for the most part not always being shown on television screens this side of the pond. I also think one of the aspects of this success would be accessibility. YouTube and other VOD’s is the new TV. Most people watch YouTube more than they watch television.
BPFC: How has the reaction been to the Housemates web series, since it’s release in June?
AV: The reaction has been fantastic. I’m very humbled not only to the cast and crew but also to people who have given their time to watch our show. I’ve received a lot of positive feedback and also questions with regards to season two.
BPFC: What can we expect from Housemates Season 2? Will it still take place over a single day like Housemates Season1?
AV: I’m playing around with a few ideas. Filmmakers on our shores (such as RM Moses, Sebastian Thiel, Monet Morgan to name a few) provided much inspiration for season one and their content continues to do so. It could possibly take place over a single day but nothing has been set in stone yet. Once we look at the character’s arch and explore lineage then we can start thinking about duration and setting.