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An Interview With Ed Love

Tonight’s interview is from the enigmatic Ed Love. Ed’s passion for film has led him to hone his skills in the art of screenwriting, film making and acting. Ed is an intelligent and kind human being and this is reflected in his answers today.

Here is Ed’s interview.

Please introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about you.

I've been lucky enough to live and work all over the world, and even luckier to be able to park myself here. This is one of the best countries in the world, despite certain annoyances!

I've always loved languages and words and accents, and they're still a huge passion of mine. I speak the basics of a few, but am not fluent in any others ... yet?

When did you discover your penchant for writing?

Probably at school, where I was told to put some effort in, rather than being so lazy! My focus was elsewhere, as I was fascinated by science (still am!), so I didn't have much time or energy to write in those days.

I've read a large number of books on language, words, accents, foreign languages, so it seemed like a good challenge to see if I could write something myself. Given my huge love of films, it seemed like a good match!

What do you like to write about and why?

I prefer writing about what I want to experience: love, joy, laughter, play. I wrote a blog with summaries of feel good films a while ago. Why go to the cinema if you end up feeling miserable, as well as paying for the privilege?! It makes no sense to me!

Where do you derive your inspiration from?

Struggles we all go through around seeking, finding, losing love, and other things in every day life. While many like to read non fiction to master the various challenges of life, humans have always responded to story, from the earliest fireside tales, all the way through early writing, books, plays, films, TV, and now the Internet. We've evolved to respond to story!

How does writing make you feel?

A sense of satisfaction at creating something. It's even better when others appreciate it. Film is strange in that what you write is usually hidden, until made into a film. So, it's not a finished product, like a poem or a novel. But I've always liked good films, and always will.

Who is your favourite screenwriter and why?

William Goldman, as he wrote one of my favourite books and films: The Princess Bride. Apart from being very talented, he was a curious chap. e.g. on the set of The Princess Bride, when Princess Buttercup's dress caught fire, he cried out in surprise, ruining the take. An unusual reaction, as he WROTE that scene and book, so presumably knew what was coming!

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Do it for fun and love, don't worry about money or getting into the business. Those things may or may not come. Just enjoy the process. That is more than enough.

Do you have any other artistic/creative interests/talents?

It might be hard to use the word talent, but I have enjoyed acting for both stage and screen. Mostly in short films, some of my own creation. I'm also a great fan of circus arts, and I juggle (balls, clubs, machetes), walk on stilts, have almost managed to ride a unicycle, and intend to study the tightrope as well.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning writing?

Reading up on the field, sometimes talking with folks involved. How long I do that for varies, depending on how well I know the subject matter at the start. It's usually fascinating!

What is your favourite piece of writing that you have written?

A script for The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror which received a very complimentary review from an actor writer who was performing his one man Simpsons show around the world at the time. Unfortunately, the Fox TV network refuse to read 3rd party scripts, so it's not been produced.

What made you want to be an Actor?

Delusions of grandeur! Well, not really. My mother has been on stage all her life, and I've often helped her with her lines. At one stage I saw an audition notice for a short film, so decided to jump in. I love being on set, the challenges of embodying the character, as well as the wonderful sense of community that grows up around a production, both film and on stage.

What was the first film you made? Can you tell us about your journey whilst working on that film?

First Person shooter, about a lad dealing with the loss of his father. It sounds dark, but it's more hopeful and awe inspiring. It plays with reality, dreams, and ... a video game experience.

After writing the script, I advertised in the local film community. I was lucky enough to have some wonderful actors audition, as well as an experienced crew. At the bottom end of town, we all work for free, although I made sure I fed them on the shoot!

It was a huge learning curve, and I read a large number of books and articles before I started. It's amazing how much one can learn for free, or nearly free. Of course, practical experience gave me the chance to see how it all worked in reality, with time and other pressures.

It took longer to shoot than expected, due to camera battery issues. Then again, film shoots usually take longer, and cost more! Luckily, my costs were just food and time.

In the future, I'd check the equipment more carefully before we start. I didn't know what I didn't know at the time, but I know more now. Batteries are crucial, the more the better!

I got some nice feedback when I shared the film online and entered it into Tropfest. It didn't make the finals, but as my first effort, I was happy to get something that looked roughly like a film out of my first experience.

I have such respect for my cast and crew that I invited them to join me for short film #2, and many of them had the time and grace to do so.

You can watch First Person Shooter here:

How does acting make you feel?

It depends on the role! I really feel what the character feels, so sometimes there's much joy, and sometimes not. These days, I won't audition for dark roles. Sure, that limits me as an actor, but I don't care! I'm doing it for fun, not to compete with the top stars.

What is your favourite thing about making a film?

Working with a wonderful group of talented folks, both cast and crew, and seeing all our hard work paying off when an audience enjoys it. On top of that, the creative process of going from a written script to a visual product. One of the short films I wrote managed to win an audience award, which was a lovely bonus!

Do you have a film you are working on at the moment and can you give us a sneak peek/teaser on the story?

My current feature film script is called End Times, and here's the logline: "An atheist TV political presenter unknowingly predicts the Second Coming of Jesus live on TV, and as she struggles to make sense of this, her predictions become even harder to believe. She gets kidnapped by fundamentalists, but even they start to wonder if she might be right. Reality turns out to be more miraculous than anybody imagines."

It's actually based on a true (future) story and covers the current process of healing that the world is going through. There's enormous chaos these days, and dark secrets are coming to be revealed so we can finally let go of dysfunctional behaviour. Not just each of us individually, but also leaders in business and government.

Will we finally learn how to live in harmony with the planet, and all who live here? Both humans and nature? Watch this space to find out!

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