Innovative and creative film making has always been held in high regard, witness Hollywood’s Oscars and the U.K’s BAFTA Awards. One organisation that is on the verge of making a huge creative impact is the Irish film company October Eleven Pictures.
The brainchild, and the passion of brothers Jason and Jonathan Figgis, October Eleven Pictures employs the Digital Format method rather than the ‘old faithful’ 35mm formula.
From the 2002 short feature “Pallida Mors” (Pale Death) through to the Darklight Digital Film Festival and the Navan Film Festival ( Co. Meath Ireland ) in 2006, October Eleven Pictures have already made a profound impact in the “indie” film genre.
Their latest accomplishment is the feature The Ecstasy of Isabel Mann. Jason was kind enough to write to us with the following teaser;
The Ecstasy of Isabel Mann is the story of troubled teenager Isabel Mann (Ellen Mullen -Railway Children) who is seduced into an incredibly violent sect of day-walking vampires. Her class mates start to go missing and two detectives; Witham (Neill Fleming – Game of Thrones, A Christmas Carol, Portrait of a Zombie) and Barrett (Matthew Toman – Don’t You Recognise Me?) believe her to be the prime suspect. Nothing is quite as it seems for those about her as the disturbed teenager runs amok killing at will in the woodlands by her home; aided by her vampire guides Mirjana (Mirjana Rendulic – Amber) and Alejo (newcomer Karim Elgendy) who are training her in the art of the kill – with horrifically bloody results for those closest to her.”
We were lucky enough to catch up with Jason Figgis, briefly, and put a few questions to him about October Eleven Films and the film, The Ecstasy of Isabel Mann.
RVL: Good evening Jason, thanks for sparing us a little time.
JF: You are very welcome. It is a pleasure.
JF: From a very early age as I watched the BBC’s Ghost Stories for Christmas with my parents and brothers. This was always a much anticipated treat and certainly burgeoned my desire to one day make films.
RVL: Did you come from a family of artists, film people or musicians?
JF: My great grandfather was a well known artist whose works are now housed in the national museum and my brother Danny was a child actor who starred in films with Jenny Agutter, Anthony Andrews and Frank Finlay (amongst others) and with Peter O’Toole and Donal McCann in theatre.
RVL: The first “event” that October Eleven Pictures was noted for was the short feature “Pallida Mors” (Pale Death) in 2002, was that everything you hoped it would be?
JF: I fought hard to get that film completed because it was quite an art house piece with a limited audience potential. It got some nice critical responses and genre festival reaction and I am rather proud of it as a first creative outing in film.
JF: Well, I diversified somewhat with an experimental first feature film called ”3Crosses” – a gangster piece and moved into television where I directed and produced a feature documentary for Discovery called ”The Twilight Hour” which followed the late, great photographer of the paranormal, Sir Simon Marsden as he gathered material for his new book of the same name. I then directed a feature documentary for Sky One with Uri Geller as subject matter and another film for Sky Arts called ”A Maverick In London” which looked at the famous King’s Head Theatre in London’s Islington district
RVL: So, we are very close to the arrival of “The Ecstasy of Isabel Mann” now, can we ask what inspired the movie?
JF: I have always been a huge fan of vampire pictures but decided that if I was to produce and direct one then I would want to return to the grittier aspects of the sub genre. Our film is graphic in the depiction of its violence and dark in tone. Gone are the sparkles
RVL: Beyond “The Ecstasy”, what can we look forward to next, or would that be letting the cat out of the bag?
JF: I am already half way through the production of another horror feature; a revenge film called ”Don’t You Recognise Me?“. I also have two other feature films going into post production; a road movie called ”Handheld” about a serial-killer couple and a dark psychological horror called ”Burial at Thornhill”. So, busy days … and nights.
RVL: Thank you for taking the time out to answer our questions Jason, we wish you great success and good fortune with “The Ecstasy” and will look forward to more from October Eleven Pictures.
JF: Thank you very much for asking such good questions.
Ellen Mullen … ISABEL MANN
Neill Fleming … INSPECTOR JOHN WITHAM
Saorla Wright … JAY
Adam Tyrrell … AARON
For further and up to the minute info on the film please visit the following sites:
Do yourself a favour, check out the work of the Figgis brothers, check out October Eleven Pictures and get ready for…
The Ecstasy of Isabel Mann
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