Interview: Will Axtell

G4me0ver’s First Interview: Will Axtell of Teleport Films


In today’s interview we will be delving into the mind of one of Teleport Films” founding members, Mr Will Axtell. Teleport Films is a UK production studio that was brought into existence by a young man with a vision and a group of like-minded friends in early 2015.

The newly founded studio’s first endeavour was an independent zombie bloodfest called “Aylesbury Dead”.

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The movie was met with a generally good reception by the hundreds of people who filled the auditorium on the night of its long awaited exhibition and it was praised for its scale on its very tight budget. Will has stated that the development process was a huge undertaking for a first time film maker and a learning experience for all involved. Aylesbury Dead was Teleport’s first major success and from that point, the studio strives to grow stronger from each new undertaking.

Earlier this year G4me0ver interviewed AD’s writer/director, Will, who is presently working on a fantasy feature, currently titled “The Last White Mage”.

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Q&A

Q) You’ve said before you love film making, do you have any plans for expanding and resuming your comic book career any further?

A) At this moment in time, I have no intention of furthering my comic career, mostly due to time constraints, but if the demand is there I would be glad to do more work, in spite of those constraints.

Q) Have you ever considered doing any animated shorts?

A) I have always been a massive fan of anime and animation in general, in particular One Piece and good old Dragon Ball Z, they’re two series which sparked my love for the Shonen genre and i would love to implement them in some way in to a “Demon Gate” short or some of my other works.

Q) What, as a studio, do you hope to achieve in the future?

A) I believe that our end goal as a studio is to become a self-sustaining so that our employees are free to spend more time on their individual project’s and not be bogged down by the financial aspect’s of the job.

Q) How did Teleport Films come into existence?

A) During the production of Aylesbury Dead, Paul Adams, Steven Richmond and I decided that we wanted our own studio. Originally the name was going to be “Demon Gate Films” but we decided that the name had too much of a connection to my past works as an artist. So, after many drinks and many more discussions we settled on the name “Teleport” Films.

Q) What is your dream, personally, as a film maker that you one day wish to achieve?

A) As everyone who knows me will tell you, I am full of ideas; from a full length animated movie to a resident evil short. I would love to do all of these, but what I really want to be a part of making is an action movie, something akin to The Raid. The choreography alone in that movie makes me want to be apart of something amazing like it.

I have always been a fan of martial artists such as Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee and action stars Keanu Reeves, who really proved, in John Wick, that slick gun-fu/marital arts films are far from dead.

I try to add a fight scene in all of my films, just as a way to break up the pacing and as a little nod to other great action movies.
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Q) What inspired you to make the leap to film making from your previous work as a comic artist/writer?

A) Five years ago, a friend with whom i use to work, Steve Collier, was well versed in the world of movies and he asked for some help on a short he was working on called “Showdown” a little over five minutes. I really enjoyed my time with Steve and, for a while, I left the filming side of it alone and I kept on with my art. After completing my projects, I decided to take my most successful work, Aylesbury Dead, and adapted it into a film after some meetings with the Odeon cinema for the purpose of screenings and with The Grange School for cast members.

I had the momentum I needed to snowball the film in to life.

Q) After your success with the Aylesbury Dead adaptation, what have you taken away from the making of it and what will you be doing differently from now on?

A) I see A.D as a vital learning experience. I can go through the whole run time and tell you what I liked and what I think I could have done better. It’s important for a creative to critically analyse their own work. A lot of the more negative criticisms were down to me placing my trust in the wrong people and the fact that we suffered from a case of development hell due to excessively time consuming hitches during the editing. In the end, we had a finished product and I am very proud of that.

Q) What words of advice would you give to up and coming film creators, like yourself, who want to make their mark and have yet to make their first film.

A) Use everything in your environment to your advantage. Just because you have a limited budget doesn’t mean you can’t archive your goals. Always go for that extra take because you can, get there and you will eventually get the best from your cast. Assemble a crew you can trust to share in your vision.

Q) What was the hardest aspect of filming A.D and how would you have done it differently.

A) I originally thought the hardest part would be giving a presentation in front of 300+ children and convincing them to become a part of the project, but I found that strangely easy. So my next hurdle was to organise fifty people to spend a day at the local shopping centre in full make-up and for everyone to be fully cooperative with me and the crew. This went well and with few hitches. The aspect that I found the hardest to tackle was the editing and adding special effects, post production, which was a true nightmare but when you finally reach that stage where you’re finished it makes it all worth it.  I wouldn’t have gotten the editing done if not for Steve.
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Q) Following on from A.D, you have decided to go in a completely different direction with completely different genre for your next film, stepping away from the grindhouse/Evil Dead style of A.D to an Adventure Fantasy epic for your next project, The Last White Mage, why did you choose this?

A) Growing up me and my friends we used to play a lot of RPGs, especially the Final Fantasy games. It even got to the point where we bunked of school the day that the FF Anthology came out for the Playstation One. I don’t advise skipping school for a game, but i have no regrets about it either. The next day, we did nothing but compare our experiences; how far we got with the story, our battles against a ghost train and so on, it was such a good day. I just want to bring that fantasy to the big screen and I know a lot of other people out there will always be a fan of the FF series. I wanted to create something magical and filled with life as opposed to the blood and gore of A.D. From that thought, The Last White mage was born.

END OF INTERVIEW

The people at Teleport Films are most definitely going on to bigger and better things, they deserve your attention as a UK-based studio that dreams big and continuously strives to achieve their goals.

You can follow Teleport Films on facebook, you can even try to get involved in their projects via their community page.
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https://www.facebook.com/teleportfilms/
https://www.facebook.com/Aylesbury-Dead-comic-103588189781582/
https://www.facebook.com/TheLastWhiteMage/


Don’t forget to follow G4me0ver on twitter, Facebook and through our website, for all your latest News, Reviews and opinions on gaming, movies and TV.


– Aaron

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