Oh happy day! Rophy are interviewing again! We enjoyed it so much last time around and are pleased to say that our second foray did not disappoint. So much so that we’re beginning to think it might be our calling to ask people questions about their awesome. While we’re busy prowling for our next victim, we hope you enjoy this interview with Anetta Jones, writer, director and producer of the soon-to-be-available-we-hope short film ‘Seven P.M.’ We talked to the lovely and gracious Anetta about inspiration, frustration, Lily Loveless and one final matter that is very dear to our hearts…
Rophy says: Seven PM was shown earlier this year at the East End Film Festival. What was that like? How has the response been?
Anetta Jones says: It received a phenomenal reception. Maybe. Hopefully. I wasn’t there! I was on an island called Isla Mujeres (yes, Women Island) at the time. I did get suitably drunk with some mates that night though and we rolled about on the floor a bit in jubilation to recreate how I would have been celebrating had I been able to make SEVEN PM’s premiere. But honestly though, I was so unbelievably thrilled that it was accepted – I love the East End Film Festival. And it was the first and only festival submission I made since the completion of the film as I just wanted to send it off for at least ONE before travelling. I found out the news that it had been accepted when I was living in an eco village in the remote forest hills of Mexico and I was so excited that all day I just kept skipping about and swinging from the trees like a lunatic. But some of my friends who went to the screening in London emailed me back some great feedback the next day which was very soothing for my hangover.
Rophy says: Wow. Too busy living life to get to the premiere of your own movie. That’s kind of the exact opposite of the way Rophy sit at their computers for at least an hour after updating this site, waiting for comments in fierce silence. Moving on. Are you a fan of Skins? Who’s your favourite character, and since you’re totally going to say Naomi, who’s your second favourite?
Anetta Jones says: I’m a big fan! I only got into it though when I was casting Lily so I could see her acting. Naomi is indeed my favourite because I love outspoken people in general, especially in real life – you should meet some of my friends! (They scare the shit out of me sometimes.) My second favourite character is Cook because he is arrogant and funny which I think are two very sexy characteristics. I think Jack O’Connell is a strong actor too.
Rophy says: Naomi and Cook? I think it’s safe to say that the Skins fandom applauds your taste. As long as you don’t, you know, start shipping them or anything. That way lies anthrax, or so we’ve heard…
Is there anything Lily brought to the role of Fox that was different to how you envisioned, but ultimately worked? Anything she got just the way you wanted it?
Anetta Jones says: Yes, in my head Fox was going to be more of a bitch so it would’ve been harder to empathise with the character. Lily showed a more human, more vulnerable side to her but I loved it. I think it was more realistic as I don’t think any human personality is ultimately all-good or all-bad. It was so exciting seeing Lily bring Fox alive though – she played grimy beauty very well.
Rophy says: Would you be interested in working with Lily again?
Anetta Jones says: Yes I would love to! She requires little direction and is such a sweet girl to have on set! Everyone loved her.
Rophy says: As they should. Fox is an unusual name, and as such it seems like it might have symbolic meaning…?
Anetta Jones says: In the film you never learn that her name is Fox. I just wanted the main character to have a strong name that kinda sounds androgynous but at the same time indicative of a raw sexual nature.
Rophy says: Not to suggest that you’ve ever been a miserable little street urchin vomitting onto your clothes, but to what extent are you the source of this story? As in, is Fox a part of you or a part of someone you know?
Anetta Jones says: Fox is probably a bit of me, a bit of (some of) my mates and a bit her own person. I think many girls have lived a life like Fox at some point or other. I definitely have, particularly a couple of years back when I would often wake up not knowing where I was or what happened the night before. Only to spend the brief hours of daylight that I had simply preparing myself for another night out. You lose track of yourself a bit but kind of self-delude that it’s all good because look how much fun you’re having! And it is an exciting lifestyle albeit a vacuous one that ends up being a vicious cycle of escapism. I think you grow out of it to an extent as you get a bit older and priorities change, but there’s always the odd relapse. But to be honest, when you’re working and have to be somewhat professional for 5 out of 7 days a week, relapsing or “regressing” is pretty damn fun. Fortunately though, the stalker element to Fox’s story is entirely fictional!
Rophy says: Is Fox’s story something you would consider continuing or expanding, or do you feel the character is best-served by the glimpse-like nature of short film?
Anetta Jones says: I’m going to leave her with just the short film medium. The short film is perfect because it can really explore the human experience and capture one moment that is indicative of a personality. SEVEN PM is not about Fox’s life story – just a glimpse in to her life right now.
Rophy says: Rin is very upset and wants to know if Fox will ever be saved.
Anetta Jones says: Probably not. (Sorry!)
Rophy says: Rin says you’re a bastard.
We read that you had strong thoughts about the filming reflecting Fox’s state of mind. Is this something you usually tend to consider when drumming up ideas for films?
Anetta Jones says: Yes I’ve been told that my ideas are generally quite predictable thematically. Character-driven stories (mainly featuring a female protagonist) that attempt to delve fully into a particular psyche. I think it is important for the filming style to accurately parallel this for the audience to feel empathy.
Rophy says: “Mainly featuring a female protagonist”? Do we have another Joss Whedon on our hands ladies and gentlemen? We’re going to keep a close eye on you Anetta.
We know you’ve been traveling; have you been inspired by any of the places you’ve visited? We’re assuming you never let go of your camera.
Anetta Jones says: Yes – go to Mexico and Central America!!! Beautiful countries with lush nature, charming people and crazy history. I was inspired nearly every day. I had initially thought that my footage would be of the people but surprisingly my filming was mainly of nature scenes – Avatar-like waterfalls in Guatemala, thick forests in Mexico, live jungle in Nicaragua, sparkling beaches in Panama … I just shot what inspired me and I would often feel emotionally overwhelmed by the awesome power of nature around me. It really changed my relationship with nature.
Rophy says: The ice-age really changed Sophy’s relationship with nature.
Are you working on any new projects? Would you be interested in making longer pieces generally or is short film your best creative fit?
Anetta Jones says: Yes, I have co-written an animation with Maria Lazanitou, the AD on SEVEN PM called Wonderland which she is producing and directing. I am also working on a script right now – quite a surreal story about the institution of marriage set in a metaphorical world! And I am going to India in 3 days where I hope to play with experimental film ideas – possibly using stop-motion. I have an idea set in colourful gardens but we will see how this develops…
Rophy says: What’s your favourite film?
Anetta Jones says: Favourite films!! I have too many. I go through phases with each one though. To name one that I absolutely LOVE right now would be Fish Tank, a British film by Andrea Arnold. Shane Meadows’ This Is England is sick too. Super gutted I’m missing the TV series out here. I do like American cinema too! I loved Avatar because it really made me wish we could all live like that amongst nature. No Country for Old Men, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Y Tu Mama Tambien, Revolutionary Road… it’s a cliché but the list really is endless.
Rophy says: This is England? You know who’s co-writing the series and is a “Shane Meadows nerd”? Jack Thorne, that’s who. Man, we don’t even need six degrees of separation. On that note, who would you just die to work with in the future? Whether it be an actor or director, writer, cinematographer, etc?
Anetta Jones says: My list would feature too many people and would also be HIGHLY UNREALISTIC! But indulging fantasies and to name a few off the top of my head- actors: Cate Blanchett. Director: Pedro Almodovar. Writer: Charlie Kaufman. Cinematographer: Roger Deakins.
Rophy says: How frustrating is it to be unable to share your work freely with the world at the moment? Is it as frustrating as it is for Rophy to be unable to see it? Discuss.
Anetta Jones says: Pretty frustrating. Possibly on par with Rophy
Rophy says: We’re 100% going to recap Seven PM when it hits the web. Any fears?
Anetta Jones says: You mean review it? Nah, I fear nothing and look forward to any criticism good or bad. Just please don’t say anything bad.
Rophy says: So nonchalantly witty now. We’ll ask you that question again after you’ve seen our illustrations for this interview.
But for now… drumroll please…
Define for us, if you would be so kind, in your own words: Salad.
Anetta Jones says: An unassuming guest at dinner – lacks conversation, not terribly exciting company and usually overshadowed by a more attention-seeking meat dish – but very welcome at the table regardless.