Interview with director Adam Preston (The Last Post)

Adam Preston’s award winning comedy short film “The Last Post” played at the FEEDBACK Film Festival in November 2015. It was awarded “Best Overall Performances in a Short Film” at the festival.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video of THE LAST POST:

I recently chatted with Adam Preston about his short film and what’s next for him.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Adam Preston: I have a screenplay for a feature film called ‘Misprints’ that I have been working on for a while. Various directors have been on board but they have left either because they are not big enough to attract financing or they are too big and they get snatched away for a green lit movie. I was told that if I could make a short film that made a real splash I had a chance of directing the feature myself.

Matthew: From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?

Adam: I had the idea early in the summer of 2014 and I completed it at the beginning of January 2015

Matthew: How would you describe your short film in two words!?

Adam: Cyber satire

Matthew: What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

Adam: We had a new baby (born June 2014) – say no more.

Matthew: What were your initial reactions when watching the Toronto audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

Adam: I was delighted to see people so engaged with the film and was really pleased that there seemed to be a consensus that the film worked on its own terms.

Matthew: As the people in the audience stated, the lead actor was exceptional. Where did you find him and the rest of your cast?

Adam: For the main part I wanted someone who could play stupid – which requires great intelligence! Ryan Sampson is one of the stars of a British sitcom called Plebs which I love. Its like an office comedy but set in ancient Rome and Ryan plays the half-wit house slave of these two typical horny frustrated guys. It was my wife’s idea to ask Ryan if he would be in the film. We got the script to his agent and word came back the same day that he had read it, loved it, and wanted to do it. The other well known actor (in the UK) is Mark Heap who plays the vicar. Initially I had chosen quite a well-known female actor, also known form TV comedy in the UK. She pulled out less than 2 weeks before the shoot because of a high paying job so I was suddenly scrabbling around for a replacement. My worry about asking Mark Heap was that he might take days to mull it over then say no – but I took the gamble and he agreed straight away. It was great to have him because he is so professional that, even though I only had 10 minutes to get his reaction shots for the eulogy, he gave me absolute gems and I used every one of them. The other actors I got by working with a casting agent called Sophie North and by holding auditions in London. Extras were a big challenge. I had no money to pay them. I started working on this months before the shoot. It was a combination of friends, family, people from Casting Call Pro, an acting group that a friend of mine is in and people connected to the church where we shot.

Matthew: What film have you seen the most in your life?

Adam: Since I have small children the answer is probably Elf – or it feels like it right now. Films I watch a lot out of choice are Casablanca, Some Like it Hot, Sunset Boulevard,

Matthew: What is next for you? A new film?

Adam: I have just been offered a contract by a distribution company to represent The Last Post so it should start popping up on platforms that show short films. In fact I pasted your audience feedback into my sales pitch e mail so you guys helped with that! ‘Misprints’ is hotting up with an Oscar nominated director showing interest and myself waiting in the wings to direct if that doesn’t work out. I have also written a sitcom based on the two main characters in The Last Post which is being read by some producers at the moment. I really feel that 2016 is going to be my year!

Thanks so much I really appreciate what you do – a great service for film makers.