When we last spoke to Lawson, the script was still in development, and the cast was just beginning to come together. Barely weeks later, things had moved on significantly. As Steve explained, “Actors have had a lot of input on the dialogue, which has made it a lot clearer”¦ A lot of the cast that we wrote the characters around are back here again”.
As well as an expanding cast, which now features Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels veterans Dexter Fletcher and Jason Flemyng, the production designers have been busy building sets for the film. Rather than spending much of their budget on hiring studio space, Sothcott opted to rent three warehouses in Essex. He explains, “We’ve turned [the warehouses] into a mini-Leavesden. There’s three different studio builds. Billy [Murray] and I went down to have a look yesterday”¦ It’s literally like walking on to one of the stages at Pinewood.”
Dead Cert promises to be a huge step forward for Lawson, whose previous work was, ultra-low-budget mockumentary Just For the Record. This new film is far more action orientated, and requires a host of effects shots, both practical and digital. The first day on the film is a location shoot, at night. As Sothcott explains, “The first thing we’re doing in Docklands is a body going through a car windscreen.”
In addition to Dexter Fletcher and Jason Flemyng, Dead Cert features some of the more prolific actors working in the UK today. Craig Fairbrass (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) plays the lead, but also cast are Stephen Berkoff and Billy Murray. As it turns out, Murray was cast long before even he realised, “I ram-rodded him into playing Dracula for this.” Sothcott explains, “I told everyone else he was doing it long before I’d even mentioned it to him”.
During our interview Lawson provided us with some interesting information, “I’m going to shoot some scenes on 35mm”. When asked for more information Lawson explained, “It’s something I decided to do about a week ago”¦ to get a test for it and see the difference between it and the RED, and also to get the experience of using it”.
When asked whether the footage was simply an experiment, or if it would feature in the finished film, Lawson told us that it would “We’ve got a good post house, who tell me it can be done. It will look different, but the way I’ll shoot it, I’ll be clever with it. There’s dream sequences throughout this, so I’m going to shoot the dream sequences on 35[mm]”.
In a few days time we’ll have some more details about the film up, including interviews with some of the cast. We’re also hoping to feature a production diary, written by one of the members of the film’s crew. If that’s not enough for you, Sothcott has promised us a trailer by Christmas.
Production on this film is moving at breakneck speed. At the time of writing the film crew are finishing the location shoots, and will be moving into the “˜studio’ within days. Lawson puts this efficiency down to the enthusiasm of those he’s working with, “Everyone believes in the project, and everyone’s got behind it, so the last thing I’ve got to do now is tie it all up and deliver what we’ve got”.
Dead Cert is in production at the moment, and should be hitting cinemas at some point next year.