Web 3.0 Film Director/Producer announces new transmedia project ‘The Lost Generation’ : is this the birth of a new superhero?

by Asha

World exclusive first interview with Mark Ashmore MD of Future Artists LTD and director / creator of the new story universe of ‘The Lost Generation’ interview by Sarah Shaw.

Teaser poster: The Lost Generation : Asha Film/ Future Artists

Interview by Sarah Shaw (All rights reserved 2011)

I am on the top of the Hilton Hotel in Manchester, overlooking the entire northwest of England, outside a typical Manchester storm is brewing, but inside another type of storm is starting to happen, up bounces film director and producer of the ‘Lost Generation’ Mark Ashmore, who is in between setting up shots, his DOP is late to set, and so we have a few minutes to grab an interview, my first question is to the point, we don’t have much time!

What are we doing in one of the tallest hotels in Europe and an icon of the Manchester skyline?

Mark ‘making a movie of course, why else would you be out of bed at 6am on a sunday, we have 4 shots to grab here, before we hit the streets of Manchester for some ED WOOD style smash and grab gurrilla film-making of the highest standard’,

and its this high standard and proffesionalism that grabs me when i first walked onto set, a young crew busying themselves with many different tasks, stedicams, jibs and a make up department, and a very high spec location, this was not your typical northern drama, so what is it?

Mark ‘the lost generation came about from a few workshops that we ran back in october 2010, there where quite a few features trying to get off the ground in the northwest, all shooting on Canon DSLR camera, with prime lenses, much like the 16mm film revolution of the 1960s and 70s, and I had just finished studying a whole bunch of stuff on the USA mumblecore movement, who shot angsty 20 something coming of age style dramas on high def videos, consumer kit, i realised that kit cost was nothing, technology was now in the hands of the artists, and di’nt want to be left outside of this underground movement, so i put a call out to the future artists network, invited a few faces back from my two previous films, and we started work shopping ideas and themes for a mumblecore style feature’

Sounds interesting, what did you do in the workshop?

Mark ‘well we started with a simple question, what do you think the lost generation is?, from ¬†here we started to explore themes such as breakdown in society, banking crisis, celeb culture, knife crime, and the price of food!

heavy duty subject matter!

Mark ‘ yeah it was, but i knew with this picture, unlike my two previous films, YOUR STATE OF EMERGENCY, and BROKEN BRITAIN, that we should’nt get to political, as it would turn off the audience, and would be difficult to get financial backing, but i’m a story teller that likes to reflect the us and now, a leftwing culture vulture, so we decided to smuggle a few things in, but entertainment and a great story with great characters was the key.

so what is the story?

Mark ‘i’m not going to give too much away, but it explores the last taboo in reality tv, which is killing someone on screen, from our research this is already happened believe it or not, from police camera action style shows, to watching Saddam Hussain getting hung, to gladiators fighting in an arena in ancient rome, to cage fighting, the public love violence, the film basicaly deals with this from two very different perspectives, and is in the style of an exploitation B movie, and i think? we may have created a new superhero in terms of our lead, and hopefully our comic con audience will help us develop her.

you have used audience collaboration in all your recent works, how can people get involved.

Mark ‘well i see my audience as total collabrators from the start, i see myself persoanly as a story teller firstly, and film maker and now web 3.0 artists, transmedia is my chosen medium when telling these stories, social media and web 2.0 and now web 3.0 allows you to talk in real time with thousands of people, so from the start of the idea to the time its ready to tell the story, i work with the audience to help shape a project. for example script development, why have one script guru telling you what is good and what is bad, art is subjective, you can put your work out there and a collective can make it better, it can’t get worse, as you always have the orginal idea, i love open source culture and co-ops and i feel that process is as much about making the film, telling the story as shooting it is, imagine a giant global campfire and people gather round it, in a digital sense, and listen, see, hear, interact with your story, add to it, shape it, online, in theatres and in the street via mobile, have i lost you! the audience are in control, they always are!

no, no, ive followed your work for a while, but its vast what you do!

Mark ‘yes thats part of the problem, a new film-makers skill set is required, and its an understanding that is so new, less than 3 years old, that its not being taught in film schools, unis, film festivals, there is a small global collective who are active in transmedia, to give it its media tag, that for ‘normal’ film-makers and producers, what i propose sometimes pickles their mind! ive seen some producers have melt downs over it! as this global collective of transmedia makers, we all share with each other, so an outsider looking in think we are all disconnected, but i regulary talk to people in 10 different countries about my work, my ideas, and they in turn talk about there’s!

So when will people be able to get involved and where can we see the film / project

Mark ‘ we are doing this production in a bit of a new school way, its something myself and transmedia producer Jenny Inchbald have been talking about for a while, i’m a big fan of the dogma 95 movement and the free cinema movements to come from europe, i guess thats why i dug what the mumblecore kids where doing, with this film, we are making it to a set of rules, i’ll go into detail later, but we have 3 lights only, 6 crew only, locations have to be free, natural day light, and the kicker is we have to distribute it ourselves too!

so your a web 3.0 auteur then?

Mark – ‘I would love someone else to step in and say, hey let me do this, i’ll do that, but the reality is, what we are doing in terms of making this film and then how it finds an audience has never been done before, we are testing a case study, a theory that we have written about and lectured about at future artists, but now we are putting it into action, thats why i’m doing 5 jobs, prob more! its killing me, but i love it! talking of work, got to do some now, or i’ll sack myself!

And with that, Director/Producer/Distributer and god knows what else bounds off to the set to start rehersals with his cast and crew.

I look at the call sheet, 6 locations in one day, with multiple set ups, Hollywood sometimes does’t do 1 set up a day, this is an ambitious shoot, an ambitious production, and i’m glad i was able to watch this unfold here on my home turf, and with media city in Salford and the sharp project in Manchester (a film studio, creative hub and backlot) opening in the next few months, i expect soon we will be tripping up over film, tv and transmedia projects in the industrial north, and i’m looking forward to reporting back to the film industry on it!

Sarah Shaw (facebook me)

Want to get involved in ‘the lost generation’ keep up to date via twitter @futureartists follow #lostfilm , and on facebook and for collaberation call outs head to future artists newsletter on the site!

Director Mark Ashmore, checks out a shot for the transmedia film project ‘The Lost Generation’

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