Chicks Chat with Fiona Gillies

Fiona and Tom Conti in City Slacker Photo by Gavin Smith - © City Slacker ltd 2012

Fiona Gillies, Mother of two, Actress and Producer at Scoop Films along with Micheal Mueller and Raj Sharma. She has starred in a number of productions across a wide range of media.

Scoop Films have successfully produced a number of feature Films including ‘City Slacker’ staring Tom Conti and Fiona herself and ‘Dummy’, staring Aaron Taylor Johnson.They have many other exciting projects in various stages of development. We at Those London Chicks are chuffed that Fiona has taken time out of her busy schedule to speak to us. We find out more about Fiona and Scoop Films new exciting movie ‘The Beat Beneath My Feet’.

 

 

Fiona and Tom Conti in City Slacker Photo by Gavin Smith - © City Slacker ltd 2012
Fiona and Tom Conti in City Slacker
Photo by Gavin Smith – © City Slacker ltd 2012

Fiona, you have an amazing career as an actress what made you decide to add Producing to the mix?

The reasons actors go into the profession vary but for me it was primarily because I enjoy storytelling.
As a producer, you can really get your teeth into the whole storytelling process right from the very beginning. It’s a process I find very enjoyable.

Which do you prefer, acting or producing and why?

I enjoy them both and I think they feed each other. As an actor there’s nothing better than being on someone else’s set and concentrating soley on the the character you’re playing. As a producer it’s fantastic to see a team that you’ve put together, take your project and make it their own. I hope that doing both helps me understand the story from both sides of the camera.

You truly are an inspiration, you juggle so many things… What aspect have you found a challenge along the way and how did you overcome them?

That’s very kind of you to say but the truth is that it’s about team work. There are three of us at Scoop Films and we’re all very clear about the importance of family. We don’t tend to work in a strictly 9-5 way. And I work in a start stop way. Occasionally it’s frustrating but it’s certainly more flexible. The biggest challenge that any growing company faces is balance. You have to put in a lot of hard graft. Fortunately we often work from home, which helps. For example, we’re starting to deal with more US based companies so I tend to stop working early evening, we all eat together as a family and then I start again later in the evening. When we begin pre-production, we generally go into a studio for 6 months and we try to make sure it’s close to home.

Who inspires you?

All sorts of people. Loads of individuals, it’s a long old list which includes: The actor who dresses as a tooth and stands at Balham station…that’s hard work. The people who run after you when you leave your purse on the shop counter and give it back to you.
The person who takes their comedy dog on the tube and cheers up everyone in the carriage. Everyday acts of kindness are pretty inspirational.

Essentially, one thing they all have in common is positivity, I’m a sucker for a bit of positivity. It makes the world go round.

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 What has been your ‘crowning moment’ and why?

In my work life……so far – getting our latest film ‘The Beat Beneath My Feet” into this years Berlin Film Festival. That’s prety exciting for me but the work goes on and who knows what the next 10 years will bring?
We’re working with such a great pool of young talent that I feel confident that we’re in a good position to make some creative, exciting films. In my home life, that’s easy – my boys and my family.

Tell us a bit about your latest film The Beat Beneath My Feet?

Here’s the premise of the film – A teenage boy discovers his unruly neighbour is really a disgraced Rock God who “died” 8 years ago owing a fortune in unpaid tax. The boy agrees not to reveal his secret on condition that he teaches him the dark arts of Rock Guitar. As an Independent Production Company, you’ve managed put a fantastic team together. It’s written by Michael Mueller, directed by John Williams starring Luke Perry and newcomer Nicholas Galitzine who is quoted as giving “a Star making performance”.

Tell us a little about your experience on working with this accomplished group of creatives?

People work hard on a project they feel they’re an integral part of. At Scoop we’re always looking for people who really want to make films. Filmmaking is a tough journey at times so you need to be sure that you want to embark on it.
We’ve been lucky to work with some fantastic young talent both behind and in front of the camera. They bring energy and ideas to a project – it’s a collaborative process and hopefully very satisfying for everyone involved.

‘The Beat Beneath My Feet’ has just finished a very successful run at the Raindance Film festival, culminating in a nomination for the Raindance Award at The Moet British Independent Film Awards, congrats! What are your ultimate hopes for the film?

Hopefully the films has a positive message resonates with a wide and appreciative audience. It’s a universal story and it seems to be getting positive responses across all age groups.

 

TheBeatBeneathMyFeet_1_RGBWhere can we see the film?

The Clapham Picturehouse are looking to feature the film on their Discover Tuesday strand in May. We are organising ad hoc screenings including a chance to see the film and then hear the star – Nicholas Galitzine and 2 of the bands that feature in the movie play live. Should be a great night at the Bedford Arms in Balham on April 16th. The Berlin Film Festival is gave us 4 screenings 11th 12th 14th &15th Feb

What advice would you give a budding producer?

If you have a great story that you simply have to tell then don’t wait for permission, just do it. Don’t be afraid of mistakes- a lot of successful people will tell you that their mistakes have got them where they are today.

Here’s a link to the trailer for Beat Beneath My Feet: https://vimeo.com/94979801
Thank you Fiona x

Interview by Karen Bryson