EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with Writer/Producer of thrilling rock film The Paddy Lincoln Gang, Alistair Audsley

 The Paddy Lincoln Gang are a smoking hot Los Angeles rock band on the verge of huge success. But their complex and troubled Irish lead singer, Rob McAlister (Dean S. Jagger) is haunted by his own paranoia and suspicions that something is not right with the band, his manager, Dan (Stephen Bridgewater – TWELVE MONKEYS) or his sexy girlfriend Leyla (Amy Lawhorn – GONE). After the band causes havoc at the home of their record label chairman, placing their whole future in jeopardy, Rob is forced to confront his demons. But if The Paddy Lincoln Gang implodes, the results will be more shocking than anyone could imagine.

Writer/producer Alistair Audsley, initially developed his craft in the advertising industry, having worked as creative director and consultant on international TV and cinema campaigns. Alistair co-wrote and was executive producer on A NIGHT AT ROBERT MCALISTER’S – his first collaboration with director, Ben Jagger. He recently signed a development deal with Stealth Media Group/Moonlake Entertainment.

This amazing film already has a huge fanbase from rock lovers and film fans alike and has achieved critical acclaim with official selections at film festivals all over the world, already winning ‘Best in Festival’ at SoCal as well as the coveted Platinum Award at the Oregon Film Awards.

We had the great opportunity to chat with the writer/producer of this Thrilling Rock film, Alistair Audsley.

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Thank you for taking the time to have a chat with us, could you start by telling us a bit about your film The Paddy Lincoln Gang?

It’s about a rock band, called The Paddy Lincoln Gang in Los Angeles, who are seriously hot and about to break big, but the lead singer, Rob McAlister has some personal demons fueled by a paranoia that something is not right within the band or with his girlfriend. When the drummer and bassist’s antics put the band’s record deal in jeopardy events begins to spiral into… well that would be telling!

You are both the writer and the producer, what was your inspiration behind the film?

The original notion of these four guys and themes of loyalty came from the film’s Director, Ben Jagger and Lead Actor, Dean Jagger, and we produced it as a short film, A Night At Robert McAlisters, which did really well on the festival circuit. I had some experience in the music industry working with both unsigned bands and some very big artists so had seen at first hand the dynamics of the world The Paddy Lincoln Gang is set in. I realised that if we had the story world revolve around a band, there was some great life-experience to tap into (which inspired me as a writer), but also the practical expediency of having people to call upon to help us make it (which inspired me as a producer!). Once I had the band in my mind, the characters became much more real and from there, the characters really drove the plot. I wanted to achieve an almost documentary level of realism and I think we achieved that, as well as a sense of a genuinely great and real band. The reaction to the film by musicians has been especially gratifying.

There are some great sound tracks in the film, which is of course important for a film based around a rock band. How did you go about writing the songs?

I’m so proud of the songs – they seriously rock! However, I actually only have one song credit for the lyrics on ‘A Friend is an Enemy’ which was written by Colin McGuiness in LA.
The rest of the songs, written specifically for the film/band, such as ‘The Irish Punk’ and ‘Give Anger a Name’ were written by Colin and Matthew Steer. Chris Winter wrote ‘Quiet Riot’.

The way we worked was that I went over to LA and spent time with the musicians and they were given a copy of the script at the same time as the film crew! The brief was not simply ‘make this a real band’, but to draw inspiration from the script and to expand on the narrative within the songs, which the musicians did brilliantly well. Each song is like a mini-movie. I was determined that we should have a band with hits and for me it was crucial that the actors had the tracks early – not just because we obviously had to synch the performances, but because I knew their performances would be amped-up by the music if it was good enough. They needed to carry off the swagger of a hot band and that is a lot easier if you have truly great music under you!

The reaction to the film by musicians has been especially gratifying.

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What obstacles does the average British indie film have to overcome to be seen by the public?

We’re in a massive state of flux right now where I think our aspirations as filmmakers often don’t match the realities of the market. Theatrical is pretty much impossible for indie filmmakers, physical is in rapid decline and yet, for indie filmmakers this is probably the best opportunity we have had! That’s thanks to VoD and digital.

The ability to directly connect with your audience gives a true meritocracy.

That said, distributors are gatekeepers and even with the apparent liberation of these platforms offered, you now need to have a good team pushing your film to help it stand out and get good coverage on the likes of iTunes, Amazon and Googleplay etc. You need to try and develop a fan-base as well, as well as critical acclaim just like the music industry. It’s the only way you can stand out if you don’t have a more typical ‘package’ (namely…names!). It also means that gaining a platform is just the start of your marketing effort.

With the advances in technology, it seems that nowadays everybody has the means to make a film at their fingertips. What do you think this will mean for filmmakers in the future?

Without the willingness and talent to develop the craft of film-making, all the Canons and Black Magics and Alexas in the world don’t mean a thing. Technology just liberates the opportunity for a lot of bad films to be made! But the really important things remain paramount – a great script, great direction, great acting etc.

How would you sum up your experience with Ben Jagger on your collaboration of the Paddy Lincoln Gang?

Ben was fantastic. His commitment to the project was 110% and his ability to turn a small budget film into something truly cinematic was amazing. He drove the actors and the crew hard but was always first to start and last to finish every day, so the respect he got from that, not to mention the performances were a real tribute to his work ethic and belief. He was the real engine-room of this film and I think he was rewarded with a great first feature.

The ability to directly connect with your audience gives a true meritocracy.

How does this film differ from the others you have written?

It’s been a pretty fast track for me as a screenwriter, so fair to say this was by far the smallest budget I was working to. That was liberating though in that you are forced to consider what can be shot, how many (or few) locations you can use, how many shoot days. It was a great discipline to take forward into bigger projects though.

What can we expect to see from you next?

I’ve been working on feature documentaries for the last year and the first of those, which is complete is called The Watchmaker’s Apprentice, directed by David Armstrong, which is out in the next few months and is already getting into some great festivals.

The first feature film in production is one I am so excited to have been hired to write. It is a major film called ‘Full Throttle’ and is set in the world of the Paris to Dakar rally. It’s based on an incredible true story and it has been an honour to write it and to meet the real people involved. It goes into principle photography early in 2015 and we’re in prep now with a great director, Adrian Vitoria (‘Age of Heroes’, ‘The Crew’).

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Keep an eye out for other Paddy Lincoln Gang interviews, coming very soon!  

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