Interview with BIFA Nominated Director Paul Andrew Williams

Paul Andrew Williams is a British film writer and director who won Edinburgh International Film Festival’s New Director’s Award, Raindance’s Best Feature, and Evening Standard British Film Awards’ Best Newcomer for his film London to Brighton in 2006. He went on to receive a host of nominations for Song for Marion in 2012. Paul has since gone on to work on a number of British television shows, as well as developing and creating other projects. Paul joined Casting Networks this month to speak very frankly about the British film industry and how he has navigated his way to success.


CNI: You’ve been working solidly as a director for many years now, with London to Brighton being your big breakout directorial feature debut. How have you found it, going from film to film, as you’ve climbed the director ladder in the UK?

London to brighton

London to Brighton

Paul Andrew Williams: I would have to say that there has been no climb. I think I’m very lucky to have treaded water for such a long period of time. I have made four feature films and three television programmes. That is over the last 12 years, and in the time I wasn’t working on a particular project, I have been writing, with some projects getting further than others. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about certain decisions made, and how they have changed my path in both positive and negative ways. It’s definitely my vocation, so I will keep trying to do stuff that I feel positive about, and hope someone employs me.

CNI: Ever a fan of your work, we recently saw a domestic violence short you made called Do You See Her starring Tessa Peake-Jones, Phil Davis, and Anne-Marie Duff. How did that short film come about? And how did you get involved with the organisation Womansaid?

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Theatre Review: When Both Sides Surrender

large_36849e98-18a6-4994-83b6-08e92b32b9efOff the corner of Deansgate, in the great city of Manchester, hidden away amongst the arches of old car showrooms, there seems to be an abundance of talented thespians making a racket. I blame 53two and it’s seemingly never ending schedule of events taking the fringe community in Manchester by storm in its maiden year as an Arts Venue.

After birthing its own night of fleeting theatre, ‘North South Shorts,’ then becoming a temporary venue to the old power that is JB shorts, 53two has now played host to Scott Devon’s poetically written When Both Sides Surrender.


The writing was described as Shakespeare meets A Clockwork Orange. I must start this review by conceding that I would not class myself as a fan of Shakespeare, however I am certainly a fan of Mr. Stanley Kubrick, so I had mixed feelings as I entered the theatre.

Richard Cooper and Kaeran Dooley should be proud, first for a wonderfully creative set incorporating a burnt out car, graffiti, battered steel, and decaying sofas that set the tone for the performance. Second, because these production aspects were matched in their quality by the costume and props, from the ‘trackies’ all the way to the police riot gear.

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Theatre Review: Amélie, A New Musical

Amelie-Musical

I imagine getting a new musical ready to be Broadway-worthy is a challenge. There’s a long list of things that need to be great to feel really good about a musical. Book, music, lyrics, choreography, cast, set, etc. Amélie, A New Musical made its debut at the Berkeley Rep with the Ahmanson as the next, and last, temp home on the path to Broadway. I think Broadway audiences will be grateful for the additional LA pitstop and the opportunity to check off a few more boxes on the list of musical must haves. Unfortunately, it’s a little sparse at the moment.

I’m not sure I’ve met a person who has seen the 2001 French film by Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Guillaume Laurant who didn’t fall in love with it. I loved it. I also couldn’t tell you anything about it other than it was magical, REALLY magical, and that I loved Audrey Tautou. The magic hasn’t quite made it to the stage, certainly not at the film levels we are all hoping for, though Phillipa Soo as Amélie has the Audrey T. look and feel (not to mention a great resume with the wildly popular Hamilton right at the top), but just doesn’t fill the shoes . . . yet.

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The Actors Centre Equity Play Fair Season

AC Reception

Casting Networks International are very excited to be guest curators in the upcoming programme at the Actors Centre, the UK’s leading organisation which supports actors throughout their careers.

We will be bringing a range of workshops Q&A’s and events to the Actors Centre in their January – March 2017 programme. In addition, Equity and the Actors Centre will also be presenting a series of events and workshops to highlight, explore and celebrate the importance of greater diversity in the arts, as part of the Equity Play Fair season. Most notably they will be hosting a panel discussion on casting and diversity which Casting Networks International are delighted to be a part of.

We will be hosting a number of events in the programme open to Actors Centre members, including an informal question and answer session with casting director Manuel Puro (Moon, Northern Soul), a how to self-tape workshop, plus a commercial casting workshop where actors will receive live feedback.

Workshop-2

The programme will be launched at an exclusive Actors Centres members networking evening at the Actors Centre from 6pm on Tuesday 3 January. So if you are a member make sure you come along!

If you are not a member of the Actors Centre and would like to find out more, you can check out their website: www.actorscentre.co.uk

See you there!

Theatre Review: TMI Hollywood

tmi hollywood

I love theatre. All kinds of theatre. Sometimes I like to shake things up and take a break from the traditional 99 seat theatre ( . . . or 2000 seat, whatever) with a world premiere or revival of a classic to check out one of the many sketch/comedy/improv venues Los Angeles has to offer. There’s something about the team effort and collaboration that I love. You never quite know what you’re going to see and I find that exciting. Sometimes my socks are blown off and other times I’m mildly amused, but I’m usually glad I got my tail in a seat for an hour.

TMI at the Acme Comedy Theatre in Hollywood should be added to the list if it isn’t on yours already.  The show was created in 2012 by Second City folks to counter a politically minded show filled with topics from around the world that affect us all. Therefore, TMI was created to provide the stories we actually want, but don’t need, and certainly don’t want to admit to it. Sounds kind of nice, doesn’t it? They say it’s a cross between TMZ and SNL from the 70’s and 90’s (poor, poor 80’s) and that seems about right to me. Over the four years it’s been running, there have been 150-ish shows, 80-ish writers, 130-ish actors, and 140-ish celebrity guest stars! That kind of history and man/woman power is reason alone to check it out, or check it out again.

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Get Green with Ad Green!

Have you ever been on set and realised how much waste there is, that perhaps you should be making more of a conscious effort to recycle? Being green when it comes to media production is never straightforward, but there are ways you can help the environment – both obvious and not so obvious. Ad Green is a new initiative set up by Jo Coombes specifically for commercial production. We spoke with Jo to find out more about Ad Green, where it came from, and her hopes for the future.

Adgreen Green 851x315

Casting Networks: When was the moment you first stepped back and realised how incredibly wasteful and un-green the commercial industry was? 

Jo Coombes: I first came to the realisation that I didn’t like what I was contributing to at the start of 2014. I’d read some scary articles about climate change, and couldn’t help but think I was contributing, simply by doing a job I loved – production managing on advertising shoots. The amount of waste we create in the name of being creative is obscene, but at the time I wasn’t sure what I could do about it. It wasn’t until a few months later when the niggling feeling got too much that I decided I should find out what related industries were up to, and whether we could apply what they’d learned to advertising production. 

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JB Shorts 16: Different Venue, Same Quality

modelAfter another stellar run, JB Shorts 16 came to a close on November 12th, but not before one last performance to leave everyone gasping for air and clawing at their sides to stop them from splitting.

JB 16 was cast by Michelle Smith and played out at a brand new bigger venue at 53 Two, which is fast becoming a mecca for Manchester’s finest fringe theatre. It’s fair to say we at Casting Networks enjoyed the show, as always, and could not be more proud to continue supporting the event!


The night began with Magaluf, written by Sarah McDonald Hughes, in which we were taken on a farcical journey with Chloe (Amy Lythgoe) and Sinead (Hollie-Jay-Bowes) on their stereotypical teen holiday. I was reminded of a two-handed, modern day Bouncers and Shakers, due to the non-stop laughs and fast pace of the piece. A well-directed, wonderful piece of theatre, and a brilliant choice to open the show.

Second on, and the first of two classics of British literature broken down in to fifteen minutes of pure entertainment, was Toil and Trouble, written by Trevor Suthers. A truly original take on the story of a certain Scottish King who, for our own sake, is named ‘MacMeth’ (Peter Ash). Three terrifyingly hilarious “hags” steal the stage for fifteen minutes in the forms of ‘Mammy,’ ‘Granny,’ and ‘Fanny’ (Maria O’Hare, Jenny Gregson, and Jennifer Bray). With constant cleverly written filth throughout, and an energy on the stage that clearly stemmed from the great direction of Sue Jenkins, meant there was no respite for the aching jaws of the audience.

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Updates to Worksheet / Scheduler – United States – November 2016

Worksheet/Scheduler:

  • Unread chat messages are now indicated by a red dot instead of a yellow star.
  • If a publicly submitted talent leaves a note, the chat icon will now appear as an envelope icon. (Represented talent still appear with the chat bubble icon.)
    When you click on the envelope icon, the information for the talent, their audition and their note appear in a modal. From that modal you can email them to respond to their note just as you would from submissions.
  • Publicly submitted talent also now have an “Email Talent” link beneath their PUBLIC indicator on the Worksheet. This opens a modal to email the talent just as you would from submissions.

Updates to Worksheet / Scheduler – UK / EU / AU / MX – November 2016

Worksheet/Scheduler:

  • Unread chat messages are now indicated by a red dot instead of a yellow star.
  • If a publicly submitted talent leaves a note, the chat icon will now appear as an envelope icon. (Represented talent still appear with the chat bubble icon.)
    When you click on the envelope icon, the information for the talent, their audition and their note appear in a modal. From that modal you can email them to respond to their note just as you would from submissions.
  • Publicly submitted talent also now have an “Email Talent” link beneath their PUBLIC indicator on the Worksheet. This opens a modal to email the talent just as you would from submissions.

Casting Networks Manchester December Event

Joe Duttine

Casting Networks will be back at the 3 Minute Theatre in Manchester for our final FREE event of 2016 on 8th December.

Our special guest for this festive night will be actor Joe Duttine who currently plays Tim Metcalfe in Coronation Street. Casting Networks members will receive an email with information about how to submit for a chance to secure a ticket nearer to the time. (The event is strictly invite only)

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