I got up close (he is 6ft+!) with the man behind this production – Phoenix James aka Phenzwaan and from what I have observed this man is raw talent through and through.
When first learnt about this production I thought ‘No way’ surely parliament cannot be serious about this but the more I got involved the more I realized it’s not a bad concept – after all its 2013 so why not turn the tables round on our male counterparts and demand equality all the way! It is better to have safe sex than no sex at all, isn’t it?
I know for a fact Phoenix has played many lead roles in various independent films but this production is all his work and intriguing it is, so readon…
Plot and “Story”
“This feature length documentary film follows a rogue British independent film & TV production group, with no prior film making or television production experience, armed with a handful of very mouthy and persuasive male and female amateur journalists & presenters who spread themselves out across London pursuing the general public, media personalities and various members of authority to lay themselves bare and open up on their views about a new impending Government led Pay for Sex Policy that will soon affect the whole of Great Britain and the EU.
The film is comprised of both talking head interviews and character driven dramatizations and are the result of the production groups recorded work on the subject so far. Their overall collective aim in making and showcasing this film is not only to create awareness among those who may be unaware but also to stimulate further dialogue among those who are.
Their work to uncover, document and highlight more information about the Pay for Sex Policy is ongoing.
*Tell me a little about yourself personally and creatively/personally.
I am a writer, actor, director, producer, multi award winning international performance poet & spoken word recording artist, model and filmmaker.
*What first got you interested in film?
What first got me interested in film was watching movies and television shows as a child. I found it all very fascinating and magical.
*What are some of your favorite American films? Foreign films? Television shows?
I have a long list of favorites but some of my favorite American films include many of James Cagney’s movies – Public Enemy, White Heat, Angels with Dirty Faces etc. 1940’s classics like Casablanca, Citizen Kane, and The Great Dictator. Animation film, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron. Also movies Love Jones, Remember The Titans, Good Will Hunting and Men of Honor. Foreign films include City of God and UnProphete. Television shows, The A-Team, Knight Rider, Golden Girls, L-Word, Boston Legal, Girlfriends, Heroes, Desperate Housewives, and Revenge.
*How would you describe your film education?
I would describe my film education as varied; most of it has been developed through watching movies from a young age, acting for screen and also over the past 5 years spending a lot of time on set during the making of movies and television shows. I haven’t been through any formal education in regards to learning film.
*Who or what do you cite as major inspirations (they do not have to directly relate to film) for your work?
Writing, singing and performance poetry have probably been my most major inspirations in regards to my work. They taught me a lot about language, self-expression, diction, voice projection, word articulation, body language and how to direct myself in the areas of performance and engaging with an audience. Other inspirations have been other poets, singers, actors, musicians, dancers, and pretty much anyone who is a performer or creative person of some kind. Art in general is the source of my inspiration. I draw a lot of inspiration from being around the creative energy of others.
*Who are some of your favorite screen actors? What do you admire about their acting? What about their techniques should aspiring screen actors study?
Some of my favorite screen actors include James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, and Cary Grant. These are some of the actors I would watch as a child. What I admire and appreciate about the acting of that era most is that they were working in a time where digital film didn’t exist so the technology and ability to record film was limited and far more dependent on the actors craft, skill, talent and ability.
*How would you describe your filmmaking process?
I’m not sure that I have a film making process developed yet but I mostly worked on Love Freely but PAY for SEX in my head first before actually writing anything down for the film. I then focused on everything else around the story, concept, plot and all that would be necessary in order to bring it to life.
*What experience do you have in other art forms?
I am an award winning international performance poet & spoken word recording artist, award winning catwalk & photographic model, photographer, choreographer, event organizer and qualified men’s hairstylist.
*What distinguishes film from other art forms?
What distinguishes film from the other art forms for me is that I am able to, through the use of film; combine all of my art forms into a single film. Through a film I can write, act, use voice and language, direct and choreograph an individual or group of people in a scene and involve music and sound all together at once. I can creatively combine all of these art forms into one using film.
*What do you consider some of the main differences between cinema and theatre?
In the theatre, a director has less control over the actor’s final performance, which gives more control to the actor when actually on stage in front of the live audience. In comparison to cinema, theatre reaches a considerably smaller audience. Regarding cinema, a director/editor has more control over the actor’s performance in front of the audience during the filming process and when and how that performance finally appears on screen. In comparison to theatre, cinema reaches a wider audience.
*What do you consider some of the main differences between cinema and television?
Television is more of a smaller homely personal viewing experience while cinema viewing is more of a publicly wider, open and collective experience. In cinema the film maker is required to create an experience that engages the audience for a longer period of time than would be required in for example a television series or a television film with adverts and commercial breaks etc. Though in all aspects the aim should be to keep the audience interested and engaged throughout but these are among the main differences.
*What do you consider the elements of a good film? A great one?
I consider the elements of a good film to be anything that forces or makes the audience feel, think, reflect, react or simply have an opinion based on the subject matter within the film as if it were they on the screen and involved in the sequence they are watching. And of course, good acting, cinematography, lighting, sound and editing etc. A great film lures you into a world beyond the screen that has been created for you and causes you to forget that you are immersed inside a forged reality that isn’t real.
*What sort of things do you study and consider when watching a film?
When watching a film, I study and consider pretty much everything. Now having created my own film, I study and consider even more, Script &dialogue, acting, extras, locations, performance, cinematography, lighting, sound, music and film editing.
*Where do you hope to see yourself in ten years?
In ten years I’d like to be doing everything I’m doing now on a much larger scale along with a lot of new experiences and exciting challenges. In general I’d like to be enjoying even greater levels of art and creativity. Before anything, I’m an artist and always have been since leaving formal education at 16. I’ve mentioned some of those various art forms here. I intend to remain developing my talents and expressing myself via different forms of art and creativity that appears to know no bounds.
*What advice do you have for anyone interested in pursuing a film career?
I’d say to anyone interested in pursuing a film career, to pursue a film career. We never know until we try things. It’s all about progression. I am a firm believer in all things being possible and that nothing is beyond reach. My advice is to go for it, don’t let anyone make you believe you can’t do anything you put your mind to, don’t doubt yourself, be unafraid to try new things and be fearless in all your endeavors.
*Where can readers view your films and learn more about you?
Readers can find out more about me and see my work on my official website at www.PhoenixJamesOfficial.com
*Any last words?
Who Killed Popcorn?
On that note I will let you decide…Follow the Pay for Sex Policy on Facebook & Twitter and stay up to date…”
Ms Safirah Irani