I recently had the chance to interview Writer/ Co-Director Adam Leader and Co-Director/ DOP Richard Oakes about their new horror comedy film Feed Me, which follows a guy in his quest to kill himself by Cannibal. In this interview we discuss processing trauma, finding love whether in others and or yourself and cannibal horror films.I hope you enjoy.
Q: What Was Your Message With This Film?
AD: We wanted to tell a relatable story of grief and trauma through the power of shock, gore and comedy; something we love. We wanted to make a movie that, first and foremost we were fans of so that no matter what, we could be proud when the world saw it.
RO: There are a few messages in this film, Learning to love yourself when you have low self-worth and guilt is one that resonates with me. It’s amazing what a difference to your life a little self-respect and understanding can have.
Q: What Was Your Favourite Moment From The Film?
AD: For me, it’s the final dream sequence in the woods where Jed and Olivia profess their love for each other. Liv is a figment of his imagination; and what Jed always perceived to be the devil on his shoulder fuelling his tumultuous journey, turned out to be his inner voice motivating him to fight for his life; she was his arc. That scene alone is like a massive breath of fresh air for Jed; his arc comes to this bittersweet conclusion that allows him to finally be at peace with himself before it’s too late.
RO: I Think I like the scene when Jed Finally stands up to Lionel and Lionel shows his true colours to Jed. It’s when Lionel unveils his true nasty. From there to the end is really special to me as Lionel’s character falls apart.
Q: How Inspired Were You By The Real Events?
AD: The fact that a man responded to an advert for being eaten alive and went ahead with it was inspiration enough. That in itself is so bizarre that we just had to use it as the premise for FEED ME. It’s ironic how the most unbelievable part of this movie has actually happened in real life.
Q: To What Extent Is This Film A Metaphor For Moving On And Dealing With Loss?
AD: If you lose the comedy, you’re left with an underlying subtext entirely focused on low self-worth & grief and how one overcomes it. The interesting part is how two traumatized people who are similar in so many ways can connect so well, yet go in completely different directions for better or worse, much like real life.
RO: Yes it’s about dealing with the internal demons that plague you through loss and overcoming the self-destructive nature that inevitably follows the loss of a loved one, again letting go of guilt and learning to love yourself again.
Q: What Is Your Favourite Cannibal Film?
AD: Of more recent times, it would have to be the new Dahmer series. That’s the best thing I’ve seen in a long time, let alone this year. Evan Peters is God.
RO: I would have to say Alive, it’s a fascinating film that I watched as a Kid that shows the real triumph of the human spirit against unbelievable odds and circumstances
Q: How Did You Manage The Tone Between The Comedic Elements And The Darker Ones?
AD: By wearing our hearts on our sleeves with the direction and being fully open to giving the actors the floor to experiment. From the get-go, we wanted this movie to be sprinkled with our sense of humour. It’s who we are as people, and to abstain from implementing our own personalities into our art would have resulted in a mediocre movie that lacked integrity.
RO: Like Adam said, the Comedy is very much a part of who we are and we wanted to stay true to that. The balance just came as a natural result of the way we wanted to pace it.
Q: Do You Have Any Funny Stories From Production?
AD: Neal Ward running naked through the set searching for a blood pump sticks out for me.
RO: One scene was so funny that I laughed so hard that a little wee came out.
Q: Future Plans, Sequels, Spin-Offs and Other Projects?
AD: A sequel is doubtful but there’s another project in the works that’ll hopefully see the light of day in 2023. Somebody did float the idea of doing a spin off about the two cops. I think that’d be amazing and I’d love to do a miniseries on those two bozos never solving anything.
RO: We have thrown a few sequel or prequel ideas around, but to be honest we are not really those people. I guess it also depends on demand. If FEED ME ever became cult status and there was a market for a sequel you never know.
Q: Do you Have Any Words Of Wisdom For Filmmakers Who Are Just Starting Out?
AD: Make films for you, not for others and be prepared for an uphill struggle; filmmaking is all about problem solving. Anything worth doing is never easy, but the personal reward dominates any salary in a career you’re not truly passionate about. Money doesn’t buy happiness; being open, honest and true to yourself does.
RO: START! I have lost count of the people who have told me they are working on a film but are waiting for the perfect conditions etc. These people never make a film. Myself & Adam are very much doers and we will break down barriers preventing that from happening rather than using every little hiccup as an excuse not to start.
If you would like to check out Feed Me for yourself keep an eye out for it on all good VOD platforms
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