Behind the scenes: The Licengoons Interview

Following on from the review of the dark comedy film: The Licengoons, the film’s director and actor Miles Anthony – playing Licengoon John Null (NTU Alumni) – gave Platform an exclusive on the Nottingham based film.
Why did you choose to release the film at the current time in addition to the recent decision from the BBC to scrap free TV Licenses for over 75s?

We decided to release the film now as we felt due to the fee finally being scrapped in August that this was perfect to be released at the peak of the conversation. I felt very strongly about the BBC’s decision and I noticed that not many young people were joining in on the conversation, something I was hoping my film could change.

Were there any deleted scenes/ideas which didn’t reach the final cut?

There is nothing much to note in regard to the topic, however there was one bit where the Colonel talks about his nine wives and thirty children which I do miss. Ah well, might stick that in the next one!

What did you enjoy most about this project?

I really loved trying to get the time right aesthetically as since it was set in the 70s, it was tough to capture that era on such a budget so yes, it was a challenge but a fun one no less!

What were the most difficult parts of the project?

Filming the outdoor shots were very challenging due to the fact that on that day the sun was blazing so everybody was outside asking us what we were doing. Bit of a slog, but I think we got away with it barely.

I am aware the film was filmed during the COVID-19 Pandemic and was awarded production training certificates. What were the restrictions/challenges of filming? I would imagine there was more than just social distancing, wearing face masks and sanitising/cleaning equipment.

The hardest thing about this production was that we were working with two actors who were in the high-risk category (Evadne Fisher and Mike Newbold) so we had to be extra careful. We tried our best to have no more than three people indoors together at all times throughout shooting which was a really tough but necessary challenge. The BFI guideline was very helpful however, so we tried our best to keep to those.

How did you feel about challenging the establishment of the BBC?

Well, I knew that this was a one-way ticket to career suicide which I wasn’t too scared about as I didn’t have a career to begin with! Tesco are still hiring so there is always a silver lining to attacking the main film employer in this country!

What were the chosen inspirations for the costumes worn by the Characters for example Reith’s Bohemian Tom Baker like Scarf?

Reith was heavily based on Tom Bakers Doctor Who as he was meant to represent what the BBC want you to see. My character John was meant to represent what they didn’t so rude boys were a key inspiration for his design as they were rather anti-establishment at the time.

Why were Nottingham Castle and Arnold chosen as filming spots? Why were they more effective than other spots in Nottingham such as St Ann’s or Sherwood?

Because they are timeless! And because they were rather close to the city centre. But with those two benefits, it felt like getting two birds with one stone and I do love a good deal, which, is ideal because I will definitely need Tesco to hire me sooner rather than later after this.

The Licengoons is available to view on YouTube and Antho. They can also be followed on various social media.

By Stuart McComb

Feature image: British Comedy Guide

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