20 January 2015

Hunted is an upcoming fan film, a collaboration between a group of friends and cosplayers. It's an exciting venture and one I very much recommend following through their Facebook page. Last year I wrote an article with the help of interviews from the cast and crew, as well as photographs from the filming.  Extracts of the interviews were used in the piece, and throughout this week, I'll be posting up their full answers. Today's interview is with Sara Croft, the owner of Tomb Raider cosplay and the actor portraying Sam in the fan film. 

Follow Sara here: Facebook   /  Twitter  /  Website

As you're in the middle of production, what are your views on the project? Is it exciting or daunting?

It's been the most exciting thing I've worked on in a long time. Anne and I have been friends for a while and when we discovered we lived near each other, we decided to get together. So I was not only working on a fan film, but I was meeting one of the greats in the cosplay community later that year, Carla. So you can imagine that getting to meet everybody was a big part of why this was exciting.

What challenges have you faced so far, and was it something you prepared for at the start?

A couple actually! There was the first attempt to get to Anne's house, but my car gave up on us and died forty miles away from home. So we were towed back home and paid for it with the last of our savings.

Another instance was, we needed to shoot a few scenes in the snow and even though you bring coats and try to mentally prepare yourself for the cold, it's never enough. Although I was able to handle it better because I layered shirts and pants on underneath my costume. I had to do a couple takes barefoot in the snow as well. I felt worse thinking about Anne in two tank tops and ripped up pants and Josh in the Mathias costume(!) in 29 Fahrenheit weather!

What is it about the latest incarnation of Lara and Tomb Raider which has inspired you to create this movie?

I personally fell completely in love with Lara, the minute they released the screenshots. When I got to play the game, I really liked the character development. She's just a young girl who's been backed into a corner by fate and either she fights or she dies; if it was me, I think I would have given up when I washed up on that beach. But you watch her develop into a fighter, and if a normal girl can do it, so can we.

I love that she is approachable. If it was Legend, Anniversary, or Underworld, I wouldn't be able to relate so easily.

What has been your favourite/most memorable moment of the project so far?

We were out in the freezing cold, filming. It was a fight scene between Anne and Josh, and without speaking a word, Josh had thrown his staff at Anne and she instinctively blocked it (not to give up too much) but the improvisation carried on throughout the scene and it was perfect! We still reminisce about that scene!

What made you want to create a fanfilm?

Honestly just for a chance to work with Carla, Anne and Josh in person. They are wonderful people that I love dearly and it's like we were all split from the same egg. The amount of things we have in common is overwhelming so it made the whole process easy and really fun, I am going back in the spring/summer to film the rest.

EXTRA: In her interview, Sara also contributed to Josh's section of the article.

Working with Josh Pate was a delightful experience, his passion for his art often became contagious, and it was like a surge of energy throughout the crew.  He always had a smile on his face no matter what we faced. We, as a whole crew, decided that he would be the best person suited to direct. So as the Director, it was an enormous responsibility that we threw on his shoulders but he rose to the occasion beautifully.

The other side was being Mathias, which he did an excellent job portraying, I honestly don't understand how he was able to juggle directing and acting at the same time, especially because we were in extreme weather and temperatures.

Come to think of it, he was also our photographer, we took promotional photos throughout our stay with him and Annie, and he was incredibly quick and on point. He was great at directing all of us and we captured some phenomenal pics. That's the kind of decisiveness you need in your crew chief. We are a lucky bunch to have him.

I would like to add that Anne's performance was indescribable, we were all blown away with her acting skills, she was so convincing as Lara. I almost forgot, we were shooting, and remember the Batman movie when Michael Caine said that the first time he saw Heath Ledger as the Joker was in the penthouse party scene? The shock of the transformation caused him to forget Alfred's lines.

Well, it was the same for me, I was facing away while filming our first scene (further away from her and Josh) and hearing Anne's voice in an immaculate British accent almost made me break character, run up to her and stare in disbelief. She was extraordinary!


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