AR: Thank you for coming to join me Taffy.
Taffy: Thank you for the interview.
AR: Can you tell me a bit of background about yourself?
Taffy: Yes I am from Aberystwyth in Ceredigion, Wales. I am an Indie film maker, producer. A big fan of Old School Gangster films, I love the art of Greco-Roman Wrestling. A keen gardener , I race racing pigeons and family man.
AR: What initially influenced you to become a director?
Taffy: I have been wanting to direct for years, but never had the chance due to no producers backing me. Its a very difficult profession to get into to. I have made many shorts, but still didnt get any backers, I have been let down many times. Then one day I came up with a concept, to do it myself. I had some spare cash from a classic car sale, I approached Byron and asked him if he would take part in my indie film then I approached Brent Zillwood who is the editor and formed a team to get my film off the ground. Everybody gelled like brothers and we moved forward together. This was my start into directing career.
AR: When putting together English Dogs In Bangkok how did you find Ron and Byron?
Taffy: I have known Byron for a number of years, been a big fan of his work. He’s a very solid straight forward guy. Byron introduced me to Ron Smoorenburg, who also is a great positive guy. My plan was to form a team who were committed, despite budget restraints. With some of the filming scenes I wasn’t available due to other commitments and I hate flying . Byron and Ron took care of them for me. Which helped me so much.
AR:Do you hope to make this a franchise?
Taffy: Yes it will be a franchise. I can confirm there will be other English Dogs films with bigger budgets and much more production value. This was a test, the test has worked. We have three more to make.I read English Dogs was based on a true story, what made you want to bring this to screen?Correct. The story is based on a British gentlemen who was arrested in 2008 for steroid dealing. He was supplying many people worldwide, Celebrities, Marines, Police men, Fitness coaches, Hooligans, Biker Gangs and more. This guy was so interesting. He suffered from PTSD, Was beaten by the Gang in the UK and had to leave due to his ex wife having an affair with the gang leader. He was broke a criminal, he went on to became one of the biggest underground steroid distributors on the planet. The brand still exists today in eastern Europe. I wanted to highlight how big the steroid trade is and what is involved. The steroid trade is huge.Many take them, but will deny this, infact some directors I know have encouraged Actors to take them so they look good on screen. Testosterone is one of the biggest sellers of steroids right now and Human Growth Hormone. Back when this guy was arrested in 2008, steroids known as blue hearts and Thai pinks were used regularly. The film is based around that time. What was the shooting schedule for the movie? We shot this film over a two year period. This was due to work commitments of the actors and because of budgets. I didn’t want them to turn down any big films for the sake of an indie film.We started shooting and then we had a problem,Ron went to China for 6 months and I didn’t want him to lose the job , it was well paid and when Ron came back during that period Byron had work in Korea and Monaco. So I had to be patient and work with these guys. The next project will be all filmed within a month to 6 weeks as I will have bigger budgets so we will not have this problem..
AR: When directing an action movie, what’s the most challenging aspect?
Taffy: You have to be committed, know what you want, and really work and trust your stunt team and actors. Its a team effort, if you haven’t got that you will fail. Its a long haul and no easy task. Vision is everything. Avoid premadonnas!
AR: What advice would you give to people looking to break into the directing industry?
Taffy: Please do not wait for your lucky break. Its not going to happen. I waited for over 8 years nothing happened, it was a waste of time, I was dreaming too much. Make your own film, get a good team together and get filming! Hustle! Even if you have no budget! You have to start somewhere!
AR: After English Dogs, what will you be helming next?
Taffy: I have a really good script called “BeachComber”which i want to film as soon as we come out of lockdown. This is very Guy Ritchie and I will have the same guys involved. Then after that either English Dogs 2 and then the story of Dutch, Ron Smoorenburgs character in English Dogs in Bangkok.
AR: Thank you for your time Taffy and I wish you the best of luck in the industry!
Taffy: Diolch! Thankyou!