Interview: Howard J. Ford, “Never Let Go”

Never Let Go is a 2015 Drama Thriller from writer and director Howard J. Ford.

Starring: Angela DixonNigel WhitmeyLisa Eichhorn

Never Let Go Synopsis:  A single mother on vacation, takes the law into her own hands to take back her abducted child.

Close up with gun

Never Let Go still courtesy of October Coast Media

An Interview with Howard J. Ford, Writer/Director of “Never Let Go”

When did you decide you wanted to make movies?

Howard J. Ford: Around the age of 10 or 11.I didn’t really know anything about making movies. Just that I was so impacted by what I saw on screen and I wanted to do that. I made my first short film at 13 on Super 8mm film. It was terrible but one has to learn by their mistakes!

 

Did you have a lot of support in that decision?

Howard J. Ford: My mum would have supported me in whatever I wanted to do. I have a feeling if I wanted to be a serial killer she’d have helped me out with the bodies! Ha. My Dad was more, get a proper job’ for a while until he saw it could actually work as a career, now he is incredibly supportive too. My brother Jon and I started out together as teens.

 

How does one start though? Do you enroll in film school or just go out there with your camera and shoot something – I imagine it’s different for everyone?

Howard J. Ford: Yes you are right, it’s different for everyone. Much like life’s journey is unique for us all. I teach at film school or guest speak but I’ve never been taught film making. I just learnt by mistakes. I’m happier that way as I’m totally free to make it up and shoot things instinctively.

 

How did you come up with the name of your production company?

Howard J. Ford: Latitude Films came about as we shot everything on film: Either 16mm or 35 mm and I love the texture and feel of celluloid – one of it’s strongest points is it has more Latitude, hence the name.

 

To the latest movie, Never Let Go. How did you come up with the concept for this film? And why was it decided to make the movie now? 

Howard J. Ford:  Never Let Go came about after I nearly lost my just turned 3 year old son. I thought he’d been abducted from a holiday resort but all the while I was frantically looking for him he was lying at the bottom of the pool drowning. I only just reached him in time and I was on the way elsewhere to look for him. It filled me with so much dread and got me thinking: How far would a mother go to take back her child? I haven’t carried this in my stomach and painfully given birth to it, and my emotions were off the scale. Surely a mother’s instinct takes it to another level. I just had to make this film!

 

 

What’s your take on what Netflix has announced in recent weeks? Is that good or bad for the film industry?

Howard J. Ford:  I have to admit, I have no idea what Netflix has announced! Either way, there is no doubt that streaming is the future – it’s here to stay. I love Netflix, but I will miss the big screen experience for sure. One day people will laugh at the idea that we got in our car’s, went to a place and sat in a room together while the lights dimmed and we all watched a film together at a specific time. It’s the end of an era – like letter writing, I’m so glad I caught it!

 

In terms of VOD channels, do you have a favorite?

Howard J. Ford: Netflix was the first to take Never Let Go in the UK and they put us in a category of ‘Women who rule the screen, right next to Titanic, The Hunger games etc. How can I not love them to bits for that! Amazon I’m enjoying too. Sony have managed to get us onto so many platforms and I’m extremely grateful for everyone’s support.

Netflix

 

What’s your take on all these pirate boxes – like KODI – will the powers-that-be be able to stop them?

 Howard J. Ford: We have to stop piracy. It is literally killing the future of film and there will be no movies to download if they are killed anyway. It’s why so much talent is going to TV. When you pay for a movie, you are creating the lifeblood for more movies.

 

How much does piracy hurt filmmakers?

Howard J. Ford: Piracy hurts filmmakers massively. It literally takes food out of our children’s mouths and us indie movie makers are not at all rolling around in money. Half the indie’s are struggling to pay the rent whilst trying to put as much on screen as possible. It’s so hard to get a film made, then before it gets release to see someone give it away for free is heart-breaking.

 

What do you hope for Never Let Go?

Howard J. Ford:  With Never Let Go, I just hope to reach a wide audience and we have a real shot with Sony releasing it all across the US on all these fabulous platforms. It’s a film with strong female characters in the leading roles, that’s a reason for men and women alike to support it – we have already been voted the best independent film of 2016 at the national film awards and our amazing lead actress Angela Dixon has had her heart wrenching performance hailed as ‘Oscar Worthy’ in the press recently which I am all hugely grateful for. The whole cast and crew worked incredibly hard to get the film made in difficult conditions in Morocco & Spain and I thank all of you who come with us on the epic journey that is Never Let Go.

National Film Awards

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