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My name is Thomas Edward Seymour. I have been making Indie films for over twelve years now and believe it or not I’ve directed seven features, won 15 festival awards, and have been called one of the Top 20 Underground Filmmakers in the U.S. I’ve been interviewed and my films reviewed everywhere form the New York Times to NPR. More than likely your reaction to this is, “Well, I’ve never heard of you.” To which I answer, “Not many people have. Sucks for me huh?”
London Betty is my lucky number seven and I’m so very proud to be on the Maverick Platinum Label. Some of the other more notable features I’ve directed are Land of College Prophets, the “Bikini Bloodbath” series, Everything Moves Alone, and (Contra: digital short) “Attack of the Show.”
I got the idea for London Betty when I was laid off from my job about five or so years ago. I thought to myself, “I wish I didn’t have to get a new job” and I started thinking, “What could one do and not have to work a day job?” So, that’s when I thought of the Tchotcke Thieves. These were thieves with manners that would only steal things from people’s back yards and porches. I also knew that I needed a likable outsider to come into this small town scenario and help the audience get to know the town of Pharisee. (That’s the name of the town that the thieves live in.) From there, the other characters came very easily; the prostitute, the corrupt mayor etc. etc.
We shot London Betty in two weeks on a budget too low to mention. I wrote the part of the newspaper owner, Maury, so that it could all be shot in one day; so we hired Daniel Von Bargen (Super Troopers, “Seinfeld,” “Malcolm in the Middle”) for the one day shoot and shot all his scenes back to back. You’ll notice he has a sizeable role. We were able to get six or so scenes with him in the final cut. The shoot went fairly smooth, but it was an intense marathon to get the footage we needed.
When you watch London Betty notice how many locations, action scenes, quick cuts and crane shot there are, and then think of trying to get that done in two weeks! To make shooting even crazier we only had the crane for one day, so every time you see a crane shot keep that in mind. We also shot the end war scene during the day and then all smoke filled and dizzy we went back the “mansion basement set” and shot for another three hours. Most days we like that…long and frantic 14-hour days.
Originally my character, Billy, did the narration, but when I had the rough-cut done I realized how the onscreen Billy was not the kind of guy to express his inner feelings via voice over. I knew I needed an outside narrator, so over the next year I pursued several options; Wallace Shawn Billy Connolly, Amy Sedaris, Donal Logue, Clint Howard, and Debbie Rochon. We eventually decided on Clint Howard. He had a very kind sounding voice, like a favorite uncle telling you a story, and that’s what we needed. He’s a great guy, and I will always be grateful to Clint for being a part of London Betty.
I hope you get a few laughs out of watching London Betty. If you do I feel I have done my job. Thanks for supporting Indie films.
London Betty will be available OnDemand beginning February 1st and on DVD everywhere February 2nd. Get it now! Buy it, Rent it, or Queue it up!