You were recently involved with the Judge Minty team as an extra. Can you let us know how that all came about?
Many moons ago I was looking at the mags on the FutureQuake table, at the Bristol Comic Convention. Steven was there and he was showing off the Lawgiver MKII. which I managed to have a play with and even had a photo taken with me holding it. He mentioned that he was starting on a Judge world fan film. As soon as he mentioned that, I replied I’m up for that. I do remember saying that I’ll do anything, even if I get injured doing it, I’ll do it!
As someone with military experience did you get the chance to give any advice on how someone with a Judge’s training would conduct themselves?
I did indeed. I helped Edmund (Judge Minty) with numerous small details, that just add realism to his bearing. Simple things like holding the Lawgiver and how to position the body when doing so. If you are moving through areas where an attack may happen, wherever you look, the Lawgiver points! This means that if you see a target, you shoot and don’t have to waste precious time bringing the weapon to bear! There are a few other little things but if I mention them now, that would spoil the enjoyment of watching Edmund on screen. In the end, when you see Judge Minty do his stuff, it’s for a reason and it’s spot on.
You feature in the film as a Judge. Was that YOUR Judge uniform or did that come afterwards? If so were there any differences between the on set version and the Planet Replicas retail one?
I used one of the few Judge uniforms available throughout filming, until one of the very last shoots in London. This was when we invited a few Planet Replica Judge uniform owners down for some green screen shooting. This also involved some enjoyable military commands being shouted, just to help with the scenes involved I must add.
Wearing the uniform after everyone else has had a go is quite interesting to say the least, especially on a hot day! Amazingly no one cared, as this was going to be the only time most of the crew would ever have the chance at being a Judge and having pictures taken of themselves. It’s great to see so many people with massive grins, as a dream becomes reality.
As for the uniform and the difference to the Planet Replicas one, there are a few minor things but the major difference is that the Minty one is a two piece and the PR a one piece. The slight alteration is the holster, Minty being very bulky and awkward to use but movie magic will hide that. The PR one is an official bit of military kit, it’s a drop down holster and that is obviously much easier to use.
Do you just appear as a Judge or do you did you also lend your natural good looks to play a cursed earth mutant gang member?
I do play a Judge in a few scenes but it’s all background stuff but there may be a close up in one scene. Funnily, for the first multi Judge scene I decided to grow a beard, so that there would be some slight differences between the Judges in shot. I wandered into the studios in London and noticed numerous other bearded sods as well, so that idea was buggered but my beard was the best out of the bunch!
I also play a gang member and a mutant at certain points during the film and my face is partially obscured during my time as those characters, so I didn’t need any make-up. When you see Guy as a mutant you will be amazed at what a bit of grease paint can do, you will have to reminding yourself, he is NOT wearing a mask!
I would imagine on a project like this, everyone mucks in a bit. Did you get involved in any other aspects at all? How was the overall experience?
Everyone mucked in as dogs bodies to carry stuff around locations and just help out when needed. I think the main bit of help for Steven and the project was that so many people were willing to help out and from all over the country. We travelled to locations as varied as North Wales, Dorset, London and Rotherham for a chance to be part of this. The weather didn’t effect anyone either and that included pouring rain, wind and blistering heat during the shoot.
I know you have the “NO LAW” sign featured in the poster but did you get any other collectables…. that you can mention without someone saying “THAT’S where it went!” ?
On the first shoot I noticed there was some rubbish strewn across the road, in shot and then realised it was Mega-City One rubbish. Me and Guy Robbins shared it between us. I took a can of Boing and a Munce Donut box and I think Guy grabbed a drink cup from a fast food outlet! I still have two perps outfits in the attic as well, bagged up as they stink. One was also worn by Dale Jackson and so that one is now ruined as he tried to fasten it up.
Other than Ms Integra, if you could have had one thing from the shoot for your Cellar of Dredd collection that you weren’t allowed what would it have been?
Who’s to say I haven’t got her already, has anyone seen her recently? There wasn’t much to pinch really and I was extremely happy to take the sign back from Wales, with a car full of extras as well. That was a fun journey with that thing crushed in-between everyone!
As someone steeped in Dredd lore, how true to the world would you say the film is? Have you seen any finished footage yet?
This is spot on and Edmund shows why having a truly wonderful actor in the lead role makes the story so believable, he really plays the part exceptionally well. I watched an edit last year up Thought Bubble at Steven’s house and it looked great then and that was without the effects and all the extra gubbins that goes into the finished film. I’ve seen large chunks of nearly finished footage since then and it looks as good as a feature film. I’ve also got numerous behind the scenes clips, that even watching them shows how good it looks and that’s on my crap camera. I truly believe everyone is gonna be in for a blast, when they sit down to watch this.
Just wait till you see the drokkin’ Lawmaster in action!
The film gets it’s premier at Thought Bubble in November. Will you be in attendance and if so, will you be “in character” ?
I shall be there but not for the Monday showing at the start of the festival. During the weekend I shall watch the film but not on the Sunday morning either, interesting or what!
As for the uniform, I’ve put that away after an insane few months of unadulterated fun wearing it, mainly doing my small bit to help push the Dredd film. I’ve decided to let the cadets do a bit of patrolling under the supervision of Judge Court over the convention.
When can we expect the “Judge Burdis” spin off?
If I win the lottery (even though I don’t play it) I would fund all sorts of projects Justice Department related. I think that’s all I can say on the matter!
People will probably be aware you are also the curator of the Cellar of Dredd but for anyone who isn’t could you please tell us a little bit about that?
I own the premier Dredd collection and like to show people what is and was available to buy in the Dredd merchandising world. Sadly most of the early stuff never seemed to be advertised and so I had to search for this on the web. I used to look on ebay at least three times a day but now just visit it once a week. In the blog I like to include a write up of how I came about each item alongside photos and video clips. I find this shows the fan a lot more than just one bland photo, with no write up!
Lastly, any words of wisdom for the kiddies out there?
Keep an eye out for me this weekend, as I’m filming one tiny last bit with Steve Green. So if you see me dressed up in my Judge uniform, you’ll know what I’m up to!