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Friday, 22 January 2016

Survivors The Movie - Interview with Adam Spinks & competition to win the DVD

For the lucky competition winner.....minus one card, that one's for me!
Adam J Spinks has featured in a number of previous articles here on 5D, first coming to my attention with his first film, the rather good The Expedition which featured all sorts of funky Dinosaur stuff. You can see the review type musings from yours truly about that particular film RIGHT HERE. If that wasn't enough, Adam has also had the great fortune, some may say distinct mis-fortune, to take part on one of 5D's legendary piercing and incisive interviews that make Frost/Nixon look like a nice little chat over croissants during breakfast. If you want to see how Adam buckled under the pressure of my skillful interrogation back in 2014 then check out the blog article RIGHT HERE

A little while ago I was given the chance to get a sneak preview of his latest venture, Survivors The Movie. Survivors is a very good character-driven horror movie set in amongst the unfolding and aftermath of a deadly contagion that turns the infected population into the living dead. The film contains more than its fair share of tense and chilling moments while still managing to treat the audience as having more than a modicum of intelligence with some strong emotional characterisation. It is well acted throughout with Joanne Gale as Kate frequently stealing the show with a confident emotional range throughout the film.

There may be some of a particular persuasion that lament the low levels of gore or a zombie film in Survivors, and I could understand that to a degree. However that would do this fine low-budget production a distinct disservice which nevertheless still manages to provide an immensely powerful chilling punch. If you like your British independent films with a skillfully written slice of horror, conspiracy theory and confident story telling then this is the film for you. If you wish to read my article about Survivors, then you can access it via the link HERE.

It seems that it's not only me that appears to like the film because by all accounts the sales of Survivors seems to be doing rather well thank you very much. As a result it was decided that I could plug myself and my website once again interview Adam - and not only that, offer you good people a little bit of a competition bonus........ a brand new DVD copy of your very own. I know, I'm too good to you!

So what follows is a very recent chat that I had with the director of Survivors, with the final part containing a competition question picked by Adam himself. You can visit the Survivors website at


Q) For those who haven't read any previous 5D articles about Survivors (damn them) please explain the  film's plot.

Survivors is a horror/drama is about three people fighting to stay alive as a deadly virus sweeps the country and at different levels, how they all discover just how far they’d be prepared to go to stay alive. As you can imagine, everyone has a different breaking point.......

Q) The film contains a nice variation of filming style, alternating between POV & traditional format. What were you hoping to achieve by this?

The found-footage element came from wanting the film to have an immediacy and a reality to the storytelling. The thing is, if something awful happened, people would film it- be that on their phones or other devices, but there would be a record of it happening from the first person so for me, it was important to reflect that kind of relationship we have with video now. 

And then for the cinematic portions, I wanted to create a more traditional distance from the characters, raising the questions of how we came to feel so distant given what else we’re seeing. The two stories reflect different feelings around the disaster on the part of the characters. 

Q) I've already talked to you about the pre-production process for Survivors. So what about the post-production, was it enjoyable or a laborious process?

Post-production on this was long, much longer than we’d intended but ultimately, it was for the best. We didn’t want to rush the film out and have elements we weren’t happy with in the finished film, so we really took our time with it to make it just right. Unlike a lot of films, this cut is really the ‘Directors Cut’ with everything I wanted to include! 

Q) Did the final version of the film match the original concept?

Because we took our time and really laboured over attention to the finest details, I feel that the film is exactly the film we all agreed to make a few years ago. Of course things change in the shooting and you’re always discovering new, maybe cooler ways of shooting something or trying something new but in general, yeah this is pretty much exactly how I wanted! 

Q) Is there anything at all that you would change?

Every production is a learning curve and sure, in hindsight it would have been great to have had a slightly bigger budget to work from but, compared to my other films, there’s very little I’d change about the finished film. I got hands on with every element, along with my producers, who really got behind the vision for the film. When you have people like that working towards a shared goal, the result is always stronger. 

Q) Any prospect of Survivors II ?

Well actually… maybe. For ages I said that I felt this story was complete and that there wasn’t anywhere else for it to really go (no spoilers!) but I saw a wonderful short film recently that really opened my eyes to something I hadn’t thought of before and also I haven’t seen this kind of thing really done in a zombie movie before so… watch this space

Q) What has been the reaction to Survivors?

Critics have overall loved it (awesome) and the feedback from people who’ve watched it has been wonderful! It’s been nice to be on the more positive side of things for a change! I’m pleased audiences are responding to this kind of film making and storytelling. 

Adam's hero pose.
Q) What extras are available on the DVD?

As well as the Directors cut of the film, we also included a cool Featurette which explains a bit more about how we managed to make the film for what we did, as well as about 4 minutes of deleted scenes and a blooper reel. We’ve also subtitled the main feature too. 

Q) In broader terms, what is the state from a filmmakers point of view of the current indie film scene?

Independent film is at an interesting place but I think it’s still difficult to make inroads for new filmmakers. Crowdfunding helped us to launch Survivors which was great, I doubt we would have gotten the backing without the belief of our supporters. 

Distributors and investors aren’t in the business of taking risks on new filmmakers, they want tried and tested routes to success but I think as distribution changes further, more opportunities may open up. It’s about whether you’ve got a good story with a commercial element to it. Do an audience want to see it? And is it any good? Those are the big questions all filmmakers need to be honest with themselves about. 

The new bargain-basement flight to Tenerife gets ready for take-off....

Q) So, plans for the future?

I’ve actually only shot one short film this year so it’s been a quiet production period for me but I’ve been writing a lot with various people and it looks as though we’ll be announcing a very exciting and ambitious project in the very near future called ‘Into The Grey’. It’s best described as ‘The Descent meets A Lonely Place To Die’ 

Watch this space.

Q) So Adam, what is the competition question for one lucky person to win a brand spanking new DVD of Survivors?

Which of these was NOT one of the working titles for SURVIVORS?

A) Dark Days
B) Sunset 9:04
C) Tomorrow

In order to enter the competition, simply visit the 5D website at and click on the competition page. Good Luck!!

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