Gerard Johnson and Peter Ferdinando come clean about their social-realist serial-killer drama.
For decades since the phrase was coined, 'kitchen sink' drama has been synonymous with everything that is mundane and boring about British cinema. However, when that kitchen sink is filled with the bloody organs of a serial killer's prey - as it is in a scene from Tony (released 5th February) - those old associations begin to feel a little outdated...
Tony offers us a snapshot of modern-day London, set in and around a council estate whose dour exterior is reflected in the outward demeanour of the title character. But Tony is, on closer inspection, much more complicated and dangerous than he appears. The project marks the big screen debut of writer-director Gerard Johnson, though he first hatched the idea of a social-realist serial-killer film back in 2005. It was then realised as a short film starring his cousin and prolific television actor Peter Ferdinando.
Making the short opened doors for both men in the British film industry and, specifically, it grabbed the attention of writer Paul Abbot (who is best known for scripting TV's Shameless). He helped them secure financing for a lengthened version of the story which was developed under the auspices of the UK Film Council. After five years of planning and preparation, Johnson and Ferdinando then shot the film over a few weeks in East London.
The cousins talk to BBC Film Network about getting inside the mind of a serial killer, setting up shop in a real council flat and how they sometimes upset the neighbours!
Interview and text by Stella Papamichael; editing by Ravi Ajit Chopra
Tony is released on Friday 5th February 2010
Gerard Johnson was chosen to be part of the Skillset and Edinburgh Film Festival Trailblazers for 2009, a scheme supporting new UK filmmaking talent.
Click here for an interview with Gerard about Trailblazers 2009