This week, Giles Alderson chatted to the team behind Krays – Code of Silence.
Luke Bailey, Ben Mole, and Lucinda Rhodes Thakrar discuss their writer-director-producer relationship.
Ben contacted Lucinda about being involved but she wasn’t initially interested. “I spoke to Jeet, my producing partner at Picture Perfect. And he suggested a different angle.
I’ve worked with Ben many times. He’s a wonderful director and I always wanted to work with Luke, as he’s a great writer. We settled on this angle of Nipper, and the story that hasn’t really been told in a movie.”
Luke agreed, saying that it was important for them to tell the story from a different angle.
And for Ben, it was important to not tell the story as “a sort of documentary-style list of events.” He wanted it to be cinematic. “Luke’s script goes into that magical real place to play a drama within the mythology of the Krays, which meant that we could punch above our weight in hiring the most amazing actors.”
Making Indie Films
For Luke, the “only downside was the time we had to turn it around. We were really up against time, and because of COVID and all the stresses around that. That pressure created some creative diamonds.” Because of time constraints, they came up with creative solutions: “and I think that’s where creativity in these scenarios comes to the fall.”
Ben said that “development is one of those things that often gets forgotten, but also gets compressed on an indie film budget, because you don’t have people for six months, not doing anything else. And it’s a real achievement because it was created in this pressured environment”
“The performances and the script are really the strongest elements,” says Ben. “You get a cast, who are used to doing big Hollywood movies and want to do six or seven takes. On all indie films, having the time to try things on set and explore” has to be minimal. But we said, “at the beginning, that we’d rather fail being brave, trying new things and going out there, than just knocking something out in a paint-by-numbers way.”
Producing the Film
They only had a month to shoot the film, so after casting Stephen Moyer and Ian Sharp, they looked into casting the Kray twins. To begin with, they tried to cast twins in the roles but then decided to cast the talented Ronan Summers as Ronnie and Reggie. “He was so passionate about the role. But the difficulties of not using brothers or actors that look like each other, or twins is you’ve got to shoot everything twice,” said Lucinda.
Lucinda has done “a lot of films and is proudest of this movie than any we’ve ever done. It’s really hard to think back on the stress levels that we were all going through. And it’s hard to remember why, because you try to forget all of those things because it doesn’t matter anymore. What we pulled off on a micro-budget is quite incredible.”
Ben: “It might not be the hundred percent thing that you had in your head, circumstances are going to get in the way. Be okay with that. Every time you write a script, you do a part, you direct something, you put it together, you get in the edit, it’s a learning experience. Do as much as you can do, as often as you can. Whenever anyone gives you an opportunity to do it, take it and do it because you’ll learn so much from it.”
Luke: “Be bold and trust yourself. Looking back now those are the things that make you most proud. I feel the moments that we garnered most such success in the script are the moments in which the dices roll.”
For more from Ben, Luke and Lucinda, listen to the episode here.