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Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Pandorica – The Future Reset


1st: Iain Turnbull
2nd: Ethan Edwards
3rd: Bella Gale

Runner up: Scott Braidwood.

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In the dark and dystopian future world of Pandorica, The Varosha Tribe needs a new leader.  Three are chosen.  Only one can survive.

Pandorica is the edge of your seat new movie from The Film Label.  A true indie epic that will grip you tight and drag you kicking and screaming through the pitch black forests of this new hellish world.

Shot on a shoestring budget and going from initial conception to theatrical release in only a year, Director Tom Paton and his team have created what is arguably one of the finest indie movies I have ever seen.

We recently met up with Tom and had a chat with him about Pandorica, his film making style and how he managed to create such a stunning movie on such a tight budget.

***** If you like what you see and would like to win some great Merch then Tom has given us some Pandorica swag to give-away; check below for more details *****

On how Pandorica came to be;

“In 2016 it is not good enough to just be a director anymore.  It is not good enough to say ‘oh I know what the story is in my head’ you need to know how to use the equipment, so that really influenced the making of the film because I knew we weren’t going to have a lot of money, and, i was making a different film and we had gone down a traditional route and had spoken to a hollywood sales agent and we were looking at a big budget and it was like George RR Martin in that ‘winter is coming’ but it never did. And I got really frustrated with that and thought that the industry as a whole needed a bit of a kick in the ass. 

At the independent level I kinda feel that we have ended up with the 1% and the 99% where films are either uber expensive or uber dirt cheap and that cool middle ground of 5 million or 10 million films, like our cult classics have sort of vanished and have been replaced with stuff that they definitely feel that is going to make them a profit because they are not willing to spend that 5 million anymore on a risk which means that filmmakers like me at the real bottom end that would typically go off and make a gangster film or ‘hey two guys wake up in a car park’ need to look at ways to push those boundaries.  

So I started a company called Film Label.  A marketing and distribution company. The idea was to create a product that looked really expensive, for not a lot of money, and could find a big audience and then try to bypass the system and almost get all the benefits you would from being a studio release without actually being a studio release.  That was eleven months ago.  So, eleven months ago I said ‘no problem I will go and write something’ . 

I wrote Pandorica last May, so it didn’t even exist this time last year, and that was out of frustration and when I was writing it I was very much thinking about the tech that was available to us that I thought we could utilise to maximise budget and this Camera, the Sony A7S was there and my original background is that people call me the ‘low light guy’ if you need something filmed in low light go get Tom Paton and he will do that for you.  So I was like ‘lets put that into the movie’ so I set the whole thing at night and we utilised this camera and we shot an insane level of low light that noone ever does anymore.”


On Lighting the Movie;

“We only had two lights on the whole movie.  One light we had was a typical 5k powerful film light but on a normal set you might end up with, particularly on a night time shoot, you would end up with maybe twenty or thirty of those lights and we had one.  We used the big light to sort of backlight the forest if you will, then we had one LED Panel which wasn’t very bright at all and normally in films you can get these big helium balloons that are like £2,000 a day to hire, so we needed to figure out a way to do that for ‘not’ £2,000 a day so we bought two wedding balloons that the bride walks around with and they were like £30.00 each and we filled them full of helium and tied it to the LED Panel and bounced the light off the balloon and what that did was give us this portable moonlight.   

We have all seen low budget films set at night and it is blatantly daylight and they have just gone ‘oh here is a blue filter’ but it was important for me that Pandorica actually was dark.  And I think that because of the way we shot it, it has got this aesthetic that is in keeping with the tone.  I don’t know whether that will catch on or not but I am already kinda in love with the way it looks so my next movie takes a lot of lessons I have learned from this one like ‘never play with fire on set’.  It is a continuity nightmare so we will be replacing that with LED suits so the next movie will be sort of like ‘Tron meets Running Man’, all outdoors, with a similar sort of look.”


On Effects;

“We could have done the CGI route and it would have been cheaper actually but for me it was about trying to capture that practicality of it you know?  We did try a few scenes where we put in shots of the ‘old’ world.  Like ruins and stuff.  Dont get me wrong, they looked fine you know but in my head I just (and I felt really sorry for the effects guys who had spent weeks and weeks putting these shots together) I just couldn’t lose the first version where they weren’t there and then we just settled into this groove i mean the film is set like generations after the world has been wiped out and these people actively stay away from the old world so the whole idea was lets only show sporadic parts of it and keep it away and that will help me develop the story later on. 

Perhaps we will develop a third film where the Old World is the point and we can explore that as a mythology but coming from a budget perspective I mean, we could have done it, but we would have ended up with that Sci-Fi channel feel and which, again, I like a good crap movie personally but I just felt it was important to just keep it as stripped and bare as possible really.”

On Budgets and Funding;

“When I wrote the script I actually wrote it for a £20,000 budget and we had sourced the locations and costumes and stuff and everyone initially was working for free.  Then, a company called Mirror came in and said that they would give us a bit more money and what happened then was that people got paid.  Everyone but me.  But not a lot either.  A lot of people were working for token fees and because they really believed in the project. 

Even with that amount of money though, twelve days.  The whole film was shot in twelve days and we were out of cash.  On a normal film you will shoot maybe half a page a day, at a push maybe a page.  We were doing eleven pages a day to stay on schedule and that is way more than TV as well so I think Pandorica proves that we can go at speed.”

“The whole point of the Film Label as a business model is that we essentially co-opted the music industry model from 2009.  These guys back then were like ‘sod the way Sony do it, lets do it our own way’.  The Music industry found a way to take people making music on their laptop at home and turn them into big hits by making these small record labels and I think that The Film Labels point is to become a small digital studio and that to me means that you need to embrace things like Amazon and Netflix you know.  I would be just as happy to see my film on someone’s phone on a bus as on the big screen.  And, we were never intending to go to Cinema so the fact that we ran in Cinemas for two weeks straight and have got a US theatrical run is proper crazy.  

On Piracy.

“Oh, you mean people stealing the movie?  I think it is time for film makers to just get real.  You just cannot fight a wave of change.  This happened to the music industry and is part of why the music industry changed its model to incorporate subscription based services and they tried all sorts of smart things which is something you will see when we release on Amazon and iTunes and stuff you will see that what we are doing is that when you buy the movie you get it for download and for stream and you also get a collectors Vinyl DVD. 

It is basically a DVD but inside a 12″ vinyl sleeve and every vinyl sleeve is numbered and the idea is that, yeah you can go and pirate the film, that is fine, but at the same time there is something in it for you as a consumer if you come and get it legit. But I think that trying to fight that wave of change is just impossible.  You just have to accept it as part of your model in that some people are going to steal it but maybe they will love it and really want that collectors vinyl and that is why they will come back and buy it.    

You need to give people a reason to want to buy your stuff and I think that the film industry has got to a place where it was almost ok for them to be super greedy.  You know, come to the Cinema and pay £20.00 to watch Avengers, and that is all you are getting, and you might end up sitting next to someone who just talks through the whole thing and then when it comes out on DVD, lets not adjust our DVD prices or give people the VOD or anything.  Things in the industry are changing though and the independent market needs to do the same.  We are being open with it though in saying ‘look, have the download, which you will probably put on Pirate Bay, but you will also get the stream and you will also get this collectors item that is yours as in it is your own unique piece of the film.”

In the Future;

“I have had a few offers to do other peoples scripts because I wrote this one as well.  I mean, I didn’t have very long to write it and I look at Pandorica and I mean, I wrote the whole thing in three weeks.  And then it was finished and I was like ‘lets go into pre-production’ which was probably bonkers and I feel that we are fortunate that we ended up with such a decent film.

“For the future.  I am interested in doing some TV work to get some pay cheques because I have proven that I can work at insane speeds but I am also interested in going back and doing this again. “

Tom Paton was speaking to Chris, Pete and Jen from Geek Pride.

Pandorica is on limited Theatrical release in the UK, on VOD and coming soon to Amazon and iTunes.


Pandorica Main Movie Poster Vimeo


For your chance to Win some of this Amazing Merch then all you need to do is like some pages, share the love and that’s it.. click the link below to enter and note that following our smaller social media pages are weighted with more entries, so you get more chances to win!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Prize breakdown is as follows and is sadlly for UK residents only

1st Prize – Hoodie, Limited edition Prequel Comic and Movie Poster.

2nd Prize – Hoodie and Poster.

3rd Prize – T-Shirt and Poster.

12 Runners up prizes of Movie Posters.

Black Hoodie – Medium.
Grey Hoodie – Large
T-Shirt – Medium


This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. We hereby release Facebook of any liability. Winner(s) will be contacted by email and or Private message after the giveaway ends. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send us an email!

By day, Chris owns a private security company and is terrified of his pet Shih Tzu. By night, he plays games and reads comics whilst keeping one eye on his evil pet Shih Tzu at all times.

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