“I want to show the underbelly of Brighton” Interview with cast and director of Brighton Based Movie, The Holly Kane Experiment

Published On August 18, 2016 | By Matthew Hughes | Homepage, Theatre & Arts Features

We drop in on the set of new Brighton based feature film The Holly Kane Experiment and meet the director and stars.

The thriller charts the story of an obsessive experimental psychologist whose fear of insanity drives her attempts to reprogramme her subconscious mind. When her actions become increasingly uncharacteristic, she fears her experiment is dangerously out of control. The director sums it up nicely: “it’s a disturbing psychological thriller about mind control.”

The holly kane experiment

Tom Sands

The second feature from director Tom Sands, the film was written by his father, Mick Sands. The story sprang from Mick’s interests in mind control and conspiracy theories, and explores the idea that maintaining our sanity means trusting our feelings over our thoughts.

For Tom, Brighton was the perfect location. “I love it here, it’s quite under used as a film location. We filmed at the Royal Pavilion, on the beach, under the pier, in a load of pubs and restaurants, on the streets, the marina. It’s normally only used like a postcard and I think there’s much more to it than that.”

“When you do see it, it’s always the pier or the lanes and I wanted to show the underbelly of Brighton. Everything’s weathered which I like, there’s rust everywhere which really fits in with the theme of the film ”

Tom helmed the intense seventeen day shoot that included filming at sixty eight locations in Brighton and London. I dropped in on day nine of their hectic schedule as they were wrapping up a long day of filming in Hove’s The Float Spa.

Among the crew were students of the Brighton Film School. “Our grip, digital imaging technician and a couple of runners are from the school, they’re doing internships counting towards their degree which is really cool,” Says Tom. “I think it’s the best way to learn. I just started making films. That’s why it’s great we’ve got them here learning on the job, under pressure. ”

Kirsty Averton plays Holly Kane, an intelligent and determined but troubled psychologist who has to deal with romance, madness and chase scenes. Nicky Henson, whose long career in film and TV includes parts in Downton Abbey and Oscar nominated Syrianna, plays Marvin, the shady government type who falls in love with Holly.

The holly kane experiment

Kirsty Averton and Nicky Henson

They’ve both spent most of their time in Brighton shooting in the early morning sunlight to avoid the crowds.”We’ve been in lots of restaurants really early, and then the staff starts to arrive and start cooking and banging” laughs, Nicky. Kirsty nods in agreement.”We were on the pagoda restaurant in the marina. That was quite funny, you almost forget you’re floating. We’ve got some filming in the pavilion which should be interesting and quite a challenge too, because obviously it’s really busy and we’ve only got a certain amount of time”

Matthew Neal, who plays Gower, the muscle to Marvin’s scheming, has enjoyed filming in Brighton. “It’s been a while since I’ve been in Brighton, it’s changed a lot. Changing for the better.  You’ve got your nice Small Batch Coffee and decent restaurants these days.”

I finished my tour of the set by asking Tom if he has any words of advice for budding young Brightonian film makers. “I’d just say don’t be afraid of making mistakes because you’re going to make loads. Make as many mistakes as you can. Keep cocking up until you get somewhere.”



About The Writer

is a Brighton based writer and the editor of We Love Brighton. He's rather fond of cinema, walking, travelling and lots of other stuff.

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