Henry Burrows

Where are you from?

I'm originally from Brighton, but I now live in Farnham, Surrey. I've also lived in Manchester and Cheltenham.

Do you have much writing/directing experience? What was the first production you worked on?

I started making very short (and rubbish) films when I was about 15, using the family camcorder and very basic tape-to-tape editing. My first major production was Foiled, which took about 4 years from start to finish - very much in my spare time. Since then I've also made "The Jedi Who Loved Me" (a Star Wars fan-film) and "Sunday Night Zombies" (very cheesy), using my PC to edit and add special effects. I've also written lots of short stories and poems, which help provide inspiration for my films.

I like to think that although I'm far from a good screenwriter yet, I do understand a lot of the psychology involved in writing a film that people will find entertaining. And, no, it's not just a case of adding explosions, fast cars, and beautiful women!!

How did you get involved in Fluffy?

Er, I wrote it...

It all started late in the year 2000, when I decided I was ready to make another movie, and discussed various ideas with other members of the Foiled Productions team, Howell Parry, Steven McCombe and Adam Ahmad. Vampires seemed to be a popular choice, and I decided, after the success of our Star Wars fan-film, to make another fan-film - this time parodying Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Much of the film was written on the train between Farnham and London in November 2000, as I travelled back and forth to the London Film Festival. The final draft of the script made its appearance in January 2001.

I then advertised for cast and crew on a number of Buffy web pages and newsgroups, as well as offering roles to actors I've used before, and we held auditions in February.

Are you a Buffy fan?

I certainly am - I've been watching the series since it first started on BBC2, and I'm collecting the DVD box sets. What I like about it is that the scripts are generally of excellent quality, the actors have great chemistry, and the show has special effects that serve the plot, well-choreographed fights and a wicked sense of humour. What more could you ask for?

What have you gained from your involvement in Fluffy?

More experience in making movies, and lots of really cool friends.

Do you have any claims to fame? (E.g. meeting famous people, appearances on TV / stage etc.)

I've had quite a few "famous people encounters" in my time. I've met and talked to (briefly, unfortunately) Robert Rodriguez, John Landis, David Lynch and Darren Aronofsky (some of my favourite directors) - oh, and the director of Father Ted, Declan Lowney! I've met loads of other similar filmmakers to myself at various festivals, which is always fun.

Apparently I was on TV in April 2001, but I didn't see it.

Any hobbies / obsessions? (Things you enjoy doing)

My number one hobby is making films. Other than that - watching other people's films, travelling, food, and cycling (when the weather's good). I love forests for some reason... my regular cycle route takes me deep into a local forest, and it's relaxing to just laze around there for a while before continuing, especially in the summer when it's hot!

My love of travelling has so far taken me to France, Belgium, Holland, Italy, Germany, Austria, Greece, Turkey, Czech Republic, USA, and Canada... I loved wandering around the wilderness in Canada!

I also enjoy creating landscapes with Terragen, and used to enter my efforts in the monthly TerraCon competition.

Any amusing directing / production cock-ups (faux pas) - things going wrong on stage etc.?

One of the first scenes I shot on Foiled, shortly after buying a new camcorder, I left the date/time display turned on!! We had to go back and re-shoot it... Not very amusing, I admit, but my mind has gone blank!!

Any bizarre talents?

I can't think of any bizarre ones!

Any amusing / mad stories about things you've done, or have happened to you?

I've done a couple of sponsored hitch-hikes with Howell which were completely mad - the first one we made it to Paris, the second to Frankfurt in Germany. At one point we were in a car which was literally falling to pieces around us - doors falling off, holes appearing in the bodywork, oil pouring out - the driver picked it up from a scrapyard, was driving it into Germany, and was planning on leaving it there and finding something else to get him home!

Also I've flown a light attack fighter aircraft in a dogfight scenario in the skies over Los Angeles, against the Fluffy sound guy Shaun - thanks to Air Combat USA.  Out of our 6 dogfights, Shaun won 4, and I only won 2... and I have it all on video!

Any achievements you'd like to mention?

All the films I've made so far; watching your film with an audience is great fun - when they're enjoying it, of course! So far my films have played in festivals in six countries (UK, Ireland, Germany, Canada, Austria and Australia). A short spoof Diet Coke ad I made years ago has gone around the entire world many times on the internet - most people I meet have already seen it.

Any annoying habits? Are there any things that you say a lot?

I like to play practical jokes on people - on April 1st 2001 I emailed the cast saying that everything we shot the previous day was unusable and we'd have to do it all again... also if people start acting a scene before I'm ready, I like to wait a while before interrupting them with a call of "action!"

I tend to say "action" and "cut" a lot...

Favourite films?

The Blues Brothers, Cinema Paradiso (full version, not the more often seen cut-down one), The Conversation, Taxi Driver, Wings of Desire, Sleeper, Don't Look Now, The Shining, Chungking Express, Blue Velvet.

Favourite director(s) + actor(s) + actress(es)?

Directors: Woody Allen, Alfred Hitchcock, Abbas Kiarostami, Stanley Kubrick, Krzysztof Kieslowski, Sergio Leone, Martin Scorsese, Wong Kar Wai
Actors: Robert De Niro, Edward Norton, Johnny Depp, Nicolas Cage, Al Pacino
Actresses: Nicole Kidman, Natalie Portman, Alyson Hannigan, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Heather Graham

If you could meet one person dead or alive, who would it be?

No one in particular - I just like meeting film directors, actors and actresses...

What's your favourite fluffy thing?

Clouds. When flying, I love to just stare out at the clouds; it's almost like an alien landscape when you're above them, and quite hypnotic.

Favourite Fluffy-the-movie thing: all the wonderful people involved!