Bethan Leadley and Cherry Wallis are among the YouTubers starring in upcoming Sci-Fi horror sequel Hungerford 2. TenEighty took a trip to the post-apocalyptic set to get the behind-the-scenes gossip.
Produced by Wildseed Studios and directed by Drew Casson, Hungerford 2 is the story of the wandering survivors of an alien invasion. Bethan and Cherry play sisters in the movie, Cherry tells us. “I play a character called Sam Murdoch, and my little sister is Chloe, played by Bethan”. These are no small cameo appearances, as the movie follows the sisters through a ruined Britain. “We have to evacuate and its about surviving”.
“The first film was an alien invasion from, basically, a little boy’s perspective,” says Drew, who was 18 when he began work on the original film. “And this one is about the aftermath of that. A group of survivors must tow the line between brutality and humanity, inching ever closer to losing themselves entirely.”
The story unfolds in a found-footage style akin to Cloverfield or Paranormal Activity. “A lot of it is from my perspective as I’m behind the camera,” says Bethan. Worry not, however, as Bethan will get plenty of screen-time herself. “There are a lot of shots where I’m on camera or the camera’s down so you do see a lot of me in the film. A lot of it is vocal though. You get a lot of my voice.” Whether that means we can expect a MusicalBethan soundtrack remains to be seen!
Drew’s decision to bring on fresh talent for the sequel led him to Bethan and Cherry. “The lead characters from the first film are still very primary,” he says. “But we wanted the perspective of the second film to come from a younger character”.
Wildseed Creative Director and co-writer of the movie Jesse Cleverly told us the decision to cast Bethan and Cherry was an easy one. “Both Cherry and Bethan spent a day working with our acting coach Sarah Perugia, and after that we knew these were talented women and we could make it work.” Wildseed is not blind to the potential interest generated by hiring popular YouTubers but, as Jesse puts it “if they can’t act, the film is sunk!” Luckily, Cherry and Bethan were up to the challenge. “I think when people see the final cut they will agree – they are both amazing in it,” says Jesse.
Though the YouTube ladies had little acting experience before signing up, they were put through their paces by Drew, Jesse and the movie’s creative team before the cameras rolled. “We had a month full of rehearsals with all the cast” says Cherry. “They wanted to make sure everyone really understood what their character was about”.
Working from story and character outlines, a lot of the actual dialogue was improvised by the cast in rehearsal, before being turned into a script. “We created a lot of the script ourselves,” says Bethan. “We were all creating our own characters and I think that’s why it works so beautifully ‘cause it’s all how we actually felt.”
Cherry and Bethan were not the only YouTuber talent present on set, with Stuart Ashen, Jamie Paul and Mawaan Rizwan playing a collection of creepy bad guys who terrorise our heroes. Jamie refers to his character as a “psycho”, so fingers crossed everything turns out okay!
Cherry tells us that the often gruelling shoot brought the cast and crew together. “We’ve become like this really tight knit family and so I’m going to be really sad to go and leave them all,” she says. “It’s really hard to explain but you’re part of something that’s so awesome”. Bethan agrees, telling us “Everyone is so, so passionate. Everyone that’s involved really cares about the film, and it’s just really, really refreshing. It’s just… I’m getting emotional, fuck! It’s a great film. Everyone’s lovely and everyone really cares.”
While we dry our eyes, let’s hand over to Jesse for the lowdown on what we can expect from the film: “A mixture of big scale special effects and great action sequences but above all, a portrait of a group of people who you believe in and care about surviving an apocalypse.” Drew also emphasises the importance of the small stories against the blockbuster backdrop, saying “Whatever’s happening in the foreground is about the human stories, the human connections and decisions that they’re making. The fact they’re on a world turned upside down is literally just in the background”.
With the first rough cut of the film “in the bag”, keep your eyes peeled for the an announcement of the release date by following @WildseedStudios and @TenEighty on Twitter. In the meantime, catch up with the first Hungerford film on Amazon and iTunes.
Wildseed also produced the first series of Paul Neafcy’s Phillip Human. TenEighty attended the screening and found out what Liam Dryden and Matt Ley thought of it. Alternatively, why not check out some of the following:
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