Two sleek black Jaguars cruise through the city, loud beats pumping from the sound system. People turn to stare. They have all been waiting for this day: friends, family and enemies alike. The Warlords are out and ready to take control.
In the Pepperhill Estate an ongoing battle rages between Triads and street gangs, fuelled by a quest for wealth, power, territory and respect but resulting only in violence. Ray and Terry, gang leaders, have been inside and in their absence the Triads have grown stronger and more daring. A revenge attack for the killing of gang member Kermit is called for and the gang turns to Terry and Ray for direction.
Cousins and lifelong friends, Ray and Terry have always trusted and relied on one another, but now Ray is talking of breaking the rules; he doesnt want to play gangsters anymore, he is looking for something else, something legitimate. But Terry, driven by an obsession far beyond friendship, is determined to make sure that Ray never leaves the gang.
Terry : GOLDIE
Ray : ANDREW GOTH
Bernie : DAVID BOWIE
Clare : RACHEL SHELLEY
Leon : CLINT DYER
Helen : SARAH SHACKLETON
Clinton : DAVID BAKER
Ken : PAUL HAWKYARD
Pat : GRAHAM BRYAN
Spider : DANNY PRICE
Nelson : TREN
Steven : ADRIAN PANG
Mr Chang : CHOOI KHENG BEH
Rays Mum : DOREEN INGLETON
Carl : SANCHEZ PALMER
Joanne : KYLIE SMITH
Claudette : VICKY BENNETT
Mo : CARL LEARMOND
Snake : KEVIN JOHN HARVEY
Geeg : JAIM DRAVEN
Simon : VINCENT DAVIES
Ian : PAUL COURTNENAY HYU
Begon : CALLUM COURTEY KELLY
Sandra : ALICIA EYO
Chinese Attacker 1 : JONATHAN CHAN-PENSLEY
Chinese Attacker 2 : PAUL CHAN
Jane : JOANNA NATA SA GARA
Chicken Shop Girl : SASHA FOOKS
Executive Producer : GUY COLLINS
Executive Producer : HEATHER PLAYFORD-DENMAN
Executive Producer : BJORG VELAND
Executive Producer : SIMON JOHNSON
Producer : JOANNE REAY
Line Producer : PAUL FRIFT
Director/Writer : ANDREW GOTH
Production Co-Ordinator : LORRAINE FENNELL
Assistant to the Producer : MARK COOPER
Production Assistant : JANE LORD
Runner/Driver : ROBERT HEATH
Location Manager : KEN HAWKINS
1st Asst. Director : KEN SHANE
2nd Asst. Director : PAUL MORRIS
3rd Asst. Director : JANINE LAW
Script Supervisor : CAROLINE OREILLY
Director of Photography : JULIAN MORSON
Camera Operator : MARTIN KENZIE
Camera Focus : ROBERT BINNALL
Clapper/Loader : ROBERT PALMER
Camera Grip : DAVID APPLEBY
Sound Recordist : MALCOLM DAVIES
Production Accountant : TERRY CONNORS
Production Designer : PAUL CROSS
Art Director : HELEN XENOPOULOS
Prop Buyer (London) : JANE HENWOOD
Prop Buyer/Set Dresser (IOM) : SALLY BLACK
Editor : JEREMY GIBBS
Casting Director : SARAH BIRD
Chief M-Up/Hair Artist : SIAN RICHARDS
Prosthetic M-Up Artist : COLIN WARE
Make-Up/Hair Artist : LESLEY LAMONT FISHER
Costume Designer : FFION ELINOR
Wardrobe Master : BRIAN MALAM
Publicity : JAC PUBLICITY
Unit Publicist : VIRGINIA NELSON
Stills Photographer : NICK WALL
Property Master : TONY FIORI
Set against the backdrop of the Pepperhill Estate, EVERYBODYLOVES SUNSHINE is an explosive account of gang warfare, exploring the violent yet glamorous world of the G-men, with their sharp suits, gleaming guns and flashy cars. Feared but idolised, hated but respected, these gangsters will stop at nothing to have absolute control in their territory.
Directed and written by Andrew Goth, EVERYBODYLOVESSUNSHINE stars drum & bass phenomenon Goldie and David Bowie (Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence). The supporting cast includes Rachel Shelley (Photographing Fairies) and Clint Dyer (Shopping), with Goth himself playing one of the lead roles. Produced by Joanne Reay, EVERYBODYLOVESSUNSHINE is a Gothic Films production for IAC Holdings Ltd with support from the Isle of Man Film Commission and BV Films International. Simon Johnson, Guy Collins, Heather Playford Denman and Bjorg Velland executive produced.
Goth wrote the script five years ago and it has since picked up several awards (1995 European Script Fund Award, 1996 Carl Foreman/BAFTA Award). It is largely based on his own personal experiences.
"I was brought up in the Manchester area and, from a young age, my brother and I were very aware of the gangs. I think anyone who has witnessed or heard about the brutal gang punishments has to make a choice. Youre either in or out and I realised that I was never going to come to terms with the violence. Both my brother and I found a different direction through music and, in my case, later through acting. But it was the people who I had lived with during this time who provided the inspiration for EVERYBODYLOVESSUNSHINE. There are incredibly talented people who own clubs and create whole new music sounds, but by night go out and fight with the gangs. This thought always stayed with me: it's a world where people constantly cross the line between the legitimate and illegitimate."
Andrew was determined to see his script made into a film and that he should direct. For the next five years he worked as an actor, but never lost sight of his vision, making sure he did something towards his film every day. In 1996 his work paid off and he cast Goldie in the role of Terry.
Goth explains: "It was a family connection really. My brother, Nicky, is a sound designer and was working on one of Goldies tours. He was well aware of the script and called one day and said: you know whod be brilliant for Terry? Goldie. Ive met him, and in the flesh hes just like Terry."
It all happened very quickly: Nicky set up a meeting, Goldie read the script, Andrew made him an offer and Goldie immediately accepted.
Goldie recalls: "I was in the studio in the West End and I was like yeah, yeah, okay. But he sent me a rough script and I liked it. I liked it because its different. Immediately the character of Terry reminded me of someone close to me, someone I know."
Goth says: "I knew that Goldie had a very dark past. There was a kind of mania about him; hes intelligent and extremely unpredictable. There was a connection between the real Goldie and Terry".
Goldie says: "Terry doesnt really know who he is. Hes a very bitter, brutal character who cares about nothing but his cousins love and keeping control of his empire. He preys on peoples weaknesses. He doesnt care. He has no boundaries."
Andrew and Goldie workshopped the whole piece together for about eighteen months and developed a strong bond which is evident both on and off screen. At this point it was decided that Andrew should play the part of Ray.
Goth explains: "Weve lived this for quite a long time. When Goldie would call the office he would ask to speak to Ray: in and out of character all the time. He still calls me Ray sometimes by mistake. It's a very thin line for Goldie between the real me and the character of Ray - we didnt want to lose that ."
With Goldie on board, Andrew now had a very viable and attractive project. The real turning point came when he met producer Joanne Reay in June of last year. She had heard of the script but knew very little about Andrew himself.
Joanne recalls: "One of the first things that struck me when I met Andrew was that anyone who had that level of dedication, to work on a project every day for five years, was somebody who would have the tenacity to see it through to the very end".
Andrew was looking for a producer who would have the faith to take the project for what it was. He wanted a professional opinion on how to get the film made, but most of all the producer had to have an absolute belief in the film. Up until that point, everybody involved was associated because of a genuine committment to the project; no-one was in it for the money. In Joanne he found the perfect match.
Joanne says: "When I read the script my feeling was that it had a sparsity and a tension to it that is really quite rare. It came from somebody who was obviously writing based upon a very personal experience. Andrew has an intuitive understanding of the world he is creating. The script didn't fall into the normal three acts. Its ending is very contentious and difficult to come to terms with. Everything about it seemed to be wrong and yet the whole thing about it was right."
"When I met Andrew and Goldie together, I immediately agreed that Andrew should play the part of Ray. The bond between them was very apparent and Andrew had all the right physical qualities. Ray had to have a very strong physical presence. He had to have a kind of contention."
With Joanne Reay on board, the first thing Andrew did was to take her to the North West of England so that she could fully understand the project she was working with.
Reay says: "It's a world which I knew nothing about. I'm a good Essex girl from a seaside town. I've never lived this life, seen these people. I've never even been to a club. The last time I went to a disco the nuns came in at 9.30pm and turned the lights on - it was about 1977! So it a was a totally different world for me."
Joanne then set about getting the finance in place. The first person she approached was Guy Collins of IAC Holdings Ltd.
Reay says: "I knew that Guy at IAC genuinely likes a good thriller and I was intrigued to know what he would make of EVERYBODYLOVESSUNSHINE. He was not familiar with the lifestyle or the club scene, so I wanted to know if he would enjoy the script purely on the strength of being a cracking good thriller."
Guy Collins liked the script very much and was quick to secure a deal with Reay. He trusted Andrews judgement in terms of how the script was shaped and how the ending should be. He also recognised that Goldie was at a point in his career where his profile was growing and he was becoming more mainstream and generally accessible.
With IAC on board, Joanne then took the script to the Isle of Man Film Commission who responded extremely enthusiastically.
David North MHK Minister for the Department of Trade and Industry says: "We weigh up every film on a commercial basis. In my opinion, this film is going to be very successful. Weve supported all sorts of films but this is very different to anything weve done before."
At this point Joanne contacted executive producer Simon Johnson who she knew had worked on the Isle of Man before and had built up a good relationship with the film commission.
Johnson says: "I had met Joanne in Cannes and we had talked then about the plusses of filming on the Isle of Man. She came to me with EVERYBODYLOVESSUNSHINE and asked whether I thought shooting on the island would be a good move, bearing in mind that we had to replicate a city in the North West of England. I said that it would work so long as we filmed for one week in an inner city. Filming on the Isle of Man is very easy because its quiet, it provides a wide range of locations and its cheap in terms of accommodation etc. Also, the Isle of Man Film Commission is more than just a film commission. It is a funding body in itself and puts finance into pictures to attract them to the island."
Joanne Reay decided that they would shoot the first week in Liverpool and then move to the Isle of Man. They returned to Liverpool for the last day to shoot a scene the local dance club, Cream. The Merseyside Moving Image Development Agency, which is there to encourage films to be shot in Liverpool, also invested £20,000 in the project.
With the finance in place, IAC took EVERYBODYLOVESSUNSHINE to the Italian film market, MIFED, in October 1997.
Reay says: "Its a very business-like affair and its very hard to move unknown product. The only way we were going to sell the film was if we could get people to read the script. There were no big names attached that we could put up to draw people into our booth, so we sat there wondering if anyone would come in. The first person to take a script was Scandinavian distributor Bjorg Veland of BV Film. She came back 2 hours later and said that she wanted to buy EVERYBODYLOVESSUNSHINE. She was followed by buyers from Mexico, Russia, Brazil and Italy and suddenly there was a real buzz about the project. Word had got out and everybody was interested. The very fact that we were totally unknown started working for us. Distributors were aware that there was a huge potential audience to whom the film would speak. Potentially, here was a commercial goldmine."
Andrew and Joanne then set about casting the film. Quite a few of the characters are played by people Andrew met while he was working as an actor: Paul Hawkyard (Ken) he met on Ladies Night; Sarah Shackleton (Helen) and David Baker (Clinton) he worked with in theatre productions; Danny Price (Spider) he grew up with and has known for years.
Leon was the first major role to be cast after Terry. Andrew chose Clint Dyer.
Goth explains: "I knew Clints work and I had filed him away for the future. Id seen him in a lot of theatre productions and had a great respect for him as an actor. Leon represents the potential alternative life. Hes an ordinary person just trying to get on with it. He found a way out early enough so that he never got sucked into the gangs; hes a reminder that alongside the gang-warfare in the Pepperhill Estate, life goes on. But hes also a reminder that ordinary, innocent people can become victims."
Dyer says: "Andrew Goth came to see a play that I was in about three or four years ago and told me about the script. Years later, when the finance was in place, he came back to me and offered me the part of Leon. Leon is the good guy: he is against the gangs because they are bringing drugs into the area. He is the moral conscience of the story."
Clare was one of the hardest characters to cast and Rachel Shelley was one of last people to audition for the part.
Goth remembers: "I saw about thirty girls. I was looking for the kind of striking physical beauty that stands out in any room. Its a part of the gangsters way of life. They have the best cars, the best clothes and the best women. They dont go out with women for their conversation. But theres another side to Clare: shes intelligent and strong and dangerous. The actress had to have the right look, but equally she had to come across as being physically and psychologically strong. With Rachel it was a very instinctive thing: I always said that Id know Clare as soon as I saw her."
Rachel says: "Its a strong female role in a film which is dominated by men and male egos. Although Clare does become a victim, she shows a determination throughout. Even when shes at her lowest, beaten and kidnapped, her strength comes through. Shes not a passive person. Right through to the end she doesnt crumble - shes still giving Terry that full on, one-eyed contact (through her one remaining eye!)!"
She says of Goldie: "Hes great. When he saw me for the first time with my prosthetic make-up on, he was horrified. He couldnt believe what his character had done to me. He was saying I dont want to play Terry anymore. Hes really nasty! Goldies a softie really."
A final casting coup was still to come. When Rachel heard that she would be acting alongside David Bowie, who had been cast as Bernie, she was thrilled.
Rachel says: "He was the only person I ever had a poster of when I was a kid. Thats a big deal! But, of course, as soon as Id met him and shaken hands with him he was just like anybody else. I feel very lucky to have worked with him."
Bernie was the last main character for Andrew to cast. At first, he was wary about choosing someone as high profile as Bowie. The other actors were relatively unknown and he didnt want Bowie to overshadow them.
Goth says: "In terms of importance within the script, the character of Bernie is fundamental. Its a very difficult role: hes the good bad guy. The association with David came through Goldie. David was so enthusiastic about the project - from the very first meeting I knew I had made the right decision:."
Goldie says: "I told David that I had a great script and that he should take a look at it. Davids very open-minded, but I wouldnt have told him about it if I didnt think hed be good for the part. Bernie is the organisation man, someone to listen to and respect. I thought the part would suit him."
Bowie says: "I was at school with blokes like Goldie. Hes completely irresponsible, lovely, a real terror. We worked together last year, in fact thats how this thing first started, for me at least. Goldie was making his album and I worked on one of the tracks. While we were in the studio he said here David... and I said did you say film script? And he said, yeah, Ive got a script that me and my mate have been working on and theres this bloke, Bernie, youd be great for that part. Ill send it to you. And of course I didnt believe him. I thought yeah, yeah, Ive heard it all before. And he sent it to me and I liked it and I said Id like to do it with him."
Goth says: "Every Warlord needs someone like Bernie. Hes the smart guy. The money launderer who gets the money in, cleans it up and gets it back out again. Bernie probably started out in the East End and worked his way up through the ranks. Hes very old skool and lives by a code. He has found himself working for Terry and it goes against everything Bernie knows about the way the world works. Terry has no code and no morals. Bernie is also gay which is absolutely taboo. Terry uses this against him."
Bowie says of Bernie: "When he was younger, when he was working with the East End gangs, there was more of a code. Bernie probably liked Terry at one time but now hes become a bit of a loose cannon, a bit of a snapper. Bernies loyalty stops when the idea of code breaks down. In fact its more than loyalty, its a question of trust. There comes a point when he does draw a line and decides its time to get out."
Goth says: "One of the things we found out about Bowie is that he's totally fascinated with the gangland culture of London in the 1970s. The notorious Richardson gang were very well known to Bowie and I think it appealed to him that he was actually going to get to play someone like them! In fact, the razor blades which you see sewn into Bernies lapels were Bowies idea. Its a very traditional gang trick which he had read about."
Bowie says: "Andrew is very focused and pretty much unflappable. He doesnt lose it and I think thats a great thing for a director to have. Hes got the patience of Job!"
EVERYBODYLOVESSUNSHINE started its 6 week shoot on February 21st 1998. Andrew had realised his dream. Five years hard work had paid off.