Hamish Downie Has Five Questions with Mirror Box Films

Editor Note: Hamish has another in his series of Five Questions With…

Hamish came up with this idea because he was accumulating too much material for his Famous News Sushi column and asked if he could do these mini-interviews. Why would we say no?

Thank you Hamish for being such a trooper for us. We really appreciate all for your hard work.

Let us know what you think of these interviews in the comments below.


Following the Delay of their Feature Film Release, Mirror Box Films Publishes After the Fall: A Post-Apocalyptic Anthology to Help Provide an Outlet for Underserved Voices.

TGG: Thanks for agreeing to be interviewed today. So, can you tell us… Who is Mirror Box Films?

MBF: Mirror Box Films is a movie production company and online community out of Atlanta, GA. We tell elevated genre stories (sci-fi, fantasy, horror, action) that ask big questions about humanity and provide a platform for others to do the same. Our debut feature film, the post-apocalyptic coming-of-age film “This World Alone”, will be released in the Fall of 2020.

TGG: Can you tell us more about “This World Alone”

MBF: This World Alone is an independent feature film about three women living in seclusion following a cataclysmic event that left the Earth without technology or power. Sam (Belle Adams), a book-obsessed girl in her late teens, is raised by her strict, “only the strong survive” mother, Connie (Carrie Walrond Hood), and their optimistic, earthy friend Willow (Sophie Edwards). After an accident, it’s up to Sam to head out of her protective home for the first time and journey to a nearby settlement for help. Along the way she meets Dart (Lau’rie Roach), a young man out on a “walkabout” attempting to prove himself to his overbearing father-figure. The two of them come of age together as they face the physical and emotional challenges of a world reclaimed by nature.

As parents (and children of parents), we wanted to explore the concept of nature vs. nurture and the difficulties of raising a child in a world that seems to say that you have to take advantage of others in order to rise to the top. One of the big questions we’re exploring in the film is if there’s room for empathy and humility in a “dog-eat-dog” world. A theme that feels more timely than ever.

TGG: Sounds great. We can’t wait for the movie. So, how closely are the stories in “After the Fall” tied to the film?

MBF: There is no direct tie-in to the movie other than exploring the same themes and questions and all the stories being set in post-apocalyptic worlds.

TGG: So tell us… where did the idea for “After the Fall” come from and what is a movie company doing releasing a book?

MBF: Indie filmmakers today face an uphill battle. Not only are we competing with all the major Hollywood conglomerates for audience’s eyeballs, but competition is getting stiffer amongst each other as well film gets cheaper to create. Additionally, streaming services have driven down the value of a film as we’re used to having access to thousands of movies for a few dollars a month. Filmmakers are doing all they can to think outside of the box in order to build audiences and we had big plans to do just that with our debut feature film, This World Alone.

Taking a page from how musicians adapted to digital habits, we set out to book a tour of colleges and arthouse theaters in the Spring of 2020 (and sell merch) in order to bring in extra revenue and to get the attention of audiences. These event-style screenings would’ve had a local author from each city come out to do a reading, and it would be an interactive night connecting audiences and filmmakers as a way for us to offer something Hollywood studios can’t: personal connection.

TGG: Sounds a lot like watch Naomi McDougall Jones did with her film “Bite Me”.

MBF: That’s right. Then, ironically for a post-apocalyptic film, the pandemic hit and all our bookings got cancelled. However, one idea for bonuses to sell at these screenings was an anthology of post-apocalyptic fiction, giving a platform for all those authors we wanted to partner with, and After the Fall was born. As opposed to waiting until we’re able to do the live tour again, we decided to release the book online.

It has been the goal of Mirror Box Films from the very beginning to not only release great movie content, but to provide a platform for other creative storytellers who might not have a place to do that. So we collected 30 of our favorite post-apocalyptic short stories, comics, and poetry in a book that looks beautiful on your coffee table and 50% of all proceeds goes directly to the contributors.

TGG: So, I have to ask… Isn’t it a little off-color to be releasing a post-apocalyptic book in the current climate?

MBF: Au contraire! I think we need these stories right now more than ever. Oftentimes, telling stories about our current culture is met with division. We all have opinions about how things are and how things should be. But great science fiction opens our minds up to seeing or present through the lens of the future. Allegory allows us to empathize in ways that current events do not. After the Fall features stories of hope and beauty in the face of adversity as well as a few that are more of a cautionary tale style, depending on how you like your apocalyptic fiction.

TGG: Aside from the movie, what inspired these stories?

MBF: We are drawn to post-apocalyptic fiction, not because we love celebrating the end of things, but because we love celebrating new beginnings. We long for a return to more simple times. A clean slate. A place where anything is possible. After the Fall explores all the ways our world can fall apart—aliens, zombies, pandemics, mutants, technological failures, environmental disasters, and more—but what’s really important is how we respond to those events. You’ll find stories of survival, hope, ingenuity, and reinvention as well as a few cautionary tales. From Robert Carnes’s story of a zombie-apocalypse obsessed suburbanite (that doubles as a commentary on social anxiety) in Dead Man’s Party; to Adriana & Jamie Howard’s June & Zeke, a Pixar-rivaling, illustrated story of a girl and her robot; to Exuviae, a real-time thriller by Angie Farella & Alli Thiss exploring the end of the world through the eyes of a college student longing for home; to Jonny Sims’s Regular Reggie, a body horror comic whose imagination flows as freely as its ink; these stories represent a truly diverse group of styles and voices.

TGG: How did you select your contributors?

MBF: We reached out through friends, family, and followers as well as posting for open submissions in various post-apocalyptic fiction and comic book communities. We had over 50 entries and we read every single one of them, having to make some tough decisions before deciding on the 30 that make up the book.

The anthology features the works of over 30 authors and artists including: Martin Allen, Allison Bannister, Nathan Cabaniss, Robert Carnes, Andres Catter, Brad Cole, Angie Farella & Alli Thiss, Justin Fredericksen, Austin Allen Hamblin, Adriana & Jamie Howard, CK Kimball, Udhaya Kulandaivelu, Brent Lambert-Zaffino, Stephen Landry, James Louise, Bill Masuku, Colby McHugh, Brent Michal, Alex Oakley, Gustoph Oatlan, Joe Palana, Hudson Phillips, D. C. Polk, Colby Pryor, Bijoy Raveendran, Jonny Sims, Kate Sobelle, Avery Ward, and Adam Yeater.

TGG: So, how can we best support you, and when can we watch the movie “This World Alone”?

MBF: We are currently in talks with a distribution company and the film will be released in Fall 2020. Visit ThisWorldAlone.com to learn more.

The book is available now on Amazon.com



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We also have a podcast you can listen to:

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WE'VE GOT A PODCAST! Check it out now on our site (LINK IN BIO)! We are available literally everywhere you listen to podcasts. In Episode 1, @hudsonphillips and @thesonyaamay talk through BEGINNINGS. They explore what this whole Mirror Box Films thing is, address the fear that comes from new beginnings and discuss "finding your why" in each new thing you start. Then, in Episode 2, @afrolectric and @thelargelebowski host a new monthly segment called "Study Up" where they'll take one topic surrounding our monthly theme, go out and explore it, and come back and report about what they learned. This week, they tell us how they started their first podcast @shotforshotcast! ⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #genrefilm #productioncompany #indie #scifi #fantasy #horror #film #filmmakers #geeky #awesome #community #writing #writers #indiefilm #mirrorbox #mirrorboxfilms #podcast #mirrorboxpodcast

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