BL&F 19: LYDIA McFERRAN INTERVIEW
Lydia McFerran played Francis in Django Away!, the fan who wants Hutchings' autograph in the final scene of the film.
Hugh Moir: How did you meet Daniel Hutchings?
Lydia McFerran: I first met him when I was born because he is in fact my uncle. So I've grown up listening to his ideas about films and things. I remember the first major thing was Hutchings' Half Minute which he uploaded on YouTube.
Did you like watching that?
Me, my brother and my sister used to love watching them, especially my brother, he thought they were hilarious. His favourite episode was where Daniel disappears into his own jumper (Modern Magician). We used to have to sit and watch this on the telly over, and over, and over again.
When did you first hear about Django Away?
I remember him talking about Django Away a couple of years ago. We all thought it would just be another YouTube upload but, little did we know, that we would all play a major part in this film.
How did you get involved?
We went to visit him and we all thought we were going to go for a bit of shopping in town but Daniel said "Oh, we need to drop by this little church hall for a while". So we all went along, just thinking it'd take a few minutes. We went in and, strangely, there was cakes everywhere, bowls of Hoola Hoops, just odd things like this around. Then he kind of pointed us in different directions saying "Oh, just stand here for a minute and do this" and "Just say this" and then we just went off, didn't think much of it, just another YouTube video.
"....didn't think much of it, just another YouTube video". McFerran's first shoot o Django Away!
At what point were you cast as Francis the Fan?
A while later Dan rang me up saying he was looking for a young person to play Francis in the final scene of the film and asked if I was ok learning dialogue. I said yes. I did do a lot of preparation on my own, but also, when I went to visit Dan, we spent a little time practising together so I knew how to react to the other characters. We worked a lot on the intonation of my dialogue because, without giving too much away, my lines are crucial to whether the final joke of the film will land.
McFerran with Tony Callaghan and Vicia Hauser in the final scene.
What was your most satisfying moment on set?
Dan would squeal with laughter when I'd done a good take. So it was reassuring to know that I'd done well (laughs).
What are your favourite moments of Django Away?
When Django continuously falls over in the field. I'm not sure why that made me laugh so much, but it did, and I still find it really funny to this day. Second of all, when Joe King and Django have the final run-in near the end of the film is just hilarious. I find the character of Joe King great and I think he's one of my favourites. When you finally do meet Joe King after waiting almost the entire film for this moment, it's just this ridiculous part of the film and it just gets even more and more ridiculous and it just makes me laugh every single time.
What was it like to see the final film?
When I had seen the film it was kind of this proud moment because you've heard your entire life all these great ideas and aspirations Dan's had and when you finally see it, and the lights come up, I was really proud and it was just a great moment.
Did Django Away! turn out how you expected it?
Well, in a way I knew it was going to be great but also it turned out very different because throughout the whole making of the film I only knew these two parts that I was going to be in in detail. So when I did finally see it, it was different to how I thought it was going to be and all the other scenes were totally different to each other but related a lot. So, yeah, it's kind of weird to think that it just went from this little idea and now to this big film. It's great. And, like the episode of Hutchings' Half Minute, my brother and sister were totally obsessed with this film and when we received the DVD it was also on the telly over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over again (laughs).
Francis gets the joke.
Extracts of this interview were used for the What4 Film Specials that Presents Inc made to promote Django Away!