Interviews: Director Thomas Lawes Talks About His Upcoming Serial Killer Movie Monochrome

Thomas Lawes’ Monochrome premieres on VOD and DVD this June from Gravitas Ventures.

Featuring BAFTA winner James Cosmo (TV’s Game of Thrones, Braveheart), the killer-thriller focuses on a disillusioned young woman who becomes a serial killer targeting wealthy land-owners, forcing a brilliant detective to use his unusual neurological condition to track her down.

Jo Woodcock (Dorian Gray), Singer songwriter Cosmo Jarvis, Patrice Naiambana (Highlander: The Source), Lee Boardman (Jack & The Giant Slayer), Steve Jackson (TV’s Coronation Street) and Liz May Brice (Alien vs. Predator) make up the ensemble cast.

From genre specialist Devilworks, Monochrome releases on June 6th on VOD and DVD.

It was after he shot a short film featuring a female serial killer that filmmaker Thomas Lawes decided to flesh the subject out into feature-length. The result is Monochrome, released in June. 

TMS: One can only assume that Monochrome might be based on something that you’ve seen in the newspaper? It definitely plays real?

TL: I do read a lot of news and normally make months or even years of notes before I start a script. Monochrome isn’t based on a specific news story but certainly elements in there are real. For example the British Crime Agency is based on the National Crime Agency, the UK version of the FBI that had recently founded. I thought it would be interesting to set the story against that real life backdrop and imagine what it would be like to start a national police force.

TMS: When did you get involved in this one?

TL: We’d made a short film called Three Sides of the Coin about a female serial killer and liked the idea of extending it into a feature film.

TMS: What films would you compare it to?

TL: It’s always difficult to compare your own work to others but I would say it’s influenced by film makers I loved when I first started out such as Sergio Leone, Takeshi Kitano and of course Scorsese, even though I’m sure it’s nothing like one of their masterpieces to an impartial viewer! 

TMS: Are you surprised that there haven’t been more films made about female serial killers?

TL: Women make up a tiny minority of multiple murder cases but they do exist. I liked the idea of Emma being physically small and innocent looking. It makes it easier for her to gain the trust of her victims and all the more surprising when she overcomes them with violence.

TMS: Was it a hard role to cast?

TL: I’d already cast Jo Woodcock in the preceding short so that was an east decision. Gabe, the detective tasked with tracking her down, was more difficult though and we held auditions for a number of days before we found Cosmo Jarvis.

TMS: Can we ask what’s next for you?

TL: I’m currently working on a silent film called Amaryllis about a skater girl who in a bid to move away from her abusive and alcoholic mother, becomes a courier for a local drug dealer. It’s the first silent film to be made in the UK for 80 years and will also have live electronic soundtrack.