Howard J Ford chats about his movie Never Let Go which has its UK TV premiere June 3rd on Legend
By James Whittington, Tuesday 30th May 2023

Ahead of Legend's UK TV Premiere of revenge thriller NEVER LET GO on Saturday June 3rd, director Howard J Ford reflects on a near family tragic experience, the importance of locations and returning to his horror genre roots.

LC: Your nail-biting revenge thriller NEVER LET GO is having its channel premiere on LEGEND, excited or what?

HJF: It's always exciting to know one of your movies is going to be on the telly and watched by thousands at one time rather than one streamer at a time! I fine I feel totally different when I watch a broadcast of my film, it accentuates my cringe at all the things I could have done better! Ha.

LC: Looking back at the making of the movie, what memories stand out for you?

HJF: It was a hell of an experience shooting Never Let Go amongst the twisty, turns of the Marrakesh streets. I recall running round with a fully laden Steadicam following our wonderful star Angela Dixon and dripping with so much sweat I almost could not see anything and that I might die of heatstroke at any minute!

LC: You've gone on record as saying the film was inspired by a near-tragic experience with your son. Can you tell us more?

HJF: Yes - to say I was 'Frantic' is an understatement. I thought my 3-year-old son had been abducted from a holiday resort I was at. I was running around looking for him shouting like a lunatic and I was convinced he has been taken. I remember seeing a guy loading something into the back of a small open back car, like a lump in a sack and I was going to leap on him from a huge height, that turned out to be vegetables. My mind was going at 1000 miles an hour. In the end, he was at the bottom of the swimming pool and I only just found him in time. The 'miss' was so near, it affected me greatly and I wanted to make a film where a mother had everything against her in a race against time to get her child back. I even cast my son as a kidnapped kid!


LC: The casting of Angela Dixon as Lucy is inspired. How did you discover her?

HJF: Angela Dixon is an amazing talent and a lovely lady to boot. We had met at a networking event in Cannes and I checked her showreel and realised she was talented and we were both into fitness and 5 years later I needed someone for this part and BOOM, Angela sprang to mind and off we went to Morocco... I love meeting actors and you just never know when you can cast them.

LC: The locations are pretty spectacular, as in all of your films. Is this an important element of the filmmaking process for you?

HJF: Thanks. It really is and the locations are a huge part of the adventure I want to take audiences on. Just like Africa in The Dead, India in The Dead 2, I really like to take my audiences somewhere very different from their living room with a couch in it. I want them to 'feel' it and sense it and locations are a huge part of that.

LC: You wrote and produced, as well as directed NEVER LET GO. Do you think having independent creative freedom was crucial to what you wanted to achieve with this film?

HJF: I did, I also camera operated and all sorts and that 'hands on' element was important to me. It's an indie film. No one commissioned it or financed it, I just went and did it as I was desperate to turn that awful feeling I had experienced into something real that could be seen and somehow exorcised from me. It was a scramble with a small band of crew but everyone did a super job both on and off screen.


LC: As an independent filmmaker, what do you find are the greatest frustrations?

HJF: Normally it's the fact you don't have the money to make the film so indie film makers spend 90% of their time chasing money and not actually making films which is the thing they fell in love with. Also you don't have a 'money hose' so to speak to wash away your practical and technical problems so that puts you in the corner all too often. You have to think on your feet, often on your hands and knees!

LC: Fast-forwarding, you've returned back to your horror genre roots with your latest films ESCAPE and DARKGAME. Tell us what you can about both films?

HJF: Yes, DarkGame has it's first screening this Cannes and has an amazing cast headed by Ed Westwick who was the star of Gossip Girl. A super performance; he plays Ben a detective in a race against time to stop the presenter of a warped online live murder show on the dark web. Producer Tom George did a super job of developing the film so on this one I had his great support and an amazing team. Escape which is my 10th feature film as director - again we're back to my indie roots and it's shot on a desert island. A Beautiful holiday destination where ten young women (a lovely ensemble headed by 'Scream Queen' Sarah Alexandra Marks and Sophie Rankin) kidnapped for sex trafficking by a heinous gang - their lead villain played by Sean Cronin who was in Mission Impossible and a Bond movie to name but a few. It's a revenge thriller and the girls are not going to take it lying down. It should be a real heart pumper and somewhat of a blast!

LC: When can we expect to see them?

HJF: Both DarkGame and Escape should be out before the end of the year. We don't have the release dates yet and you generally have to wait for the US to release first but as soon as we have them I'll shout it loud!

LC: Finally, what else does 2023 hold for you?

HJF: I'm working on another film from the team we worked with on The Ledge. Writer Tom Boyle and Producer Fred Hedman of GFM Films. We're very excited about this one and I hope it's another nail biter - about a family on an adventure trip in an RV that turns nasty when an altercation with a gang of hells angles becomes a fight to the death! News on this soon.

LC: NEVER LET GO airs on Legend on Saturday 3rd June, 9pm.

Related show tags: NEVER LET GO, THE DEAD, THE DEAD 2
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By James Whittington, Thursday 23rd November 2023
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Strap yourself in for a seasonal tsunami of action and suspense this December as LEGEND unwraps a six-pack of Channel premieres including ESCAPE PLAN 2, the second instalment of the electrifying franchise, with Sylvester Stallone and Dave Bautista once again starring. There's also a first showing for MAN DOWN, with Shia LaBeouf and Gary Oldman headlining this gripping, post-apocalyptic thriller.

Other channel premieres include gruelling crime thriller SOUTHERN FURY, starring Nicolas Cage, siege drama ROGUE HOSTAGE with Tyrese Gibson and John Malkovich, cult Western THE SPOILERS, starring screen legends John Wayne and Marlene Dietrich and BONE TOMAHAWK, in which Kurt Russell s...

LEGEND reveals twelve turbo-charged premieres for November, including an All-Out Action Season
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LEGEND has 11 premieres for you this October!
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Superior crime and action movies feature this month with the Channel premieres for remarkable Brit true-crime story THE HATTON GARDEN JOB, starring Larry Lamb, Phil Daniels and Matthew Goode, London gangster drama ASSASSIN, starring Danny Dyer, neo-noir thriller SEA OF LOVE, starring Al Pacino and Ellen Barkin, action comedy BIRD ON A WIRE, starring Mel Gibson and Goldie Hawn, revenge crime thriller ACTS OF...

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There also Channel premieres for cat-and-mouse mystery thriller MOJAVE, starring Mark Wahlberg, Canadian heist thriller PRECIOUS CARGO, starring Bruce Willis, epic sword-clashing adventure, LAST KNIGHTS, starring Morgan Freeman and Clive Owen and WAR PIGS, starring Micky Rourke, Dolph Lundgren and Luke Goss.

This ...

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This month's celebrated Vintage Vault selections on LEGEND are all examples of early franchise horror from the great days of the movies, spanning the thirties and forties.

It was in 1931 that the horror film really came together as a film genre at Universal Pictures, when Tod Browning directed Bela Lugosi as a suavely purring vampire Count in Dracula and James Whale put Boris Karloff in flat head and big boots as the Monster in Frankenstein. After that great one-two, not only was the horror film a viable commercial and artistic property, but the studios began to see the genre as what a later film industry would call a franchise - indeed, an interlocking series of franchises which would eventually pro...

You want suspense and action? Well, Legend has both and much more this June
Posted on Tuesday 23rd May 2023
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Female avengers, waring brothers and a coffin-bound Ryan Reynolds spearheads and dangerously heart-racing May line-up on LEGEND, highlighted by the UK TV premieres of Howard J. Ford's award-winning child-abduction horror drama NEVER LET GO, revenge Western ANY BULLET WILL DO, action thriller ACTS OF VENGEANCE, starring Antonio Banderas and British action-adventure war film MERCENARIES.

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THE VINTAGE VAULT continues to chill Sunday nights with its popular classic genre double-bi...

Walker, Texas Ranger
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8.00 PM
Tuesday 5th December
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Raise The Titanic
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