Peter Stylianou - Director
Making The Film
Who Needs Enemies was originally an idea for a short-film idea titled 'The Dead Man', which Tony Currier and I planned to shoot with Kris Johnson. I wrote 'The Dead Man' in two days and after showing it to Tony, we both loved it so much that we decided to take it further and build a feature film around it.
I wanted to veer away from the typical brit-style gangster genre and make something intelligent, thought provoking and current. In most gangster films, evil is just evil, but what I wanted for this film was to analyse it and to describe and present what I believe evil is; the indifference to the suffering of innocence. The subject matter needed to be taboo enough to cause a big split between a group of people who dabbled and skirted around the meaning of evil on an everyday basis. This is how I came to include the subject of child prostitution and trafficking.
During the scripting, various scandals were uncovered in the media involving pedophilia amongst celebrities, with the Jimmy Saville case dominating the news. This made me think about how evil is usually found in the last place you would ever look. Before I knew it a theme flushed itself out and that became the premise of our film. With Friends like these, who needs enemies.
It took me three months to complete the first draft of Who Needs Enemies. I wrote it as several short films that have interconnected story lines. I also wrote it to be shot on the smallest budget imaginable in order for Red Guerilla Films to begin production immediately and with total creative control.
In order that our small locations would not get overcrowded I chose only a handful of talented, dedicated and passionate people who could multitask. Tony Currier began pulling in professional actors who believed in the project and eventually we had a great cast and crew together who believed in the script as much as we did.
Production took three months of hard multitasking work from the crew and actors to complete before the winter set in. We had amazing strokes of luck at times that carried us through and amazingly enabled us to complete the film under budget yet with a great look and all round high production value. The crew was spent by the end of the shoot but not in vain, because the finished product is truly an amazing feature and a great example of top-end no-budget film-making that we can all be proud of.