Interview: Producer Joanne Reay for MINDGAMERS

What if you could suddenly share the mind and skills of a Stephen Hawking, Usain Bolt, or everyone on the planet?  What if a wireless neural network, connected via a quantum computer, was capable of linking the minds of each and every one of us?  In the upcoming film MINDGAMERS, a group of brilliant young students discover the greatest scientific breakthrough of all time, but also discover that they may be part of a much greater and more sinister experiment.  In anticipation of the film's release, we spoke with producer Joanne Reay about the upcoming movie and her experience working on the film.   

Nightmarish Conjurings: Hi Joanne, thanks so much for speaking with us today! To start things off, can you tell us a little bit about yourself as well as the upcoming film MINDGAMERS? 

Joanne Raey: I'm the product of well-intentioned parents and Nanna Bun, a paternal grandmother who told extraordinary stories.  The art of storytelling is a combination of what you can sell as real and what you can get away with.  Although my parents tried to limit my exposure to Nanna Bun, she made the most of her time with me and inducted me into the world of what might be. MINDGAMERS follows no set rules of narrative and pushes the viewer to respond with their own interpretation.  Let's see what the audience accepts as real...

NC: What was it like working as a producer for MINDGAMERS and what attracted you to want to be part of this film? 

JR: The inspiration for MINDGAMERS came in part from the works of Hermes Trismegistus. How can it be that our contemporary understanding of the quantum world was first expressed twelve thousand years ago? At the other end of the spectrum, Andrew Goth (co-writer) and I were fascinated by the acceleration in mind-to-mind connective technology.  There are moments in time when the ancient past and the edge of tomorrow seems destined to collide. These combined themes proved irresistible. 

NC: You are known for your writing and producing credits.  Do you find yourself being drawn to one over the other? 

JR: I see myself as a writer.  The itch of an idea is what rolls my leg from the bed every morning. Producing is a product of wanting to move that idea into reality.  That said, I do find the challenge of producing very creative.  Just like figuring out a plot point or a character arc, raising finance is a process that calls for imagination, strategy and grit. 

NC: What initially catches your attention with a project?  Is it the story or the people that are working on the project or both? 

JR: It might sound like a cliche, but I don't believe you find a project - a project finds you.  A chance moment, a snatched headline or a conversation that returns to you, demanding exploration.  I think if you hold yourself open, talk to strangers on a train, pick up old magazines in the doctor's waiting room, let the random assonance of a particular phrase stay with you - ideas will come and inspire. 

NC: What advice would you give women who want to get into producing and writing screenplays for film? 

JR: I don't know that I believe in a gender divide when it comes to giving advice in creative endeavours.  But it is certainly true that there is a personality type who feels hesitant to call themselves a 'writer'.  I drew confidence from an ancestor of mine, John Bunyan.  He was a penniless tinker but also a natural storyteller.  He didn't care that he had no qualifications. He just knew that when he started to tell a story, people listened.  So he became a preacher and within years, commanded legendary crowds.  He ultimately wrote 'Pilgrim's Progress', one of the most influential books in Western literature.  I guess the lesson is, just start.  Write in any form or any style you choose.  There are no rules.  Seek to connect, hold to honesty and someone will hear you. 

NC: Last but not least, what can fans of yours expect to see from you in the future? 

JR: A while back I wrote a novel, ROMEO SPIKES, and I feel the itch to adapt that for the screen. But who knows.  I live in constant hope that my plans will be subverted. 

Interested in being a MindGamer?  Register to be a part of the experiment at www.mindgamersmovie.com/#/become-a-mindgamer.  MINDGAMERS will be released nationwide on March 28.