Story by- Tom Kubrak
“I can honestly say, out of every script I’ve written in my life, this is my favorite script, this is my favorite story.” -Reece Manigan
The Bad Influence
It’s a film he’s been working on for about 2 years and he’s almost ready to shoot it. Reece Manigan’s next feature, The Bad Influence, is coming sooner than later. This one is nothing like nothing we’ve seen from him thus far either. It’s a film about two girls who have a bad history together. A problem then arises and they have to try to work together, but things begin to get worse and worse for them as they try to solve the problem.
“It’s going to be exciting, thrilling it’s going to be something that I’ve never done before!”
If you’ve seen the movie Light-House, you can draw some comparisons with that. It’s a Psychological-Thriller that involves two characters.
Do you trust William Patterson or do you trust William Defoe? The director in that film does an excellent job putting those two actors together to get the most out of them and entice the audience to fall for one of the characters. In this case, Reece’s main two characters are woman. Out of the two characters too, one of them goes darker. Throughout the film you’re going back and forth figuring out which character you can trust.
“It’s kind of like a cat and mouse game with no hunting.”
Reece is trying to take his audience through an emotional roller coaster in this one.
In this film he has a 6 character cast, with the main characters being Chloe and Anna.
“Well Chloe is very British, well off not posh. She likes to organize things too. She’s well dressed, has colorful clothes; lovely brown hair; and the character is quite strict.”
“Anna is very tough. She’s gothic, and takes no shit from anyone. For example: if you give her a dirty look, she’ll say, What the f*** are you looking at boy, or something like that.
But deep down she’s very vulnerable. Although shes tough, it’s kind of a front for she’s a very vulnerable character.”
At the end of the day Chloe and Anna are opposites. Whoever gets to play their roles is going to have a lot of fun in the scenarios Reece is going to put them in. Anna; the “polite” type and Chloe the “rude-tough” one.
The Other 4 characters include Nick, Steve, Sarah(Chloe’s best friend) and then there’s Monica(Chloe’s Aunt).
“What I have done is I’ve sent a list of potential actors to my producer of who I want if we were able to get my budget.”
“I have to have reliable people, no one lazy, I will say this actually… I have a no a** **** policy.”
Simply put, Reece just wants to get the job done with good people. Before going into any film too, he has a strict regimen and plans out his filming in a tight knit schedule. The Bad Influence, a featured length film, is planned to be shot in ten days. In order to shoot a film like this in days you have to be on-point, and that’s why he wants everyone who is a part of his projects to not be full-of-themselves or too high-maintenance. He can’t afford anyone who doesn’t meet his expectations if he wants to stay on schedule.
If they don’t, he’ll find someone else.
He wants his team to work together and all be on the same page with one another. No one is more-special than anyone on his sets.
Don’t get it twisted though, although Reece doesn’t play around when it comes to his life’s work, he knows how to have a good time.
Just check out his film reel on Youtube and follow him on Instagram, to get a feel of his style and the type of person Reece is.
Without a few major influences in Reece’s life, who knows where he’d be. And further more, where he’d be in his film making career.
Some people who he deeply admires is:
- Stanley Kubrick
- Dave Attenborough
- Jordan Peele
Some of his favorite films include:
- Clockwork Orange
- The Shining
- and The Joker
Some other films that he loves and has been influenced by:
-This is England
-Dead Mans Shoes
-The Disappearance of Alice Creed
“I think really, my favorite movies of all time involve villains.”
Someone that stands out on this list is Jordan Peele too. If you know the story of Jordan Peele he started in Comedy doing his infamous Key & Peele skits and then now is branching into scary/horror/thriller films. He’s written and directed Get Out and Us. Some “brutal” horror films.
Although the two directors have different styles, Reece likes to draw some comparisons with him here because, “We’re watching a comedian with a f***** up mind create horror films. So he’s kind of like a guy that makes comedy like me. Now why couldn’t I make a f***** up psychological thriller?”
Film-Making So Far
“My first movie was called horror land.”
It was a film he did back in 2006 at the age of 14 and it’s up on his Youtube channel right now https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YioTb2yjYA
After that Reece didn’t slow down and made 5 indie feature films and 50 short films.
His top 3 favorite films he has made go in this order:
- The Wolf.
- The Donkey.
- Slice Like a Fox.
- The Wonders of Alice.
- Big Crime in a Small Town.
- Cash in the Pond.
He continued to write and make films throughout school and university too. He went to Milton Keynes college from 2010-2015. From there he went to The University of West London from 2015-2018 to get his 2:1 higher degree.
Most of those films you can again find on his you tube channel- https://www.youtube.com/reecem92
Reece was born in Kettering, but grew up in Milton Keynes. He also lived in a place called Emberton, a country side village for nearly 7 years between the years of 1999-2006. When his parents split in 2005, is when he moved to Milton Keynes from 2006-2015.
Through all of this moving around as a kid, Reece found a passion for books.
“I read Charles Dickens, David Attenborough, and Stephen King.
But with all of the reading came a dream and that dream had nothing to do with film making.
“Originally as a kid I didn’t want to become a filmmaker I wanted to become a wild life presenter.”
He loved it and with Dave Attenborough’s influence he began to pursue it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64R2MYUt394 Here’s a clip from David Attenborough’s latest project A Life on This Planet.
Although Reece still has a love for it, it was short lived, because he started to get more into how they were filming it and also he found his passion for fiction.
As he got older, he learned he was more into the fictional side of things than the true-life-stuff he originally wanted to do.
“I realized I had this imagination in my brain that I could go off and make these incredible stories.”
And that he did. He trusted his instincts and began to create the fictional works that were ‘bogging’ his brain. In order to have the confidence to do that though he had some important people in his life. One of those people is someone he still, to this day, works with on his projects.
Charlie- Friendship & Trust
Getting through a time like this(Covid-19) requires a lot of grit and tenacity.
Reece, having been doing this for so long, and having committed himself long ago, is able to do that relatively easy now no matter what happens in the world. But Covid didn’t make it easy. Thankfully, being so experienced, he’s also developed a thick skin, being in the unpredictable world that is film-making.
But you still need good people around you that you can rely on; and for Reece, that person has been Charlie Lloyd.
Charlie tends to make Improvements on many of Reece’s projects and was instrumental in helping out with The Bad Influence script.
Maybe because of Reece’s past, having some friendships that didn’t turn out too good, he likes to involve “bad-friendships” in a lot of his films. Nonetheless, he opens his audience’s eyes to a lot of things that cause friendships to go good and bad. Friendships are a massive “influence” on his films
“Most of my films do involve talking about characters going through dark situations.”
Thankfully, he has a good friendship with a few people though, and he’s able to enjoy them immensely. One of those is with his filmmaking-partner and best friend Charlie Lloyd.
With Covid 19 gripping the world, England was no exception. So film making for most people, was put on pause for the time being. But although film-sets were scarce to find in 2020, it didn’t stop Reece from creating while he was waiting to film The Bad Influence.
During 2020 he managed to release his fifth indie film The Wonders of The Look which was a sequel for his 2019 film The Wonders of Alice. He managed to finish filming it before the pandemic hit the UK.
Then he went back to do stop motion animation with two shorts, Jungle Madness and Winter Animals.
‘The show must go on,’ as they say-No matter how long it takes- Reece will be here. As the show continues though, so do the challenges. Fortunately, there was only one major thing that held him up…
“I would say the only affect we’ve had is that funding companies aren’t open until further notice.”
Although that hurt Reece, he had to keep going to make it in the industry. Covid has affected filmmakers around the world and forced a lot of people to figure out something new. For Reece, he didn’t change it up and find something new- he stuck with the original plan throughout this uncertain time period.
With all of this work on his new film comes a milestone too. It was something he hadn’t planned to really recognize until it came up though. When he hit it though he had to take a step back and reflect on his journey thus far in this industry. Because, well, 15 years is quite a feat!
For anyone passing 15 years doing their passion is amazing, but for Reece it’s extremely personal. No one has really accepted him in any other jobs so he realized this is what he had to do. And he had to go all in on it. His early film making was a little rocky, but the last 11; that’s what’s been big for him.
“The last 11 years have been the most massive 11 years in my life!”
Compared to where he was, to now, it’s a huge difference. It’s been a long journey and one that Reece has no regrets. One that he’s committed to being in as long as he’s here on this planet.
“I’m doing what I’m doing everyday because I’ve realized this is what I’ve got to do.”
It’s been a natural progression in his work too throughout these 15 years; starting in stop motion animation, then moving into his love of comedy, and now moving into his other love thrillers/horrors/and scary movies.
Like many journeys though, Reece’s hasn’t been an easy one. All Reece is looking for is to be given a chance to work in the industry. All his life people have rejected him in other jobs.
“I have looked for many part time jobs and sadly only have done 3 jobs in my life.”
Those jobs were:
- Car phone Warehouse
- British Red Cross &
- A market stall.
“But sadly, even at work, everyone has always treated me different and all I have ever wanted is respect and a chance.”
Through all of the nasty comments, not-so-good teachers, jealous people and manipulative people, Reece has made it through. Not only has he made it through; he’s made it through with a smile and tends to keep it while he keeps breaking down walls.
The Move to London
In 2015, Reece didn’t have a noteworthy year. Loads of stuff in his personal life was going wrong and he was feeling depressed. But the best thing to come out of that year was his move to London and finally Reece felt that he had another chance.
The big reason 2015 was a bad year for him was he thought he’d “run his course in Milton Keynes.”
Being 3 to 4 years older than his college classmates didn’t make things easier either. His close friends had either worked or found relationships and some people he thought were friends at college rejected him. Then, he decided to make the move.
Moving to London to go to University was exactly what Reece needed as he said he needed to find himself and figure out who he really was. He said that since his move to London he has become much more confident and stronger and is able to adapt more.
He also says he met much nicer people in ‘Uni’ and had found some real friendships and supportive people.
was a fantastic year for him too. He started to meet some fantastic people who have become lifelong friends. Some of those names are: Ryan McGregor, Sammy Simmans, Sylvana Savvas, Emma Dark Chris Hampshir and Rene Costa. Rene is hugely important to Reece as he took him under his wing, has welcomed him to his home and wonderful family, and has since developed a huge friendship with him. They both have worked on many films together as well.
in his last term of University, Reece moved in with his partner of seven years in London and has found happiness and love in the big city. He says that after being with his girlfriend for four years, he moved in to see if they could work living together. Since then, their relationship is stronger then ever.
was a big breakout year for Reece in London, as he aimed to make his first festival film which would turn out to be THE DONKEY. An autism awareness short film that Reece says “Is the most important film I have made”. During production, the film went on to be picked at the NIFF London Film Festival and went on to be 3rd place out of 300 entries. So, despite not winning, the film was still a huge success.
The film will now be out on YouTube April 2nd 2021.
Relationships continue to be a huge part of Reece’s journey too. Because along with success in his film he made more life long friendships with actors and filmmakers Megan Grover, Beatrice Mori, Charlotte Campbell and Maria Gebhardt.
Final Thoughts on The Bad Influence
“This script isn’t an idea I just had, wrote once, and said yea it’s done this took me about seven drafts; and in fact I had four different endings.”
I asked him what one of the endings were before he got to the version he has now and he said,
“Lets say it involved someone’s house blowing up.”
He laughed telling me the budget wasn’t high enough to do that for this film. Maybe a different one we’ll see an explosion for one of Reece’s films! Truly though, this is a script that he wants to take him to the next level in filmmaking.
As for Bad Influence – Reece is sure that it will be a success, and is already writing a follow up movie called “It Can Happen Again.” Which is another dark, twisted thriller about a girl who is going through a personal family drama, which leads to her meeting a mysterious stranger who is either her Savior or her danger.
Currently, at the release of this article, the film is being tweaked to make the funders look at the script and will hopefully give him the budget he needs and wants, to make his dream-project come to life. In addition to that, he wants to use this to springboard his career in this industry.
Needless to say, get ready, strap yourself in tight, because when this one comes out it’s sure to shock and surprise you. This psychological thriller from Reece Manigan is going to be exciting and highly entertaining. With plot twists- high emotions and an exuberant-energy that only Reece Manigan can bring to the table.
“Lets just say s*** literally hits the fan. Body parts hit the fan, and there’s going to be blood and situations and shock and horror. Literally… terrible situations with consequences. That’s all I’m going to say.” – Reece Manigan
The Bad Influence
For more info on the film and Reece
MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL.
Story by- Tom Kubrak
Tom is a freelance writer from New Jersey. He writes screenplays, plays and articles. He also is a ghostwriter specializing in screenplays, articles, content and plays. He has a deep love for film and creating scenes that bring the best out of the cast and crew.