Paul Tanter is a director, writer, and producer who has experience directing films from various genres, such as crime, action, and sci-fi. He's been making films for a number of years and has worked with talented actors that include Danny Dyer, Jason Flemyng, and David O’Hara. His latest film, Kill Ratio will be released in theaters on December 9th and on VOD and iTunes on December 13th.
What is the meaning behind the film’s title?
It's a reference to a line in the movie where someone is describing the CIA past of James Henderson (Tom Hopper) as someone who has an indefinite kill ratio - which basically means he's killed too many people to count - which is kinda what he does in the film too!
Was there a specific event in history that inspired the plot of the film?
There wasn't but we did lean slightly on the fairly recent Russian incursion into Ukraine as some reference points on a politically unstable country having an armed force attempt to size control. It's set in a fictional Eastern European country and blends elements of several of them. Since we shot the film, some of the commanders of the Turkish army attempted to overthrow the government there and failed. Maybe the government there had their own James Henderson!
Furthermore, were there any historical figures that influenced the creation of particular characters?
No, but the Characters of General Lazaar and Vorza are representations of those ambitious high-ranking army officials and heads of Security Services who are power-hungry and out for their own benefit, in those kinds of places where the regime is often fragile and civil war always seems on the horizon.
Did you gain any insight for Kill Ratio through watching other action genre films?
Well, I'm a huge action film fan in general. The standard for movies where it's one man in a location is Die Hard - to the extent that movies will be pitched as "Die Hard in the White House" (Olympus Has Fallen) or "Die Hard on a Plane" (Air Force One). The Raid films are recent ones that really knocked my socks off and The Expendables movies always deliver spectacular stuff.
What makes the film memorable in relation to different action film releases?
For me, it's the balance of great action with genuinely great dramatic performances from a cast of seriously talented actors. Tom Hopper, Amy Huberman, Lacy Moore, Nick Dunning, Brian McGuinness, Luke Pieucci and Michelle Lehane are all such fantastic talents giving great performances - which is great to keep people involved with the story between action pieces.
You have experience of directing genres such as action, sci-fi, and crime. However, do you prefer one in particular?
Honestly, I love them all and enjoy mixing and matching so as to not get overloaded with one particular genre. I've always been a sci-fi geek and if you put a gun to my head I may choose that, but action and crime are always so enjoyable and fun that I love doing them
Additionally, are there any genres you are curious to explore in the future?
I'd like to maybe do a comedy, but they don't have a great track record in the UK, so if I did it would likely be an American one. An out and out slasher horror would be fun - which I'm actually doing soon.
What are some of the differences between simply directing and directing/writing a project?
Writing something means it's yours from the start and it all came from your own mind. Coming on to a project as a director means realizing where the tracks are already laid down. I'll still give the script a pass myself but in a way, it's nice that the foundation is already there. I enjoy writing but it can be a time-consuming process. The real difference is when you're producing - then you're responsible for everything involved in the entire project, and people never see or realize just how much that involves.
If you had infinite resources and budget, what is a fantasy project you would like to tackle?
If those things were literally no object then I'd do a sci-fi set on the International Space Station - but also filmed on it rather than a set. Money's no object, right? How much would NASA want for that? Well, that and flying the cast and crew up there!
What is next for you?
I'm finishing post production in Age Of The Living Dead and am about to shoot a Christmas horror film called Once Upon a Time at Christmas. It's about a killer Santa Claus terrorizing the residents of a small town. I plan to get through gallons of blood!
Kill Ratio will be released in theaters on December 9th and on VOD and iTunes on December 13th.