Abnormal According to Igor from the Mel Brooks comedy-classic, 'Young Frankenstein', abnormal brains are always good to use, especially when you're transplanting one into a humongous green skinned monster. Now for more information please disregard the following interview I did with my pal Barbra Streisand, also known as the great indie film creator, Vicki Helyar.

1) What are your own origins, Vicki? Plus what path did you take in life prior to getting to were you are today?   I’m originally from a small English village called Somerset, and I had a fairly normal education there until I attended drama school in London at the age 22. During this time I supported myself by working in various temp jobs, before becoming a self employed cleaner, for better pay / flexibility. I then lived in Portsmouth, Vancouver, and London, but am now settled back in Somerset again, as cities aren't really for me.

After struggling to make a dent in the acting world whilst in Vancouver, I hired a camera and made my first (improvised) short, ‘Vancouver and Me Me Me’, and have since continued writing and bought all of the equipment I need for shooting a film. I don’t miss looking on audition websites for (most commonly) two-dimensional badly written parts mainly written by men.  However, I will say that on the way to where I am today, I certainly haven’t always written and made fantastic work. Yet I suppose at least I have a say in what role I get to play.

2) What inspired the creation of ‘Abnormal’? Plus what part do you play in these proceedings?   I started writing a TV series for Abnormal first. I then felt I wanted to make a prequel / origin web series, for both practical and creative reasons. In the TV series some things were more established. Where as the web series shows how she gets to that stage.

My inspiration? Good question. I can’t honestly say. I can't remember a catalyst, as it just came to me. But I’ve always been a fan of superheroes and superhero films. I idolized superheroes as a kid. I remember crying when the ‘Spiderman and his Amazing Friends’ cartoon used to finish. I was about six, I suppose, but I’ve never been much of a crier.

I’m working alone, so I act, shoot, edit, and publicize most of it myself. Although the SFX is to be done in post by my mate, Liam Vowles, and publicity photography by my other mate, Chris Griffin. 

3) In your own words how would you describe this story?   Abnormal is a light hearted account of a loner called Henriette Hallstrom, a girl living in the regular world and harbouring a secret -- the abnormal ability of teleportation, and looking to turn her failing life and health around. She uses her camera as an outlet -- almost as a stand in for a friend -- and a way of documenting her progress and those events, whether that’s practicing teleportation or her trying to get a handle on her emotions.

Henriette Hallstrom is a sarcastic misery-guts who tries, but often fails, to be enthusiastic about her endeavour plus life in general. Although it's a comedy it does have heart -- often showing her struggles, her loneliness, her insecurities. 

4) If this film omitted a collective odor, what would it smell like and why?   Well, it would reek of sarcasm: One of Henriette's more successful and comfortable personality traits. And maybe a bit of crap too, because her attitude often stinks and poo is the stinkiest thing I can think of.

5) What song would you say best represents your wares and why?   God! I wish I knew what that question meant! But one of my favorite albums is 'Hail To The Thief' by Radiohead, so 'Where I End And You Begin' is a good choice, relating to teleportation. 

6) If you could get a known celebrity – either living or dead – to promote this flick, who would you chose, and why would you want this particular person?   Hard question, dammit, but I would have to say Sigourney Weaver. ‘Ripley’ is one of the first lead heroines in a film of this type, helping to breakdown the stereotype that women’s roles only exist to provide the beauty, the love interest, the prop, or the bystander. But not just because of the part she played in helping shift things for female roles, just what an incredible performance! It’s hard to imagine what two of my favorite films of all time would've been like without her.

Sigourney Weaver
7) What were the main obstacles you had to contend with along the way?   They're have been obvious teething issues, like learning how to use the equipment I bought not long before shooting, and problems encountered with it along the way. Also, having put on 2.5 stone for the role -- losing it and getting (still striving) to an exceptional level of fitness and strength has been a slog. Overwhelmingly though, my mum passed away in March of this year after living with motor neurone disease for the last 20 months.

This is the most difficult time for me and my family. From a filming perspective, it was often very difficult to find time, energy, or motivation to continue on with the project -- often having breaks of weeks in between filming. But I continued on because it’s my greatest passion and, as difficult as life was, I had to keep going with it.

My mum was a big advocate of my career too.

8) If ‘Abnormal’ had a motto, what do you think it would be?   Perhaps: ‘Don’t be afraid to be who you are’. Or maybe: ‘Just because you can teleport, doesn't make you a superhero. You have to stop eating crisps'.

So there you have it, folks. My mate Vicki and her brand new indie film, Abnormal. When you have the time please feel free to visit the official facebook page and see for yourself about any up and coming developments. 

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