Storage 24 Panel with Noel Clarke and Johannes Roberts

In association with Universal Pictures, the main theatre at the London MCM Expo saw a panel on the soon to be released sci-fi horror film Storage 24. In attendance was the film’s director Johannes Roberts, as well as its co-writer, producer and star Noel Clarke. 

The film itself begins with a military cargo plane crashing in London, leaving its highly classified contents scattered across the city. Unaware of what’s going on, four friends, led by Charlie (Noel Clarke) are stuck inside a public storage facility after a power failure. Together they struggle to find a way out before a mysterious predator hunts them down. The film also co-stars Antonia Campbell-Hughes, Colin O’Donoghue and Laura Haddock.

“Initially I was gonna direct it,” said Noel, having written the script. After viewing Johannes’ film F, Noel offered him the opportunity to direct it. “Once I handed it over I let Johannes do his thing,” he said.

Johannes also really liked the script, saying, “I really responded to the location. I could see that I could make this very scary.” Of the alien creature in the film, Johannes said,  “I don’t think it’s really been done this way before, ever. It looks amazing!” He went on to describe how they had a creature suit designed, but enhanced its overall look with visual effects.

Johannes then mentioned how previously, monster movies would tend to hide their creature, saying, “When you do a sci-fi movie with an alien, your template is – alien. People always say, ‘never show your creature. Even in the dark, don’t show it.’” However, with Storage 24, Johannes said that he thought, “F**k that, I wanted to see this creature. I wanted to see it right up front and central!”

“We wanted to give the alien a personality,” said Noel.

To prove that they had no qualms in showing off their alien, they then previewed a showstopper of a clip that featured the alien creature itself in full. The short scene has Noel’s character Charlie encountering it, somewhat unsure what to do in the situation he’s found himself in, and so he grabs the nearest thing available to him – a soft toy. Despite being a humorous scene, Noel stressed that the film is “not a comedy by any means.”

Seeing that Noel was struggling to find the right words, Johannes said, “The humour comes out of the situation.”

“Yeah,” Noel agreed. “The humour comes from real life.”

Noel and Johannes also revealed that they didn’t shoot at an existing storage facility, but instead built the set itself. It also just so happened that during filming, the London riots from the summer of 2011 were taking place. “We were getting reports that there were rioters down the street,” said Noel. “They wanted us to stop filming.” He revealed that they carried on filming anyway because they didn’t want to lose a day and go over their shooting schedule. Thankfully their production wasn’t affected. 

When questions were thrown to the audience the first thing Noel was asked was if there would be a follow-up to Adulthood. “Probably not,” was his response. “I feel you need to consistently and constantly evolve what you’re doing. We’ve done that and we’ve done it well.” He then used the Spider-Man trilogy as an example, saying, “If you look at Spider-Man 3… Spider-Man 1 and 2 were great, then all of a sudden they f**ked things over. It’s better to do two and have people always wanting another one then to do three and f**k it up.”

Following on with sequels, they were asked if there would be a Storage 25! “I hope so,” said Noel. Careful not to give away any spoilers, he then went on to reveal how the ending to the film was changed, largely due to budget constraints, but possibly to make way for a sequel as well. “We wanted some sort of SWAT team thing at the end, and we couldn’t afford the 60 or so people that I wanted,” said Noel. “So I said [to Johannes], well what if we scrapped that and what if we do ‘this’ ending, and I told him a completely new ending. So we did it, which is the new ending. When you see the new ending, you’re like ‘Oh my God.’ So hopefully you guys will go and see it, then yes we’ll do another one.”

Noel was also asked if he could reveal anything about his upcoming role in the new Star Trek sequel. He responded by saying, “In terms of my role in Star Trek and if I can discuss it… no!” Though he did reveal his involvement in the upcoming wedding comedy The Knot. Released in October, Noel said it has been “described as Bridesmaids meets The Hangover.” 

Being an actor, writer, director and producer, Noel was questioned on if he has a preference. “Acting was all I ever wanted to do,” he said. “Then when I started acting I realised the roles weren’t there, and I wasn’t going to get a job. So instead of sitting on my ass doing nothing about it I decided to write my own roles. When I started writing, luckily Kidulthood got made, and then the director didn’t want to do Adulthood. So then I have to do it and then I became a director. With 4.3.2.1 certain producers f**ked certain things up, and after that I’m like ‘I’m not dealing with that again’, and so then I became a producer. So everything that’s happened has happened because of necessity. I felt like I had to do it.”

Johannes also had high praise for his star, saying, “Noel is a work machine. I’ve never seen someone work so hard.”

During the panel, Noel could not have been more enthusiastic about Storage 24, and constantly reminded attendees that it was out on June 29th. “It’s so like raising the bar in terms of British filmmaking, especially sci-fi,” he said. “What we’ve done here is amazing, and if anyone takes the time to go see it, you’ll love it, you really will! The last shot of the film is just mind-blowing.”

Storage 24 opens in the UK on June 29th.

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