Trick or Treat. Cityboy – from ‘rent-a-gob’ to filmmaker

Trick Or Treat Still

Geraint Anderson exposed bankers’ worst practices - first through an anonymous newspaper column called ‘Cityboy’ and then with a best-selling memoir of the same name that was published at the height of the financial crisis.

Geraint has now written and produced a movie called ‘Trick or Treat’ that is out in early November. HITC catches up with the renegade ex-banker:

So, Geraint, what happened to you after your book Cityboy came out in 2009?

It all went a bit mad. The book sold a quarter of a million and I became a ‘rent-a-gob’ for every newspaper, TV channel and radio station who wanted a salacious comment about banking and, believe me, back in 2008-11 they wanted a hell of a lot of comments! I had my 15 minutes of fame and was once even approached by ‘I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here’ - though even they realized that was really stretching the definition of ‘celebrity’! I wrote a couple of City-based novels and then escaped the madness by getting married and moving to the Black Mountains in Wales.

How did the move from Cityboy to Country Boy turn out?

It’s a different kind of madness but, for my nostrils and liver particularly, a much healthier kind! I’ve now got two young kids, two dogs, twelve chickens, a cat and the beginnings of a traditional rural beer belly!

What made you want to make a film?

People who work in the City are generally pretty active, driven folk. After leaving banking, I couldn’t just sit around on my fat arse squeezing blackheads. I’d tried my hand at novel-writing but I’d always been a film fanatic and I found script-writing suited me much better.

A general view of the festival centre ahead the 13th Zurich Film Festival on September 28, 2017 in Zurich, Switzerland. The Zurich Film Festival 2017 will take place from September 28...A general view of the festival centre ahead the 13th Zurich Film Festival on September 28, 2017 in Zurich, Switzerland. The Zurich Film Festival 2017 will take place from September 28...

And how easy was it to get a film made?

Jesus! If I’d had a clue about how much work it requires I don’t think I’d have embarked on this particular career-choice. You have to create a company of 50 or so people that basically only functions for 5 weeks and you have to do everything yourself from negotiating contracts with actors’ agents (who only chose that job because they were deemed too nasty to be traffic wardens!) to scouting out locations in Blackpool on a rainy Friday night.

What was your pitch to potential investors?

Me and my brother-in-law - actor Craig Kelly, who stars in the film - who was in Queer As Folk, Titanic and Coronation Street - had to do a dog and pony show for my ex-City colleagues - some of whom, for some weird reason, weren’t too pleased to see me. We told them the film would be a ‘trippy Northern Lock Stock’, they’d receive a 20% return and get to hang out with loads of celebs.

What’s the film about?

Three years ago I looked around me and saw loads of blokes in their mid-40s who were really struggling with kids/marriage/mortality. I thought it would be interesting to explore this subject via an ex-gangster who’s been ‘domesticated’ but having a mid-life crisis and fantasizing about a return to ‘the good old days’. The film starts with his estranged brother turning up at his home claiming to have drunkenly run someone over, but all is not as it seems…

Who’s in it? Anyone we know?

Yes, Craig managed to persuade his famous actor mates to get involved. So, the film stars Jason Flemyng (Lock Stock), Hugo Speer (Full Monty), Frances Barber (Mr Holmes), Shaun Parkes (Mummy Returns), Kris Marshall (Love Actually), Jamie Sives (Game of Thrones) and Craig’s real-life brother Dean (Shameless) – a proper cast! 

Jason Flemyng attends the premiere of Wild Bill at Cineworld Haymarket on March 20, 2012 in London, England.Jason Flemyng attends the premiere of Wild Bill at Cineworld Haymarket on March 20, 2012 in London, England.

What are your ambitions for this film?

I really hope that Trick or Treat will come to be regarded as one of the top 10 Blackpool-based films about depressed ex-gangsters out this decade!

When do we get to see it?

It will be available on iTunes, Sky Store and Amazon to pre-order from 21st October, and you can buy it from 4th November.

So, is film-making going to be your new career?

Hopefully… and I’d like my next movie to be based on my memoir ‘Cityboy’, which should make me even more popular in the Square Mile!

What would you say to anyone thinking of making a film?

If you’re interested in earning an hourly rate significantly below that of a KFC worker then this is the career for you! In all seriousness, it’s actually the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done.

Geraint Anderson is on Twitter (https://twitter.com/cityboylondon).

Find out more about Geraint’s film from its official website: http://www.trickortreatthemovie.com/

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