A.D.A.M. The first and last first film.



Jose Rosete On Set of Angels Devils and Men – April 2008 – London – Just before the police came.

A.D.A.M. is “Angels Devils and Men” by Lindsay Shonteff and to a large extent his son Caleb Lindsay (That’s another story) and it was the first feature film I ever worked on. It was Lindsay’s last. He died about a week after we finished principle photography. Lindsay would constantly tell me “This film is going to kill me!” I often wonder if he knew that was the truth or if he was bitching about the schedule, I guess it was a bit of both. That aside, I knew the man reasonably well and one fact is for sure, he wouldn’t of had it any other way. Lindsay Shonteff was a film maker. It was not in his  blood, it was his blood and I can’t think of a more fitting way for him to have left this mortal coil.




I first met Lindsay in the “Purple Turtle” which is (was) an independent/alternative pub in the heart of my home town reading. It was inhabited by folk in their late teen’s and early twenty’s who had made it their short life’s principle aim to disfigure themselves with as many piercings and tattoo’s as they had available flesh. It has to be said they where as a bunch incredibly successful at body manipulation, however, equally successful at not having a job or any real stability in life. Lindsay loved them, he really was royalty in exile.







He would walk in to the pub in a pin stripe suit sporting his trademark two pairs of glasses. His long range (as he called them) would be set on his face his reading glasses on top of his head. Sometimes on set when he was looking at a monitor he would combine the two, I never figured out why, but it made him laugh.







Lindsay, Caleb, Steve, Beth and I would lose an afternoon together talking movies and politics on a fairly regular basis. Often we talked about a short we wanted to shoot celebrating the violence of words. The concept was about film makers constantly using words like, “Shoot, Capture, Cut” etal. We liked the idea of folk over hearing this and finding a different conclusion. We played it over and over honing the script but like so much of that time, we never really managed to get our ideas off the page and into production. I say we….. We never really knew we had a traitor in our midst.







Mr Shonteff was actually working, developing, writing, getting ready to shoot, we were still in that talking about it stage. We never thought that the Director of “Devil Doll, Permissive, Ice Cold in Phoenix, Combat Zone and the Big Zappa’s blade trilogy” to name but a few was considering another film. But he was and it was called Angels, Devils and Men” and I was booked to be the First Assistant Director of the UK section of the film.







A few months later the alarm clock is chirping at 3:00 am, it is a freezing cold morning and Boyd Skinner is picking me up in half an hour. A quick shower and coffee is completed before his car (complete with Caleb and Flave) is honking outside my house. The gang is complete and we are heading for London, the first scene is on what we hope will be a  deserted Waterloo Bridge.







The actors Jose Rosete and Jimmy Flowers are already in costume and are primed and ready. He have the camera and sound set up in minuets. Some argument happen over framing but it is not long before we are shooting. And not long before London starts to wake up. I look at my watch and realise that it is six am we are already behind and for most folk the day has not yet begun. Lindsay looks at me and smiles “Welcome to film making buddy, it rarely gets much better then this…. ACTION!!!!”







After breaking for lunch (nine AM) we start to regroup on the south bank over looking the Houses of Parliament. Lindsay takes me to one side. “OK, Ian, I have got to be honest with you on this one… Normally you should apply for a shooting permit for stuff like this but we ran out of time…. So, we may only get one or two takes with this one. I guess what I’m trying to say is, basically when the Police come can you try to stall them for as long as you can….ACTION!!!!”







Forty minuets later and with an audience of about thirty of the Met’s finest armed police as an audience Jose and Jimmy nail the scene and I knew I was hooked. The spell had been cast I was now an addict, I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. In some ways it was liberating in others it was scary, it still is! But that was the moment; Lindsay Shonteff, Jimmy, Jose the rest of the gang and me. Oh and the cops too.







The afternoon was spent doing pick-ups and second unit stuff. We all had dinner in China Town and did what you do on a movie set. Make friends for life. I know without a shadow of doubt that even though I haven’t spoken to Jimmy Flowers for years now, if I was in Phoenix and didn’t look him up and say high he would be furious with me. That is how quick the bond is made.







Day two felt like a long day, but I know now I was on a siesta movie. We only worked from 6am till about half four in the afternoon. Easy money ha ha!! We faked Dinton pastures (the flat lands of Berkshire) as the lake-district. We had snow and sun in equal measures’ and then it was gone. They all packed up and headed for Paris. That was the last time I saw Lindsay, he put a bundle of cash in my hand said “Till the next time, it’s been a pleasure working with you! Next one should be you and my boy!” and strangely it was. You never know we may even finish that one day, I hope so “Se7en Seconds 2 Heaven” deserves it’s chance, more importantly I think Lindsay would have wanted that. I often felt like he was kind of on set with us.







Ian Manson.




Film Producer.