World premiere to be held of record-breaking film The Impact, featuring Cambridge father Mark Hampton and his son
Cambridge-based actor and filmmaker Mark Hampton appears in The Impact, an upcoming cinematic production starring Olivia Williams (The Crown, The Sixth Sense) which is to have its first public screening on Tuesday, May 31.
Mark, known for his award-winning performances in Town vs Gown (2015) and Acceptance (2020), acts alongside his son Artie in the movie, which will have its world premiere at the Genesis Cinema in London.
The Impact is a unique filmmaking achievement intending to give aspiring screenwriters and directors their first credits and help them further their careers in film and television.
The production, which is made up of 50 short films, will break the record for the most writers and directors on a feature film. Mark, who was born in New Zealand, moving to Cambridge at the age of 11, says: “It’s been created by the London Screenwriters Festival and the genesis of that idea was to try and give emerging writers and filmmakers screen credits.
“This is the second time they’ve done a project; the first time they did it was a project called 50 Kisses, where they made a film made up of short films, and the only connection to them was that they all had to have a kiss - and it was released on Valentine’s Day in 2014.
“So they wanted to replicate that, and the way that they did it was they started it as a competition, so you could submit scripts that were two pages long and they fitted in within an overarching narrative. Then the competition whittled out 50 of the best scripts.”
The film opens with Olivia Williams as the US president, in a scene written by Hollywood screenwriter Joe Eszterhas (Basic Instinct), announcing that a meteor has been spotted that will destroy all life on Earth and the planet’s inhabitants have just two hours left to live. It then shows a multitude of stories as people all over the world choose how they will spend their last hours on Earth.
“There is a timeline between the announcement, the point at which the asteroid hits, and then the asteroid actually striking,” explains Mark, “so Chris Jones, who’s the overall director of the picture, has had to edit together all of these short films in a way that works as an overarching narrative whilst being true to the small, individual stories that are being told.”
Mark hasn’t watched the film yet but the reviews he’s seen so far suggest that the filmmakers have succeeded in making an “absolutely cracking movie”. He adds: “I was involved in every stage, so I had submitted some scripts, and when the scripts were released I directed one of the short films [Life’s A Beach].
“In my short film it’s set in Bondi Beach in Australia - but it was filmed on a beach in Norfolk - and it’s about two people talking on a beach, and in my film they don’t realise what’s about to happen, or rather one character is oblivious to it and then he gets told.
“So it’s interesting that there’s a different kind of dynamic going on... So I made one film and then I was asked to be an actor in another film [Can She See Us Daddy?], with my son Artie. They came to my house and they filmed with him; he was six years old at the time, and now four years later it’s going to be on the big screen.”
Mark will be appearing with his son again - he says Artie had a “brilliant time” shooting his scene for The Impact - when he directs and acts in Five Cars, a low-budget heist movie, later this year. A Kickstarter campaign for the film is also launching on May 31. For more information, go to kickstarter.com/projects/markhampton/five-cars-a-high-octane-low-budget-feature-film.
Mark has appeared in numerous film and television productions and will be on screen this year in This Sceptred Isle for the BBC and Liaison for AppleTV+. He has also starred in global commercial campaigns for Bentley and Carlsberg alongside Hollywood star Mads Mikkelsen (Casino Royale, Rogue One).
Tickets for the red-carpet event next Tuesday, which anyone can attend, to celebrate the launch of The Impact, are available now at impact50film.com/tickets/.