We talk to the director of Tiny Little Rocks – a short film which will be screened at Papaya Rocks Film Festival.
Your film will be at the inaugural Papaya Rocks Film Festival in London, what does taking a part in this festival mean to you?
It’s always exciting to have your film screened at a festival and we’re really pleased to be part of the first Papaya Rocks Film Festival. It’s also a beautiful venue to watch films in.
Do you think nerves will set in closer to your screening?
I don’t really enjoy being in the same room as people watching my films, I tend to find it a bit uncomfortable as you can’t help but to try and hear a reaction. I wouldn’t say I’m nervous though – we’re all really keen for people to see the film, movies aren’t real until they have an audience!
Tell me a little bit about your work. How did this film come about?
Tiny Little Rocks is pretty shamelessly inspired by Before Sunrise. It’s a story I’ve been playing around with for ages; two people who were once in love meeting up and having all the really important parts go unsaid. We shot the film pretty quickly over a couple of nights with an amazing cast and a really tiny crew. It was super important for me to shoot in Sheffield too – I want to portray Northern cities in new and interesting ways. Hopefully we do that here.
I guess we’ve all wanted to have one final conversation with someone or have a chance to say the things we never did – in a way this is a film about that. Does that sound pretentious enough? (laughs)
What was the hardest scene for you to film?
We were shooting in a pretty active city, at night, with minimal crew in changing weather and each scene is one long shot – so it was all pretty challenging! I guess the penultimate scene was particularly tricky as we were all tired and knew that the lights in the area were turned off at midnight. It was a race against time!
What were the biggest challenges you faced making this film?
Similar to the above but mainly that we shot with a skeleton crew. The whole production was me, a sound recordist and a runner. I wanted to test to see if I could shoot and direct at the same time and whilst I’m pretty happy with the results – it’s certainly a big task!
Have you always wanted to be a filmmaker?
I suppose I have. I’ve got the story of my parents giving me an old camcorder when I was a little kid and then making movies with my friends and family until I got old enough to start doing it as my proper job.
As a filmmaker, how important is the collaborative process for you?
I often find myself working solo as I produce a lot of documentary work, but I absolutely love working with a big group of people. Filmmaking is really a problem solving art form and that works best when you’ve got a room full of brains to draw from.
How much has your approach to your work changed since your debut
It’s changed massively, I hope. I watch my first film now and really cringe because I just tried to fit in every technique and every reference that I liked into one big gross visual soup. Hopefully I’ve refined my style a bit now and know what goes where.
Do you have any advice or tips for a fellow filmmaker?
Always keep your lens cap in the same place!
What are you currently working on?
I’m currently writing a feature film that’s based on Tiny Little Rocks with a view to shooting next year!
What do you hope people will take away from your film?
That sentimentality isn’t so bad.
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