I shot my first short film when I was about 20, 21, and it was about two lads who take magic mushrooms on the side of a hill on the Wirral and then meet God and they kind of have this stupid conversation with him. It was a black comedy of sorts and it got screened a few times and got some really positive feedback from people, so that then pushed me onto to make another short and then I've just kept going from there. I think Situation is the best thing I've made so far - it was the fifth short film that I've written and directed, as well as a five part web-series called Soup which I also made, so, I'd say it's taken ten short films over about ten, twelve years for me to make something that I didn't want to go back and re-edit after its first screening.
Being a filmmaker from Liverpool, FACT is obviously somewhere I go to quite a bit so the chance to see something I'd made on the big screen there was something I didn't want to pass up on.
The idea behind the film actually came from something my brother told me had happened to him years ago. It was just this small thing but it was something I always remembered, and I'd been watching a lot of Charlie Chaplin films and really getting into the idea of telling stories without dialogue so that story just kind of came back to me. Plus, I wanted to make something that fitted in with all the things that are meant to work with short films for festivals and stuff. Like, they should be as short as possible, they should be as simple as possible and also they should be able to understood by as a wider audience as possible. Plus, it should be something that you can realistically go out and film without having to rely too much on getting funding or needing a large cast or crew.
Watching my film on the big screen at FACT was great. I think when you make films you should always make them with the big screen in mind, so the chance to actually see something you've made on the big screen is incredible and it's even better when it gets positive feedback from the audience. That really is the best part because it's like you've invited a room full of people into your head to see what you see and then you get the chance to see and hear them responding to it which is an amazing feeling, again, when it's positive!
I think the feedback that the film got has really helped me. One thing that I'm working on now is a feature film which has similar themes to the short. The film is only 90 seconds and has no dialogue so it's a purely visual film, which might sound obvious with a film, but so much stuff, including a lot of things I've made in the past is dialogue driven so after making a film that tells a story in 90 seconds without words, my aim now is to do something similar with something which is 90 minutes.
Liverpool Film Night is a great opportunity for anyone out there who has made a film to see it on the big screen and to meet people who might be a bit more experienced than you or maybe even less than you - it's a great chance to meet them and get and give feedback on your work and theirs. Plus, I'll be entering my new short film, I Like Art into it this year, so if it gets selected you'll also get the chance to see that as well, and what more could you ask for?
Watch the winning film on Vimeo. Submit your film for this year's competition.