Blast from the past: CGI Brows

9 July, 2012 3:12pm


The original 2009 shortlist Q&A from Andrew Gaynord, director of People's Choice Award winning film CGI Brows.


Where did the inspiration for your film come from?

The catalyst was a result of heavyweight punsmanship: ‘CGI-brows’. This reckless play on words led to a concept that spawned an influx of seemingly endless ideas, which were extremely exciting to write about.

How long did it take to make?

Two days writing, two days shooting preparation, an evening rehearsing, an evening shooting and a couple of weeks editing. So what’s that… about three weeks total I suppose.

How much did it cost to make – and how did you go about saving money?

500 squid. The majority of which was spent on equipment hire. Finding like-minded producers to help split the cost certainly helps money saving. It seems that the key to no-budget filmmaking is finding a team that believe in the idea as passionately as you do. If they have faith in the project then they’ll be more likely to work for less or even for free.Diligence in pre production was a real money saver too. The more time spent preparing, the less time spent haemorrhaging money in production. A good friend once said, “Forward planning is the cornerstone of fun” and he was right.

Did you find the 2 minutes, 20 seconds time limit a help or a hindrance?

It’s easy to become precious about all your beloved material so it’s great to be encouraged to dig for the real gold. It can feel counter-intuitive to scrap material you’re fond of but the time limitation is actually responsible for the best cut of the film to date. It feels snappier now.

What was the most challenging part of the project?

Cutting the film to 2.20 was surprisingly challenging. Constructing a coherent narrative for this time frame was testing.

What was the most rewarding aspect?

I heard a small audience laugh along for the first time recently and that really made an impression on me. I’m keen to recreate that feeling again. It’s quite addictive.

Anything you would have liked to have done differently?

I would have changed the profanity at the beginning for this competition. It’s not essential. I can think of countless PG friendly words that would have been more effective than a bleep.

If your short wins an Oscar, who would you thank?

It sounds clichéd to “Thank the Academy” but I certainly would. Whoever inspired the story would be lavished with gratitude, as would anyone who gave the time, money and support to make it. I’d be grateful to family and friends for their unwavering support. Oh, and my good acquaintance, Eddie, from my local Co-op.



How did you get into film making?

As a kid I loved nothing more than making my friends and family laugh. Getting my mits on a camcorder felt like an opportunity to expand on that. I’ve shot many a melodramatic horror story as a child that has accidentally transpired to have good comedic value.

Who are your film influences?

Shane Meadows is a big one, but others include: Andrea Arnold, Martin McDonagh, Wes Anderson, Paul Thomas Anderson, M Night Shyamalan, Edgar Wright, Judd Apatow, Adam Mckay, Will Ferrell, David Fincher, Spike Jonze, Sofia Coppola, Alexander Payne, Cameron Crowe, The Coen Brothers, Frank Darabont, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Christopher Guest, Rob Reiner, Taika Waititi, Armando Iannucci etc etc

If money was no object, who would you like to work with?

If I had to choose one person it would be Paddy Considine. He’s an exceptionally versatile performer and is of course as profound behind the camera as he is in front of it. I’ve watched his interviews and really think we’d get along.

How will you use the £30K film funding if you win?

I’d use the money to produce a new black comedy short, “Dragontooth”. It’s about a guy who goes AWOL in LaserQuest for over ten years. It’s going to be like watching a sex scene between a hurricane and an explosion inside a volcano. I am highly excited about this film.

What’s the worst film you’ve ever seen and why was it so bad?

Surprisingly none spring to mind – it’s probably because the worst films are forgettable. A lot of people thought ‘Freddie Got Fingered’ was the worst film of all time but I can see something beautiful in that monstrosity – it will forever be inscribed on my brain.

If there was a film of your life, what would it be called?

‘Carry on Dickhead’.

Who would play your love interest and why?

Gok Wan. My girlfriend is the spitting image of him. (Tory, if you’re reading this, I’m not apologising. Sometimes the truth hurts. DEAL WITH IT.)

What’s your guilty film pleasure?

The Notebook. Don’t tell anyone. (did you and Luke Snellin fill your forms in together? --Siobhan)

Which famous actor would play you in a film about your life?

Strictly Steven Seagal.

If you were invisible for the day, where would you go?

Directly to my local newsagent to purchase the lucky lottery ticket - then straight back home to take a seat in font of the TV to watch my numbers roll in. Only to discover that I’ve completely misread the situation.

What super power would you most like to have?

Just the ability to multi-task would be nice. When I cook I have to ask everyone to leave, shut the door, put my phone on silent and really concentrate. If my lady wonders in I roar, “Please, I’m trying to fry an egg, give me a break”.
Alternatively, I would like the ability to fire lasers from my eyes.

Which book represents the story of your life?

‘Das Boot’ – it feels long.

What is your most treasured possession?

My logbook. If that goes missing all hell will break loose.

If you could bring something extinct back to life, what would you choose?

Dodo. I love the idea of a flightless bird. Thinking about it, they’d probably resent me for bringing them back. It must have been rubbish for them.

If you could go back in time, where would you go?

A few weeks ago to my last shoot in a fancy bar & grill where a runner ordered 14 cheeseboards for everyone’s lunch instead of nipping to Gregg’s. I’ve never seen so much cheese.


  • Tags:

Similar Articles

The last of the red carpet

  • The last of the red carpet

    It's with a heavy heart that we post that last of the interviews from the Virgin Media Shorts Awards 2013. We've loved watching all of the …

  • Taking centre stage

    Our 13 shortlisted filmmakers were most definitely put in the spotlight at this year's glitzy awards bash at the IMAX cinema in London. With th…

  • More red carpet action

    The red carpet at the Virgin Media Shorts Awards was full of talented filmmakers, legendary judges and some amazing and rather well known faces. Ou…

  • The Red Carpet Action

    The glittering Virgin Media Shorts Awards were held at the London IMAX cinema back on the 7th November and oh, what a night it was. We're still…