Blast from the past: Sign Language Q&A3 July, 2012 2:53pm
ABOUT YOUR FILM
What inspired you to make your film?
When I first came to London I worked as a runner in Soho, so I spent a lot of my time pelting along Oxford Street balancing frappachinos on a stack of film cans. I was always heartbroken to see the stream of Londoners striding grimly by, brows furrowed and staring at the ground. I’d just arrived, so I was still full of wonder for all the incredible buildings and activity and energy and life – but, years later, I remember catching myself doing the same thing.
I’ve always loved stories that try to wake us up – to bring back a bit of amazingness – remind us ordinary things aren’t ordinary at all. So almost a decade later, when Stephen suggested a film about an Oxford Street Golf-Sign-holder-guy in love with his ‘office’, I began to get excited.
How long did it take to make?
About a month, all in: A week or two knocking ideas and drafts back and forth between myself and Stephen; about three/four days for Tiernan to pull cast and crew and permissions together; a six hour shoot on a drizzly winter Oxford Street; a week or two to cut and grade – all worked around normal life.
How much did you spend on it?
236 pounds and 42 pence.
Did you have to cut back on anything in order to save money during filming?
We wanted to take the cast and crew for lunch on the shoot day, so found a pub that had a £5 ‘lunch-and-a-drink’ deal.
Was the 2 minutes, 20 seconds time limit easy to stick to?
Hell no. But that was a good thing.
What was the best bit about making your film?
The matching gloves. Pure luck. Gave me a big morale boost in the morning to think the film gods were smiling on us.
What was your biggest worry during filming?
Take your pick: Losing the light, trouble from police, rain so hard the signs fell apart, the signs falling apart for any other reason, freezing actors, getting trouble from angry tourists who couldn’t find the Golf Sale (that actually happened) , trouble from Air Traffic Control, the list goes on.
If you win, how will you spend the £30k film funding?
On a short film called Airtime about a middle-aged housewife who loses her grip on the floor. Think of the floating scenes in Mary Poppins and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, done by Ken Loach.
When did you realise you were interested in film making?
City of Lost Children at my Dad’s film club when I was little, because it was the first film I’d seen that had a whole imaginary world like nothing I’d ever seen before. A universe invented by one guy and made totally real in my head. Amazing. Then The Neverending Story. Then at a party at university, when I played with a camera someone had lying around, made a little in-camera film about a guy seeing himself in a chair across the room, and got an amazing reaction from someone I thought had good taste.
Who or what are your biggest film influences?
Jeunet, Gilliam, Douglas Adams, Haneke, Propp.
If you could make a film with anyone, dead or alive, unknown or famous, who would it be?
Douglas Adams. The king of turning the ordinary inside out – and inventing a million new ideas before breakfast.
If there was a film of your life, who would play you and what would it be called?
I’d get everyone to take turns, a different actor in every shot. It would be called ‘Everyone is Everyone’.
What’s the most watched DVD in your collection?
The drive cleaner disk. I love that Japanese presenter guy, he makes me feel so clean. Seriously though, I have no DVDs.
Which decade of film would you most like to have been a part of and why?
The next one.
Popcorn or ice cream?
Front or back row?
OCD need for exact middle of the middle row, middle front if there’s a decent throw to the screen, middle back at the IMAX.
Early for trailers or late for start?
Try to be early, usually late.
Stay for credits or shoot off?
Stay. Might be a gag after. And sometimes they close the curtains. Mmm, closure.
LIKED THAT? READ THESE…
The lovely Jennifer Sheridan is no stranger to Virgin Media Shorts. Her film, Rocket - starring her ridiculously clever Border Terr…
Veteran Shorts fans will know that Manchester’s Jason Wingard is no stranger to the shortlist. In 2010 his film Bus Baby, made with co-direct…
Back in 2010, Oscar Sharp wowed the judging panel with Sign Language, his touching tale of an Oxford Street sign holder on his final shift. An elat…
Many moons ago, whipper snapper Luke Snellin walked away from Virgin Media Shorts with a shiny new trophy and £30,000 film funding, aged…
Back when Virgin Media Shorts was knee high to a grasshopper, dynamic duo Phil Sansom and Olly Williams snapped up the first ever Grand Prize for t…
We chat to 2011 Grand Prize Winner and 2013 judge, Jason Wingard about his winning short, 2.20 find out how to make a masterpi…
The original 2009 shortlist Q&A from Andrew Gaynord, director of People's Choice Award winning film CGI Brows. ABOUT YO…
We've taken a sneak peak at the shortlist Q&A's for Luke Snellin of Mixtape and Phil and Olly of The Black Hole. Today it's Oscar…
Today in our 'Blast from the Past' series, the original Q&A from Luke Snellin in 2009, when he found out his short Mixtape was in …
As we approach the Shorts 2012 deadline, we thought we'd throw a bit of last minute inspiration your way in the shape of the original Q&A…
Back in 2009, a young Regan Hall sat nervously at BFI Southbank waiting to hear who had been crowned Grand Prize winner of Virgin Media Shorts. Mak…
Right, from Tuesday's The Sandman to a real life sand man. We're big fans of Gulp, the world's biggest stop-motion animation, so we tho…
Now that Virgin Media Shorts 2012 has launched, we’re already hearing that age old question we’re asked every year &nda…
Congratulations Jason Wingard, who swiped the Grand Prize last year for his sci-fi short 2:20. Not only was he safe in the knowledge that his …
Federico Forcolini's cheeky comedy Coasting was a bit hit with the Shorts community, especially Virgin Media customers. Federico racked up the …
In 2011, cute-as-a-button InaniMate stole the public's collective heart and got everyone feeling all gooey inside. Animators Micheal O'Dono…
Back when Virgin Media Shorts was knee high to a grasshopper, dynamic duo Phil Sansom and Olly Williams snapped up the first ever Grand P…
The Short Film That Became Cashback
Ever wondered what you would do if you could stop time and walk around in a “frozen” world? Sounds pretty interesting, right? This is w…
There's something of the Wall-E quality about our latest Top Blog entry. Run Zoom Run, the frantic tale of a curious little robot, is the …
Vin Diesel returns this weekend as the murmuring, vest-wearing, car enthusiast Dominic Toretto in Fast & Furious 6. So we here at Shorts decide…
Whether you like his unique style or not, you can't deny Wes Anderson knows how to tell a story. He's a filmmaker both equally loved and ha…