May 21, 2019
This week I speak to cinematographer Rachel Clark. Rachel’s CV is incredibly impressive. She started out in the industry over ten years ago, working as a runner on the likes of This Is England (2006), and progressed into the camera department where she worked as a trainee on Control (2007). In the years after that Rachel worked as clapper loader on lots of British indie films such as Bronson, Fish Tank and Wuthering Heights as well huge blockbusters such World War Z and Captain America: Civil War. As a first assistant camera assistant she travelled across the US with Cinematographer Robbie Ryan and director Andrea Arnold for the road movie American Honey (2016) and has worked around the world on many 2nd Unit action sequences: Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them (2016), & Black Panther (2018) among them.
Rachel was the 2nd Unit Director of Photography on director Sarah Gavron’s latest film Girl Untitled and has just completed photography on the feature film Concrete Plans. I felt very honoured to lure Rachel away from the camera to the microphone and basically ask lots of basic questions about what cinematography actually is.
We cover lots of interesting topics such as the physicality and energy the role requires, what Rachel does in her downtime between jobs and how she stays motivated, and what she learnt from working with Robbie Ryan. I hope you enjoy the interview.
May 14, 2019
This week I go down rabbit hole of music supervision with Jen Moss. Jen is the director of music supervision at Warner Music, where she acts as the go-to person in helping directors establish musical soundscapes for their films within the budgetary constraints set out by the producers. This includes searching for and sourcing commercial and production music, commissioning bespoke tracks and negotiating clearance fees, among other things.
Her credits include American Animals, I, Tonya, Calibre, Beast and Prevenge and Luca Guadagnino’s I Am Love and I had a whale of time learning about this whole other aspect of creating and designing memorable scenes in movies.
May 7, 2019
I’m really excited for the episode this week as its completely new territory for me! I interviewed costume designer Ruka Johnson, who has a really varied CV across features, shorts, television and music videos. Her credits include Obey, a film that dramatises the 2011 London Riots, award-winning short film We Love Moses (produced by OG - original guest - Georgia Goggin) and music videos for Blood Orange and Lily Allen! She also worked on Sarah Gavron’s film Girl Untitled, which shrewd listeners will know has popped up on the pod quite a bit!
Hands down my favourite part of this chat is when Ruka says she wants to be really successful and completely owns it. I think its always really refreshing, perhaps sadly so, to hear a young woman claim that as their ambition. Even if you’re thinking it, we’re often told you have to keep your intentions on the down-low, and to be gracious and surprised and grateful when that success does find you. But its always super important to say what you want, to go after it and not feel shame about doing that, or shame about having success and wealth and creative fulfilment as a priority, so yeah that was cool to hear Ruka say and the rest of the chat is just as inspiring tbh. So enjoy!
April 30, 2019
This week I spoke to Catherine Slater, an associate producer at The Imaginarium, the production outfit founded by Andy Serkis and Jonathan Cavendish, and a BAFTA-nominated producer, whose first short film Wale was shortlisted for the Oscars.
It was brilliant to hear about Catherine’s journey from assistant to associate producer, as well as how she balanced a full-time job with the full-time job of producing a short film.
April 23, 2019
For this episode I spoke to Chloe Trayner, Festival Director at the Open City Docs and undoubtedly one of hardest working people I have encountered!
Chloe is responsible for the direction of the festival as well as industry programming, partnerships and development and she has also worked as a film & events programmer and producer with organisations such as BFI Future Film Festival, Overnight Film Festival, UnderWire Festival and Bertha DocHouse.
We talk about also these various positions she has held, as well as how she managed being freelance, the state of documentary funding in the UK and what she loves most about her job.
April 16, 2019
BAFTA-nominated filmmaker Harry Wootliff joins me on the podcast this week to discuss her transition from acting to writing and directing, the experience of showing her short film at Cannes and the rewards and challenge of directing her first feature - Only You - which will be released by Curzon in the summer.
We really dive into the writing process, from coming up with ideas, to writing good dialogue and what it means to be a visual storyteller. Definitely keep an eye out for the film (which stars Laia Costa and Josh O'Connor) when it hits UK cinemas!
April 9, 2019
I dip my toe back into the world of distribution with the delightful Síle Culley, a Theatrical Sales Executive at Altitude,whose recent films include The Florida Project, Loveless and A Private War.
Síle started her career as a film production manager in Dublin, before attending NFTS and moving in distribution at Pulse Films. She then ventured into the Event Cinema world, before joining Altitude in 2017.
We talked about Síle's recent trip to Berlin for their talents programme, the importance of peer support and how to stay focused on your career ambitions, as well as what it's like working in the male-dominated world of sales...
March 26, 2019
My guest this week is Jo Duncombe, who is currently Shorts Programme Manager at the British Council, as well as a curator and consultant for Bird’s Eye View - championing new cinema created by women with nationwide touring programmes. Previous roles include being a film programmer at the Independent Cinema Office, as well as Programme Director at the London Short Film Festival.
Jo and I chat about her various roles across these organisations, as well as what living on a boat is like, her favourite short story collection, cat videos and her very cool side hustle.
I’m a bit in awe of Jo, so it was a real pleasure to dig deeper and hear about how she got into programming. I hope you enjoy our conversation.
March 22, 2019
This week I have a very special bonus minisode to share with you. Applications for the 2019 edition of iFeatures are currently open until 9am on Friday 29 March 2019, so Jude Lister, Creative England’s Film Project Manager came on the podcast to talk about the evolution of iFeatures and what they look for in an application.
If you’re looking to apply to the scheme, which has incubated and invested in films such as Apostasy, Lady Macbeth, God’s Own Country, The Levelling, The Goob, Adult Life Skills and Pin Cushion then I definitely recommend you give this a listen.
March 19, 2019
I’ve got a wonderful guest this week in the form of Loran Dunn. Loran is a BFI Vision Award winning producer with a background in production on BBC Dramas, independent features and major music promos and is also an Associate Lecturer in Filmmaking at Manchester Metropolitan University.
I really loved our conversation because we got into the nitty gritty of producing, like how you create a budget, what pitching your project is like, the public funding landscape and how Loran actually makes a living. We also talked about grander concepts like revolutionising and diversifying the industry, as well as empowering young people to make their own work and just being yourself.