Cleek will screen at Straight Jacket Guerrilla Film Festival
*How did you get into making films?
I first off studied Media at School (Primary 6), learning about how other people shot some of my favourite films and TV shows. There was one class where we got to shoot a 3 minute film using an old flip camera and although the film wasn't very good -- I knew this was where my heart and passion lay. From that moment I was a filmmaker.
*What inspired you to make your movie?
When looking for a new project I wanted to do a film about addiction. About one man and his addiction and what happens when the thing he’s addicted to is taken away.
Most common Scottish films are filled with Scottish miserablism. In these types of films most people are either addicted to drink or drugs. I wanted to find something different.
My second inspiration came from the very unlikely but hugely successful show ‘Desperate Housewives. Set is the suburbs with it’s white picket fences and huge family homes, it center's on housewives who lie, steal, blackmail, murder and cheat on their partners and each other. The characters all hide their dark secrets and put on the perfect “person suits” to hide their true goals.
Cleek however was never going to be light hearted
*How has your style evolved?
When I was shooting my first film -- I would sit and watch hours and hours of my favourite films - coming away with certain shots I like or different angles and lighting that stood out.
I would then try to incorporate all of these into one film and it would end up looking like a an amateur mush of other people's work. I still get influenced from other movies, but I have now learned to incorporate my own signature and style onto my films, I storyboard certain shots that I want in particular scenes and as long as my DOP (Cinematographer) can achieve these, he builds the rest of the shots round that with his style as well.
I trust my cinematographer so I focus on working closely with the actors because if a film is shot well it wont matter if the acting fails.
*Tell us any strange or funny stories while making the film?
There was one scene (It never made the final film unfortunately) which was a very personal dark scene, we spent hours and hours rehearsing it - so the actors would be ready. When it came to filming we kept hearing a jingling noise. Each time I shouted action the jingling would appear half way through the scene.
The Sound Operator was getting furious, but we played the footage back and tried and tried again, until we finally realized it was in fact the sound operator that was making the noise. Every time he moved the boom, his keys would jingle in his trouser pocket.
*The Misrule Film Movement & Pink8 manifesto bring what to mind?
That we should never stop -- no matter what society thinks of you, your views and your message. Film is the one way we can express our message, our emotions, how we feel, what we want the world to be or the way we don't want the world to be. It's our escapism to a better world.
This is why there is no funding for the indie film industry - society wants to keep us down like a herd of sheep and filmmakers who can express without money, RISE ABOVE IT
*What can we expect from your next film?
I have shot a short film Mia: A Rapture 2.0 Production, which so far has taken home six awards. In a nutshell it's about sex robots and the end of the world. I would now love to develop it into a feature film