WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE MOVIE AND WHY?
I think I would probably have to say The Sea Inside, a Spanish film directed by
Alejandro Amenaba. It moved me immeasurably.
HAS DIRECTING FILMS GIVEN YOU A “GOD COMPLEX’?
Definitely not! Working with the budgets we work on is far more likely to lead to a
mortal complex – as in – am I going to make it through another day! I heard this
story that the Hollywood director Michael Mann (Ali, The Insider) has an assistant
who follows him around and when he wants his glasses cleaned he wordlessly hands
them over, the assistant frantically cleans the glasses and hands them back as well
as taking care of every other pesky detail of his life. Any volunteers?
WHAT IS THE MOST BIZARRE THING TO HAVE HAPPENED ON A SHOOT?
That would have to have been on Gums and Noses when the sheriff of the court
arrived to attach the furniture of the house in which we were shooting. My producer
Robbie Thorpe had to talk the sheriff down for about three hours (genuine!). He had
a hard time explaining the concept of film continuity to the sheriff. I told the DOP
Jonathan Kovel to roll the camera because I wanted to be able to say… I shot the
sheriff. OK, I made that up but the first part is true!
IF SOMEONE GAVE YOU A $100 MILLION BUDGET WHAT KIND OF FILM WOULD
I have no desire to make a $100m film whatsoever. I remember being at a talk when
the late Anthony Minghella (The English Patient, The Talented Mr Ripley) was
speaking about his first experience of working on a $100m film, Cold Mountain. He
said every one of those dollars was like a nail in the flesh. You have much more
control and fun when you work on smaller budgets. (That’s my story and I’m sticking
WHICH UP-AND-COMING SOUTH AFRICAN DIRECTOR/S SHOULD WE BE ON THE
LOOK OUT FOR?
All of them!
WHAT CHARACTER FROM A MOVIE WOULD YOU LIKE TO MEET?
Any character that Woody Allen has played. I am a massive Woody Allen fan.
WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR INSPIRATION?
Everywhere! In the craziness of people. I walk around with my mouth hanging open.
The world renowned creative writing instructor Robert McKee says comedy writers
are failed idealists and I think that’s true. Inspiration is everywhere because crazy
people are everywhere.
IF YOUR LIFE HAD A SOUNDTRACK, WHAT SONGS WOULD BE ON IT?
American jazz pianist Keith Jarrett’s The Koln Concert, Kanye West’s Can We Get
Much Higher? And the first seven songs of Damien Rice’s album O.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE MINDLESS ENTERTAINMENT?
Watching sport on TV.
WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO WORK WITH IN FUTURE?
My partners Robbie Thorpe and Ronnie Apteker. I would also love to make a film in
WOULD YOU CONSIDER MAKING A SILENT, BLACK AND WHITE FILM?
I have always liked black and white as a look. Who doesn’t? Everything looks good in
black and white, so if it fitted the project, I don’t see why not.
WHAT DO YOU THINK WILL BE THE NEXT BIG THING AFTER 3D?
I’d like to believe that people will become saturated with excessive visual effects and
long for good, simple stories. Just like how people are now going back to vinyl
records. We had a vinyl party the other night, it was incredible and we just stood
around marveling at the quality of the sound compared to the compressed stuff we
mostly listen to today.
WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON?
e.tv’s soapie Rhythm City and a few new film projects with the Material team.
Screen Africa magazine – May 2012