Phase9 Entertainment

GRAVITY - Q&A with director Colin Hutton

Movie Interview by Toby White

A short film that deals with the detached nature of gun violence and how actions and responsibilities are often disconnected.

What's your background in film and how did you get into filmmaking?

Initially trained as a photographer then Film School (Bournemouth Film School) then worked in animation before becoming an Asst Art Director on films, commercials and promos. I then won the 1995/6 Fulbright TEB Clarke Fellowship in Screenwriting funded by John Cleese and spent a year in the states taking courses at UCLA and the American Film Institute. On returning I became a full time screenwriter for films and TV and have been for the last 9 years - more recently moving into directing.

What was the basis for the idea for your film?

The spark came from my year living in Los Angeles.

Did a particular incident/event inspire it?

Yes. There was a bank robbery near where I lived and there was a shoot out. Half a mile away a woman got shot by a stray random bullet.

What aspect of the filmmaking process was most enjoyable/challenging and why?

The casting was both hard and enjoyable. Suddenly the characters really came to life and I had to listen to their voices and such change the script accordingly.

How did you crew it/cast it?

A combination of old friend and new people - some of which I found through Shooting People of which I'm a member.

What was the budget (if you can say) and how did you apply it?

£8500 - It was funded by Film London/Film Council as part of their Digital Shorts Scheme.

Was any one thing a great indulgence financially?

Yes. We hired a massive crane for the last shot in the film.

How did you raise the money (if there was any!) for it?

It was funded by Film London/Film Council

How long was the shoot? Was that too long/too short?

Three days. It was about right and we were lucky with the weather. Also we were working with children and there was very strict regulations on the hours they can work.

Did you have to compromise anything for the schedule?

Luckily we didn't. It all went surprisingly smoothly.

What are your influences?

Lots. I love challenging film and big blockbusters. More importantly I like visual films that use 'cinema' well.

What's your favourite scene in a film?

There's a scene in a Robert Mulligan film called SUMMER OF 42 that I love where a kid sleeps with an older woman who's just found her husband has been killed in the war. Not a word is said and you don't see anything but it's both emotional and riveting. Great stuff. My favourite film is BOTTLE ROCKET by Wes Anderson.