Joseph, a widower, should be tethered. A lonely man with a violent temper, he gets into situations, particularly at pubs, that leave him and others bloody. He has a possible soft spot for a young boy who lives across the street with his feckless mother and her punk boyfriend. Joseph knows better than to seek out anyone else’s company, until one miserable afternoon in hiding he meets Hannah, a clerk in a church thrift shop with problems of her own.
Paddy Considine’s debut feature film as writer/director—in which Joseph is modeled after his own father—is impressive in its tone, empathy, and its reach for salvation. A fine British actor himself, Considine brings two others, Peter Mullan (also an accomplished film director) and Olivia Colman, into a story that is not so much about love as it is about redemption, in a film that promises to be one of the strongest expressions of character this year. A Strand Films release. [Synopsis courtesy of ND/NF]
[indieWIRE invited directors with films in the 40th edition of New Directors/New Films to submit responses in their own words about their films. To prompt the discussion, indieWIRE asked the filmmakers about what inspired their films, the challenges they faced and other general questions. They were also free to add additional comments related to their projects.]
Director: Paddy Considine
Screenwriter: Paddy Considine
CastL Peter Mullan, Olivia Colman, Eddie Marsan
Producer: Diarmid Scrimshaw
Composer: Chris Baldwin, Dan Baker
Cinematographer: Erik Wilson
Editor: Pia di Ciaula
Production Designer: Simon Rogers
Sound Designer: Greg Marshall
Responses courtesy of “Tyrannosaur” director Paddy Considine
Using “my own voice”…
Like most people, a love of movies. I think above anything else I was always intrigued with storytelling. I had contributed ideas to other peoples movies and decided it was time to use my own voice.
On what prompted the idea for the film and how did that evolve…
It evolved from numerous sources. But mainly it’s about my interpretation of life, and trying to function as a human.
Mantra on set?…
Simple approach. Just tell the story as honestly as you can. No tricks, no devices. Before I turned over on this people expected kitchen sink business, improvisations and documentary camera work. I wanted to make cinema. The documentary approach has been bastardised too much over the years.
Getting the money. The script was written, the cast was on board, the biggest struggle was the money. The fact that we didn’t have a lot of money meant that we were left alone. People took a leap of faith, but it wasn’t such a huge gamble. If it failed, then there wasn’t a huge amount lost. We just embraced what we had. We were sort of unstoppable. I don’t think anything could’ve stopped the momentum. That’s hugely owed to a crew that were invested in this project as much as myself and the actors.
Working on the fly…
There were numerous happy accidents that happened during the shoot. A lot of inspiration came from embracing the community of Seacroft Estate where we shot. The busker in the wake scene we picked up off the street. He was harassing the crew and I pulled him in and got him to improvise a song on the spot. He just piled into it, so I got him in the movie. All the extras were from the estate. They just joined in the process and the film is more authentic because of them.
Too many! ‘Rocky,’ ‘Cuckoo’s Nest’… Clint Eastwood for his beautiful simplicity. Inspiration comes from all over the shop. The most important thing was I knew without hesitation the type of film I DIDN’T want to make.
I have two books that I am adapting, but first I am writing a script called The Leaning. It’s a ghost story. It’s about secrets and legacies and how the dead come to terms with their sins.