WRITER and director Will Nash joins us on Close-up Culture to talk about his new short film Lady, working in super 8mm and the current landscape for young British filmmakers.
Q: It feels as though there is a sense of confusion and tension surrounding feminism and gender roles at the moment. Is this what led you to the topic of Ladette culture or was it something else?
A: PARTIALLY yes. I had been reading about the topic a fair bit before I started developing the script. I wanted to then show someone who contradicted the ‘norms’ of behaviour from a given demographic. Creating Lady seemed to be the way in which I was able to do this. I feel today that there is still a lot of pigeonholing which can easily end up being destructive and harmful to others. This is what I wanted to challenge.
Q: Amy Doyle is the charming and burping face of the Ladette culture in the film. What was it like working with Amy and what did she bring to the project?
A: AMY was an absolute dream to work with. One of the most professional actors I have worked with in a long time and just very easy to get on with. Amy got on board with the project fairly early on which was great to help develop Lady and see where we could take the performance to.
However the burp itself is from another talented person close to my heart/digestive tract.
Q: Why did you decide to use Kodak super 8mm?
A: IT was a few things really. First, it has been so long since I have worked on film and I wanted to get back into that practise. Secondly, I had seen a few super 8mm promo shoots but none that really had a narrative.
The initial aim with this, before the idea of the script came in, was to shoot on the different Kodak stocks of Super 8mm for each scene, to see how they all work in different environments. It is something I now want to stay on if I can and hopefully get onto shooting something on Super 16mm soon.
Q: You have plenty of experience as a camera assistant and in a variety of similar roles. Can you talk about your background and the grounding it has given you as a filmmaker?
A: I WOULD definitely say that if you want to be a filmmaker get yourself on set first as a runner. There is no better way to learn any industry than from the bottom looking up.
Not only do you learn so much more about the job roles and the craft, but it also makes you work even harder for what you really want – and then appreciate things when they happen.
You see a lot of people coming into the industry straight to the top and there is often a clear look on their faces that they do not know what crew members do – which has at times lead to confrontations.
Staying as relaxed as possible is definitely the key to a smooth running production. It brings out the best in everyone which I think is evident in how this short film has all come together.
It also helps when there are problems on set. You can think a lot more clearly when stress levels are lower and solve issues more efficiently. Plus your bloody pressure stays lower which is good for everyone.
Q: What is the current landscape like for young British filmmakers?
A: I AM not 100 per cent sure at the moment. It seems like there has been a recent boom for indie filmmakers, but coming back from Cannes I definitely felt more supported by other countries out there. Especially the Americans.
It has also been a strange year for a lot of people work-wise in Britain – a lot quieter at the moment. But I feel with the changes in how we approach filmmaking and the rising in shooting digital it has opened the doors to more filmmakers worldwide.
Q: What filmmakers do you look up to?
A: THERE IS a few that I always get excited about when new work comes out. But mainly it is directors I have worked alongside that I really look up to. Matt Lipsey, Simon Hynd and Louis Sutherland are three who I always enjoy working with and get excited about their work.
Q: What are your ambitions and plans moving forward?
A: HOPEFULLY more storytelling. I am interested in using different mediums to tell stories – and not just on film.
Learn more about Will and his projects
Follow Will on Twitter and Instagram