Synopsis: A young man plots revenge after losing his mother in a terrorist bombing in London.
New Yorkers all know where they were on 9/11, where were you on 7/7?
I was on the tube (subway) in London heading into work. There were severe delays on the line but I thought it was just normal problems. It wasn’t until I got into the office that I learnt the full horror. It was a surreal day.
It feels like we’re watching a Mike Leigh film as every actor embodies their character. How did you achieve that?
I put a lot of energy into casting and then spend time rehearsing and improvising before the shoot. I believe most of the hard work is done before you step on the set.
How was the casting and working with such a young actor such as Reece Noi?
He has a natural vulnerability that I thought was perfect for this role. There’s very little dialogue in the film so I needed someone who could convey a powerful inner struggle without going over the top. He is ultimately a ticking bomb - raw emotions are brooding just beneath the surface.
How was it filming in a mosque and the London underground?
It’s sensitive subject matter for a mosque and for the London underground. There was a lot of resistance at first. We had to explain that the film was not in any way political; it was just a story about a young man’s grief. 7/7 was merely a backdrop. Once they understood this they were very supportive.
Why do you think anniversaries are so poignant?
I think it brings it all back. You relive it. It’s like putting salt on a wound that hasn’t yet healed.
What elements are needed to make a good short film?
There’re a lot of important elements but the script is the key. It needs to be a compelling story, but not a complicated one. Then, I think it’s about securing a strong cast. So many shorts suffer from bad performances.
What advice do you have for a first time filmmaker?
Be ambitious but realistic. Tell a small story well. A film shoot can quickly unravel if you take on too much without the adequate support.
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