Back in 2002 I made my very first short film called Bingo. We had a great crew and at one point 50 extras! Looking back I think I pulled off the film through sheer naivety.
It didn't go anywhere but it did open a door that led to meeting Kenneth Branagh, from whom I received a lot of advice and continue to keep contact with him to this day. However, as time has gone by I have learned more and more and now I find even the smallest film daunting in its complexity, but despite this the whole experience back then spurred me on to make bigger films.
Eventually, over the past two years, I pulled together a self-shot feature film documentary, all about a cycle trip across America. This time I took it as far as screening it in a cinema, entering it into film festivals and having DVDs made, which have sold in five countries to date.
Three years ago I was lucky to be given the opportunity to run a workshop for a local youth group, and I hoped that I might inspire young minds to make their own movies. Instantly it was obvious that this was a path I would like to pursue further, teaching kids film making.
Just three weeks ago I started to do just that, albeit a short contract. At a local high school, once a week for three hours, I have a dozen girls and boys all eager to learn the art of making movies. In a months time they will be on location making their very first film, which, once edited, will be shown on a local cinema screen.
They're excited and passionate, I'm excited and passionate, and I get paid to do this! I have definitely missed my calling in life. Academically I'm not able to pursue it as a career as I don't have a degree, but this is certainly the next best thing.
Apart from being my dream job, teaching these young students film making, I also get a lot out of it creatively. Each week I am amazed at the creativity of their minds. They know no bounds, and at times I need to pull them back a bit, but overall I think we are going to have a lot of fun creating a short film in the coming months.
One rule though is proving unpopular:
No Zombie films!
No Zombie films!