Film Industry TipsVideos

Interview with Nicholas Connor

SUMMARY:

We caught up with Nicholas Connor a young up and coming filmmaker who screened with Lift-Off several times including Manchester Lift-Off 2019.

WE COVER:

1. Nicholas' history up to this point.
2. Nick's biggest hurdle in his career
3. How he overcame it
4. The biggest piece of advice that Nick would give to aspiring filmmakers
5. What is the proudest moment in Nick's career?
6. What Nick is currently working on

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TRANSCRIPT

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I'm nasty Daniels and this is Nicholas

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Connor nick has screamed with us at

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several liftoff film festivals he

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screams us at Manchester liftoff and at

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la liftoff with his film Northern Light

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and cotton-wool Nick why don't you

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introduce yourselves a little bit about

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your background and what led you up to

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this point

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yeah I'm Nicola from Manchester England

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and a writer in director in terms of my

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background obviously I haven't always

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been a writer I have slowly worked my

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way up through the ranks recently was

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the script supervisor and as a runner

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and intern slowly worked my way up

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building in a network people that future

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in future work with yes and then that

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for about five years have been doing

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professional film work and for the past

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two-and-a-half to three have been able

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to work on my own finance projects as a

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director under four so as a director

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what is your ultimate goal what what is

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it that you wish to accomplish within

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the film industry for me is making films

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that speak to me and other people around

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me they're kind of untold stories unique

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you know telling important narratives

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about people you know rich childcare and

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stroke survivors stories that haven't in

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my eyes been covered maybe correctly or

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before at all

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see yeah and that's probably my aim as

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the director is to just tell those

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stories that are untold and in my own

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unique way okay are there any filmmakers

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or films that really inspire you as a

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filmmaker are there any moments within

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those films that make you tick and make

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you wants of them not recreate it but

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take their or just take that inspiration

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and make it your own

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yeah of course so for me collage and

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might lead from like a social drama

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perspective you know I think dramas

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about real people in hard situations

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from that perspective I would say those

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two filmmakers and then from more event

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like a film perspective as a cinematic

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way rather than

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character and social drama perspective

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Savio Dolan who did like mommy mom cuz

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his foes are just so you know the

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capture the way that they take little

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moments they like quite mundane things

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and made something beautiful out of them

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so that's quite inspirational and then

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probably you know the typical Mike

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Scorsese Christopher Nolan's yeah yes

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[Music]

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Oh controversial because some people not

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a massive mi love interstellar I'm

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loving slower just because I think

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there's so many latest ballot and also

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or at the end of the day it's all about

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love and that's it is for a sci-fi film

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you know not just romantic look but like

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familiar love hmm you know it's so many

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different things so in that is probably

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is most of intellectual piece I just a

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lot of readings but yeah cool so with

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your own films what's been the biggest

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wall problem obstacle that you've had to

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overcome yeah

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maybe it won't be a problem for all but

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for me personally I would say probably

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age because you know I was as I was 17

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when I directed my first 1616 when

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addressed monopoly Heinen's film so that

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was like an hour long drama luckily I

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had a good crew around me cared but you

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know the second time around when I made

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a film called cold walk which had about

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five times the budget it was hard

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because I had a whole crew of people who

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have been in the industry for 10 years

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20 years and BAFTAs and stuff so it was

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kind of like how do I sell myself to

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them so that's kind of a battle

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personally at first and once you get

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them on sighs it's really collaboration

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then it's maybe that's a a wall that

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maybe won't be a problem for everyone

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but personally it was something at

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Sakhalin and you say that your film was

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fully financed and your second film had

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a larger budget which was also fully

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financed how did you manage to get the

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funding for your film

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so we went through private investment

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for the first two thumbs that we did and

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I see reproduction critical cherub

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productions so that's all privately

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financed and then film I made called the

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narrator was done through BFI and known

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on-screen things like that

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free DNS yes oh cool great so did you go

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to film school then I didn't go to

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formal film school in a sense of you

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know postgraduate master's you know that

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progression of things how most people

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get to come so I did do like a

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residential course which was

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specifically looking at young filmmakers

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and emerging talent rather than people

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who'd gone to university so yeah I did

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that and you know it's great but it

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wasn't for me in terms of the film

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school way of learning how to make films

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but yeah what would you suggest to

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filmmakers who are maybe starting their

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career and thinking about going to film

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school or thinking about just getting

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out there making their own projects what

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would you suggest for the filmmaker to

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do personally just to make the films

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that speak to them you know whether you

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if you want to make it an action film go

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make an action film in your back garden

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you know if you want to tell a drama

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tell something personal just tell

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something that speaks to you in your own

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voice rather than letting other people

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tell you how to do them or just because

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you think of people like that obviously

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filmmaking's and entertaining form

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rather than a personally driven constant

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artful see you have to consider an

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audience but make the kind of films that

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you want to tell because then the

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audience will come to you I think

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personally and you know film school may

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sway you away from that path so it's

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important to find that voice before you

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do that if you do that yeah I really

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think it's subject to who you are as

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well because some people need me that

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extra help maybe or or don't know

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exactly what they want to do within the

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film industry and films we can open them

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up to lots of different roles whereas if

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you know exactly what you want to do and

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you just want to get out there doing I

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think you should do that

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so yeah definitely because it's it's

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subjective and I think everyone learns

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in different ways I don't work well in a

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classroom and I deal well with authority

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but not in a sense of being told how to

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do something that I feel like I've and

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you know I mean it's it's a hard battle

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to each person to find what works for

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them some people it'll be the best thing

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in the world

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yeah so you've talked about that an

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obstacle course at your age

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is there any other obstacles that you

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faced whilst making the films any

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anything else you'd like to raise

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awareness of probably I mean we have a

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lot of weapons on cotton wool we were

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shooting in February in the middle of

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Yorkshire so we have to see yeah I mean

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we had a lot of obstacles there you know

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we have a child who is only six or seven

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who you know you can only shoot with

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them for about Carmen illegalities that

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could be on this face it's like full

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roadblocks and you have to break every

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two hours or whatever anything and they

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can only shoot so many hours in a day so

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that combined with weather cars getting

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stuck in the middle of the road hotel

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not being able to get the bats the hotel

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not even just so many problems and that

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was quite because we have to overcome

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so what would you say you've learned

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from from all these obstacles and that

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you'll take on to your next film or or

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whatever else you're working on other

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than not shooting in February in

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Yorkshire just be careful of your

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obstacles maybe you know it's one

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obstacle to shoot with a six year old

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for six days but it's enough another

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obstacle to have a six year old for six

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days for a 40 minute though to also have

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them whether to also have so just be

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aware of those obstacles because I

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always think obstacles create create you

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know is this typical quo you know

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sometimes the restrictions in life Craig

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the best creativity but there is a line

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there I think we're between too many

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obstacles that get in the way creativity

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and then a reasonable about

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schools which anything's gonna have to

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just be aware of bad saying okay great

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um do you have any other pearls of

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wisdom that you can share with our

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filmmakers or the network and say make

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films that speak to you the people

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around you but the main thing is ace to

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fail a lot and enjoy failing in a way

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because you might not be able to get the

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chance to fail again if you've got your

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career to a point where you know and I

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think I've spoken to you about this

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device is kind of like Aaron Sorkin said

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that his career went from down here to a

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few but man you know with Rob Reiner is

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kind of two very extremes and that he

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didn't get the chance to fail and try

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rubbish comedies and you know so just

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find your voice and to try things out

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while you're not the biggest Hollywood

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direction CF man that'd be a little

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pearl of wisdom

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yeah nice no I love that because like

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again if you're at film school you have

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the opportunity to create and

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essentially fail within the safety of a

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private screening whereas if you're

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alive and you're like out there then

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then yeah you have to I know yeah it's

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what the world see of you so now it's

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really nice pearl of wisdom there so um

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what's one of the proudest moments

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within your film career what what would

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you say it's been your biggest

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achievement so far um probably just

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making the films that I make just

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generally you know proudest moment is

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just looking back recently income ago I

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shot two films when I was really young

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than people believed in me and people

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signing on that thought you know why

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would they sign on for me

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you know but yeah I think for me he's

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just premiering cotton wool and having

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an audience there for me to see a film

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that's really quite personal to that

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large audience and that's probably my

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proudest proudest moment I'd say yeah

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nice um so what are you currently

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working on as you know actually let me

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go back it's it's cotton wool available

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anywhere or Northern Lights you'd be

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able to see that normalized is available

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on Amazon Prime I think at the moment to

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Ren but yeah that's not the nice at the

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moment but cotton wool still kind of on

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the festival circuit is been on the

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circuit for about a year and a half two

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years but it's a hard battle because you

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know the film world is very different

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from the distribution world and the

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sales agent world and we still try and

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find a distribution deal

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we haven't openly seeked too much but

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we're really kind of that's the next

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step for the film is to try and find

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some kind of place for it to have a

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larger audience and hopefully so and are

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you looking for film distribution or TV

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because being that I've seen the film I

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reckon it a bit nice and either so yeah

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I mean I would personally love TV

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because it's kind of had its own

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theatrical run in that it's I think

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festivals is the new theatrical run for

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very low budget films like cotton wool

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if you could have another future or run

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great but I mean it's a 40-minute films

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it just as you say

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into that you know TV bracket for two

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minutes with you know 20 minutes worth

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of adverts or BBC iPlayer or streaming

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see yeah it'd be nice if they could have

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a life in TV will say I'd like a little

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bit - oh really was so am what are you

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working on now or was coming up with

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some developing two shorts one a biopic

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based on a gentleman called Paul's gates

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and that's dealing with mental health

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there was quite dark hard-hitting

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storyline I've got the life rights to

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the book rights to it kind of early

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stages of making that into a film

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hopefully in coordination with the book

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release and hopefully we get some good

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people involved that and then I'm doing

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another film which is about a film star

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and it's

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kind of an anti romantic drama looking

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into her life and you know not

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necessarily that the typical struggles

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with fame it's more just looking at

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someone's life who is in that limelight

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well you know while they're in the

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living room watching TV rather than

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while the cameras are flashing so that's

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that they're the two projects then I've

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got a few feature development ideas but

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swirling around in that it's good to

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hear that you're so busy thank you yeah

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do you have anything that you'd like to

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plug or share with the network before we

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end our interview no I mean just get in

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touch look at some with filmmakers

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wherever you from with you know we

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flipped off being based all around the

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world you know when you're in Tokyo or

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LA if you're any of the LA screenings

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love to hear from you you know just to

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you know I love speaking to filmmakers

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wherever you are you know maybe I can

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learn something from you if there's any

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young filmmakers out there you need a

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little bit of advice about how to deal

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with difficult crew or people who don't

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quite I mean I mean there's bigger

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problems than age industry in terms of

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diversity but you know it is an issue

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that I think it can only be tackled by

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people talking about it so feel free to

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get in touch and yeah I'd love to share

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the phone with everyone hopefully soon

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and we'll see us as films in the network

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so yeah Nick's actually a really active

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member on the forum so if you do have

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any questions I suggest heading there

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and ask me Nick anything you'd like um

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Nick thank you so much for your time

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Sally thank you

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