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One To Watch: Jack Weatherley – movieScope

One To Watch: Jack Weatherley

Jack Weatherley’s first short film Straight Way Lost premiered at the BFI London Film Festival in 2011 before screening at festivals internationally and being picked up for distribution. His next film Pieces, starring Michael Smiley (Kill List), George MacKay (For Those In Peril), Alice Lowe (Sightseers), Paul Kaye (Game of Thrones) and Tanya Franks (Pulling) is heading to festivals this year.

What training have you received?

No formal training, really. I’ve studied elements of film theory but didn’t go to film school, so had very little practical filmmaking experience. My first job in the industry was as a runner at a post house; from there I started working in TV before directing commercials and then making shorts independently.

What kind of projects attract you?

So far I’ve written the films I’ve directed and, in general, I enjoy cinema that challenges, provokes questions and stays with you. I love working with actors and the collaborative nature of filmmaking inspires me. On Pieces I was lucky enough to work with an inspirational cast and crew including DOP Laurie Rose (who has shot all of Ben Wheatley’s films) and amazing post talent. Exploring music and sound in film fascinates me and collaborating with the collective sonic genius of Pablo Clements and James Griffith (Toydrum / UNKLE) and Martin Pavey (Kill List, A Field in England) on the film was a joy.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given as a director?

Nothing will happen for you in this industry, you have to make it happen. Just get out there and do it, make films, find your voice. Technology has reached a point where it’s possible to make a film affordably; there are no excuses anymore.

Tell us the most significant moment in your career so far

It’s still very early days for me but my first short screening at the BFI London Film Festival was quite a moment. I’d gone from Googling how to format a screenplay to introducing the film to 150 pairs of eyes in a relatively short period of time. The old cliché of shorts being calling cards turned out to be pretty accurate, and I wouldn’t have been able to make Pieces or collaborate with UNKLE on a commercial doc last year without that exposure.

You’ll die happy when…

If I can look back at a career and body of work with no regrets. / @Jack_WeatherleyTaken from movieScope magazine, Issue 35 (July/August 2013)