I have been making films and messing around with cameras since I was little but I started getting 'serious' 3 years ago when I started my Youtube channel 'Perspective Pictures' (previously known as Nerf4hire). When I started on Youtube my videos were terrible but I made as many as I could with as many different people as I could and tried to improve while watching other channels like 'CorridorDigital' and their behind the scenes.
Do you have previous filmmaking experience?
Well yes, I originally wanted to be an actor (and still do alongside directing) and have done some professional work here in the UK in film and television. I have found it really useful to watch professional film sets and as an actor you spend most of your time just sitting around waiting, now most actors hate this but I love it; it gives me the chance to really watch everything around me as it happens.
"...as an actor you spend most of your time just sitting around waiting... I love it; it gives me the chance to really watch everything around me as it happens"
My web-series 'The Fallen' is about a young man trying to find his younger brother in a world with no water remaining after an 'alien' invasion removes all of it. The series tries to look at what we really are as people by putting characters in a situation with no boundaries. I shot the film on an ultra low budget and produced a series of behind the scenes episodes along side the series to show you how we produced the film on such a low budget.
Why did you decide to do a web-series? Where did the inspiration for “The Fallen” come from?
The inspiration for 'The Fallen' came from a British tv show called 'The black mirror' I would highly recommend watching it. I was also inspired and motivated by other Youtubers who were producing web-series at the time.
“The Fallen” takes place in a dystopian world. Was this setting hard to put together?
Yes, the dystopain element was difficult to sell in the series, but we used genuine abandoned locations which I found extremely effective as the majority of our locations were genuinely dilapidated, and best of all free!
...["The Fallen"] tries to look at what we really are as people by putting characters in a situation with no boundaries."
The hardest scene to shoot was a battlefield scene. We hired a digger and dug a load of trenches in my parents back garden, then brought in a pyrotechnican who set off a load of explosives to try and sell the battlefield environment. It was pretty sketchy to be honest and we only had two takes to do it in but we did it in one!
Where did the funds for the series come from?
I funded the project myself from revenue accumulated from the youtube partnership program as well as some help from my grandparents.
The importance of sound, whether that be music, dialogue or effects-- good sound with bad picture is watchable but great picture and poor sound is awful. This is one of the biggest weakness's of the film however you generally learn more from your mistakes. Sound is more than just half of your film. Its a way of subliminally selling a higher level of production value.
Do you have any role models or mentors in your life you can tell us about?
I had a fantastic drama teacher at school who supported me when I was missing so much school and actually was the one who prevented me from being kicked out because she understood how important film is to me and that I wasn't just skipping school for the hell of it. I am inspired by a number of directors like Christopher Nolan who always avoid choosing the obvious when working on a film, and Freddie Wong (the youtuber) who has always said that anyone can make films you just have to borrow your parents/aunties/uncles/friends camera and have a go.
"I am inspired by a number of directors like Christopher Nolan who always avoid choosing the obvious when working on a film..."
I just completed a short film called 'Flip', and am planning to take it around the film festival circuit. In the slightly more long term I am hoping to get a degree in film in the US then return to London for a year and study at the National Film and Television School to gain a masters in film production.
Turn off your computer, laptop, iPad, phone-- whatever you are reading this on right now and go and find a camera (even on an iphone will do) and make a film, it can be a short like 20 seconds or it can be 10 minutes. You can make it funny, scary, weird or whatever you want as long as you have an aim. Then edit it on yours or a friends computer (there is plenty of free editing software out there) and show it to people; all your friends, family, whatever. Show it to as many people as you can and ask them what they really think and how you can do better next time. Then do the whole thing again.
Thanks for the interview, Rupert. We wish you good look on all your future filmmaking ventures! To find out more about Perspective Pictures, or "The Fallen" visit their Facebook page.