Andy Robinson is one of the most exciting local film makers around at the moment. Which recently I caught up with him to talk about how he got into film and his up and coming film projects. Over to you Andy…
What made you want to become a filmmaker?
That’s a good question – though perhaps it should have been “what on earth made you want to become a filmmaker?”!!! I believe filmmaking is very much a calling rather than something you actively choose.
My background is in Photography, having studied at what is now the University of Plymouth. I mainly focused on portraits, but was always drawn to creating pictures that had a narrative to them. At the same time, I became an avid cinema-goer, but was equally excited about how films were made as I was about watching them.
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I’ve never felt particularly confident about my abilities in any other job I’ve done, but in filmmaking and photography I’ve always felt valid – all I need is a camera in my hands, and an idea.
What is the most enjoyable part of the filmmaking process?
To be honest, I’ve found most stages of the process stressful at one time or another. I’ve made a conscious effort in recent years to enjoy the process more than I have, and to try to communicate that enjoyment to the people around me. Having said that, there have always been moments that have given me great pleasure: capturing a great performance or shot, the satisfaction of achieving all you set out for in a day’s shooting, and the moment when an edit really starts to work. Most important of all, the excitement of collaborating with really talented people.
What films are you working on at the moment?
At present, I’m currently in the middle of filming a short drama with some other members of the Exeter Shooters group. Called Two Feet Tall, it is the story charting the ups and downs of an everywoman office worker told entirely from the point of view of her feet. I’m re-editing my low-budget feature film, The Forewarning, and working on a treatment for a science fiction feature-film called Synchronicity – an idea that I’ve been developing intermittently for several years now.
Projects tend to have a long gestation time with me – another issue I’m trying to rectify: I did recently make a film for Exeter Phoenix’s 48 hr Film Challenge, with a fantastic group of local actors and crew, so completing a film in two days is a record for me! There is also a very top-secret project that potentially could be very exciting, but you will have to wait a while before I can say more about it!
What is so great about filming in the South West?
Quite simply, the South West is an undiscovered, untapped resource of talent on both sides of the camera. There has been an approachability about fellow filmmakers and actors, here together with a refreshing lack of ego and attitude that I have not always witnessed elsewhere.
When it came to making my feature film, The Forewarning, I’m convinced that it would not have happened had I still been living in London – certainly not without a much greater budget, and more logistical hurdles, anyway.
Recently, I had the opportunity to screen my latest short film, Keepsake at the first Plymouth Film Festival. Speaking to the organisers at the event – who were both local filmmakers – I discovered they had created the festival mainly because they wanted to stay based in the area, and celebrate local talent rather than feel that they had to move to London in order to have a career. Peter Jackson didn’t have to leave New Zealand to make the Rings and Hobbit films, did he? Sometimes your strength comes from where you call home.
Where can we find out more about your films ?
My most recent short film, Keepsake is not publicly available at the moment because it is currently on the film festival circuit, but for now the best place to look is my Vimeo page. There you will find three of my short films, with more to be uploaded throughout the year. I can also be contacted through LinkedIn, should anyone like to discuss my work further.
Hopefully there will also be a website up and running soon for my feature film, The Forewarning, which I’m hoping to screen to audiences from next year.