Or how to go from being a Assistant Director to directing your own feature film. Giles Alderson (The Dare) and Christian James (Fanged Up) chat with director Daniel Jerome Gill about going from an AD on many big movies to turning his award winning rom-com short of Modern Life is Rubbish into a feature film.
After University and his gap year Daniel made a pact to make it in the film industry and sent 100s of emails our to productions companies asking for a job. He got a few responses but that is all he needed to start work as a runner
To get a AD job with need perseverance. First job taking rushes at end of night. Making Teas. Doing a few unpaid short films you will eventually meet somebody who can take your career to the next level.
First paid job on the worst film ‘Sex Lives of the Potato Men’ then that team brought him in on Matthew Vaughn’s Layer Cake.
Standing by monitor on Danny Boyle’s Sunshine and he learnt loads. And then started make short films from the crew he had met. He made Modern Life is Rubbish as a short film with no intention of making a feature, He got camera kit for free, begged borrowed and stole. Amazing how many people will help you.
He tells us how he got actor Rafe Spall into that short film. “Fortune favours the bold and you have to brave and ask”.
Learning while working as an AD from successful directors. The main lesson he learnt was planning. Plan your shots. But be able to adapt.
How to turn to short film into a feature.
After getting into the Cannes short film corner. Mapped it out with the writer Phillip Gawthorne. Then after the success of the short he got an agent (42 Management) who sent the feature off and Universal liked it. Eventually he attached producer Dom Norris who raised the remaining funding to match Universal. How having a sales agent on board helps your investor to think it is real.
He tells us while working as crowd AD on The Crown he got the call saying his feature was happening and he had to leave.
How he shot the feature in 55 locations in 5 weeks
How it is important to trim down scenes in the edit. If they didn’t move the story forward you have to loose it. Lost 20 mins.
Getting the incredible music/score and how he cast the names who are in his film.
This film has opened loads of doors. Signed with CAA in America.
Advice: Bang on people’s doors and make a movie or short.
Modern Life is Rubbish is on at Picture House cinema now and can be purchased on line.
Short Film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60DZBoK1QhU
Buy the feature: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Modern-Life-Rubbish-Freya-Mavor/dp/B07BF5TH63
Follow Daniel here: Twitter: https://twitter.com/danieljgill