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Midlands Spotlight - Calum Rhys & "Our Father"

By midlandsmovies, Aug 11 2014 06:42PM

Mike speaks to Calum Rhys, a graduate of St John University in York who has been making films all his life and whilst those have been small independent projects he is now in line to direct his first major movie 'Our Father' which is due to be shot this upcoming Summer. Calum met us to tell us more about this exciting new project...

VIEW TRAILER HERE: http://vimeo.com/92676333

Born in Cheltenham, but raised in Worcestershire, Calum hails from the Midlands but has resided in York for the past 3 years and has been drawn back to the Midlands region's beautiful heritage, which is one of the main reasons it was picked as the location for his upcoming World War II film "Our Father". Whilst making his first film aged eleven (with his father’s camcorder), Calum says this James Bond spoof was “terrible” but he acknowledges it was orignially at that young age that he began his first steps on his long journey in the film industry.

Seeing it as a very independent industry, Calum has pushed and pushed to get where he is today and he says people should not sit back and expect offers to come their way without the hard work to back it up. With a mix of genres on his CV, Calum sways towards crime, drama and thriller films and like most, has had to overcome the funding that is available for small film companies. From low (to zero) budget flicks, this new project is a big leap forward in terms of money with a projected budget of £12,000 which although still pretty small, is a gargantuan task to raise.

Calum adds, “I like to be the hands-on person on a project, I'd never say a film was "my" project because everyone I work alongside put all their effort into helping me create a film so it's as much theirs as it is mine, but I like to set the basis of a film, i.e. write the story and direct it, really just so I can help anyone whenever they require it.”

On set, Calum has come up against the easygoing small crews and the more stressful and conflicted larger shoots. From memory he recalls directing a Midlands based independent feature called 'Bargain'. “There were about 35 people, which is actually pretty small for a feature, but everyone had different views, there were disagreements here and there, a lot of people left and unfortunately I had to leave as well due to bad time and production management. It's now been taken over by Chris Fretwell, who I hope has more luck with it.”

With a better outlook for his new project 'Our Father', the cast and crew has grown to 50 people but Calum has tried hard to pace the production management better and enters the filming with the mantra, “I think that if you work hard during the pre-production stage, then the shoot itself is a lot easier”.

Calum’s movie heroes and favourite films include Martin Scorsese (Goodfellas), Sam Mendes (American Beauty), Terence Malick (The Thin Red Line), Sergio Leone (The Good, The Bad and the Ugly) but he is also inspired by people who have been in the same boat as him including Gareth Edwards (Godzilla), Shane Meadows (This Is England) and Christopher Nolan (Inception) who all started on independent films made on budgets under £500,000, yet have gone on to larger multi-million projects.

Seeing each film finished as an achievement in itself, Calum’s short 'The Secret Eye' (collaboration with Alex Close) went on to Palm Beach in Florida for an official selection screening which was his first achievement in the industry. Since then 2 films have gone on to receive award nominations but Calum explains that “I'm not too bothered about the awards in general though - I just generally want to create a film that the audience enjoys and becomes inspired by”.

Influenced by his favourite films such as Coppola's 'The Godfather'. 'Road to Perdition' and 'Inception', Calum is currently in the pre-production stage of 'Our Father' which is being shot in Worcestershire and amazingly, he has also acquired the rights to a Stephen King short story which he hopes to adapt in 2015-16.

With dreams to venture to L.A. soon, Calum also enjoys UK made films such as 'The Third Man', 'Shaun of the Dead' and 'This Is England' and thinks that owing to the beauty of technology and social networking, he advises new filmmakers to get on Facebook/Twitter and get searching for crew and equipment. “Even if you don't have the money to make the film - I made my first film on about £10 – it was thanks to friends and family that I was able to get it started”.

Like his idol Gareth Edwards who created his debut 'Monsters' with a 7-man crew and edited it in his garage, Calum hopes to follow in his $160 million Godzilla-sized footsteps and who knows, we may have just found our next Steven Spielberg.

Our Father Wesbite: http://www.ourfathershort.co.uk

Our Father IndieGoGo Campaign: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/our-father-world-war-ii-short-film

CALUM RHYS Twitter: @CalRhys

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