VIFF 2018 Interview: ELI director Colin Gerrard

“An elderly man’s visit to his local doctor ends up changing the lives of the other patients in the waiting room. Most of the somewhat disillusioned strangers start raising questions over immigration, identity and morality until the old man begins to tell a story he’s kept hidden for years.” Director Colin Gerrard on ELI which screens at the 2018 edition of VIFF.

I hear you are back this year!

I have had the opportunity to visit many festivals worldwide, but VIFF is one of the most welcoming and inclusive festivals I have ever attended.

So how did you get into this business? Talk to me a bit about how you got your start and what you have worked on in the past.

I have always been on the fringe of the business, initially as a musician. My father was a writer and director, and my mother an actress, so it was a natural path for me to want follow in their footsteps.

How did this project come together for you? Give me a rundown from the preparation, to shooting, to post-production to now!

Initially the story came to me from a good friend. The moment I heard it I felt this had to be a movie. My partner Jaine Green and I rewrote the story for the screen and self-financed it. We got together an amazing crew and cast and prepared for a shoot in Hastings, UK.

What keeps you going while making a movie? What drives you?

Mounds of espresso and twiglets.

What was your biggest challenge with this project, and the moment that was the most rewarding to you?

Logistics, getting everyone together at the right time, as well as having to recast some parts at the last minute. Most rewarding for me was the table read where through the actors, we were able to rewrite parts and create an even better story.

I’m about to get technical, but I would love to know about the the visual design of the movie; what camera did you film with, your relationship to the director of photography and how the movie was photographed.

We used an ARRI Alexa. My relationship was built through pre production with an incredible DP named Dirk Nel, who was also a last minute injection into the project.

What are you looking forward to the most about showing your movie here in Vancouver?

Interacting with other filmmakers are drawing as much as possible from their own experiences.

What would you say to someone who was being disruptive (talking, texting, leaving halfway, etc) through a movie?

If there is something more important for you at this moment…the lobby can surely accommodate you and your phone.

We have a lot of readers on our site looking to make movies or get into the industry somehow. What is the ONE THING you would say to someone who is wanting to get into the filmmaking business?

Keep your dignity and integrity. Your work should always speak for itself.

And final question: what is the greatest movie you have ever seen at a film festival?

BREAK directed by Nicholas Moss…a short film with John Hurt.


For more information on the film screenings at VIFF, point your browser to!

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