Shooter success at Sundance London Short Film Competition, by Daniel Lumb & Crinan Campbell

Posted April 25th, 2012 by Sarah Chorley

The Sundance win is pretty amazing for us. We both really didn’t expect the film to get the kind of response that it has- all pretty mind blowing.

Extranjero evolved from various other shorter and longer scripts we had been throwing around for a while. We had become stuck on a sort of sketch, the image of a man in a 90s shellsuit floating above a street. That was our starting point, everything evolved naturally around that visual.

Working as a directing duo, we have different strengths, but we’ve worked so much together that we know what each other want out of a shot,  so we swap roles all the time. We never stop working, making short films and music videos – low budget stuff, which we try to make look like its had a lot more of production around it than it actually has. We generally work in a very small crew, usually us and maybe one or two others.

Keen to make Extranjero feel big as possible, we shot guerrilla in public places that would cost a mortgage to do officially, like Piccadilly circus and London Underground, and weirdly barely got any hassle. We did then have to get retrospective permits, after we realised that lots of festivals ask for them.

We are really lucky to have access to equipment, and to have supportive friends and family who don’t mind helping out in front of, or behind the camera-The biggest outlays on the film were probably train tickets and food. I think we totalled up a budget of around £100?

Our lead actors, Cristian and Evan we cast off the internet, and they were absolutely brilliant. It’s difficult working with actors you’ve just met, and the next week you’re asking them to bathe in a river and run around Piccadilly, shouting like they’re possessed, but thankfully they were up for it!

From the outset, we had planned the film to be no more than 3 minutes, and for there to be no bagginess, but as things went on we had to set our sights more at the 5 minute mark, but keeping it as tight as possible. We spent a long time in the edit, really trying to fine tune and not labour anything.

We don’t have much luck with getting things into festivals, but rarely enter anyway, being content with putting them on the internet and hoping people will watch it there. Dan entered it into the Sundance Short Film Competition because it was free, but really didn’t expect to hear anything back. We were both exhausted and working late to get a marathon job done when the email came through that we’d won… Crinan – “I didn’t even know he’d put it in, but could tell he wasn’t joking as he read out,.”

Once you’ve put your time, money, favours etc into something and fought to get it done, one of the more annoying things is you’ve then got to try to find someone who will show it, but as we’re learning, it’s all worth it.

We haven’t had any calls from Hollywood or Bollywood yet, but winning a competition for such a well respected film festival, and for our video to be being shown alongside some incredible world class short films is the best recognition we’ve had yet, and it’s really inspired us to make more stuff. Generally just keep going and see where it takes us.

Cheers

DAN + CRINAN

  1. Martin Wallace

    great film gents. love your practical approach. can you clarify how your retro-permissions worked – did you have to send the finished film? did the relevant organisations demand a fee?

  2. Julie Hatfield

    well done guys. and really interesting piece here. best of luck with all other screenings.

  3. Tom G

    Great achievement. That’s what its all about – going out there and doing it. Making it happen with a small team on a grand scale.

    I also like working with really small crews. There’s no room for bravado and arrogance its just one team with a clear vision getting the job done!

    All the best, T

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