The first in our series of quizzing the winners of the Young Director Award in Cannes is Hughes William Thompson who won 2nd prize in Short Film category for his piece, A New Man.
What have been your highlights since winning at the YDA show in Cannes six months ago?
The YDA has opened a number of doors for me both in the realm of advertising and narrative film work. I’ve been approached with advertising projects as well as production companies interested in working together. It’s also been a huge boost for my short, A New Man, which has since been to several international festivals and was selected as a Vimeo Staff Pick.
What’s the best film making lesson you’ve learnt?
Be prepared, but be flexible.
And the wisest quote about film making?
“A film should stand on its own. It’s absurd if a filmmaker needs to say what a film means in words.” –David Lynch
Your worst nightmare production story was when….
We were shooting in a historic mansion in Atlanta on my previous short film, Pauline in a Beautiful World. There were these ornate crossbeams on the ceiling that were perfectly placed to attach some of our lights, and our team began delicately rigging a few of the lighter ones up there. A guest on set who happened to be an architect looked up and said “you know those are just made out of plaster, right?” And CRASH. White chunks and debris everywhere. Thankfully no one was hurt.
What would be your dream directing job next year?
My dream would be to create a spot that’s totally committed to the absurd, like Owen Trevor’s marvelous Pizza Capers piece .
That, and to get the feature I’m developing into production.
List five of your favourite films from the past year – these can be long or short formats.
Here they are in no particular order: Under the Skin, The Double, Grand Budapest Hotel, Boyhood, Only Lovers Left Alive.