EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH GABRIEL BISSET-SMITH
Recently, I posted a short film entitled ‘Smoke’ from director Gabriel Bisset-Smith. He was kind enough to provide more insight behind the scenes.
SMOKE from Gabriel Bisset-Smith on Vimeo.
Tell me about the Circalit Screenwriting Competition you held and what led to the selection of Smoke by Stuart Curran?
The competition was for the Circalit writing community to the write a five minute short in response to my film, “Thrush”. There were over two hundred entries and I read of all them. The scripts were pretty diverse and it was really tough picking the winner but Stuart’s had everything I look for in a short. It was simple, moving and had a really cool visual concept.
What was it about the script that inspired you?
Not to be clichéd but it was basically the writing. Good characters and a lovely central idea. When I first read the script I knew it was something special. It’s a simple idea that’s easy to shoot but with a really neat twist.
What advice would you give a filmmaker looking to find a screenplay using Circalit? (Or for aspiring screenwriters in search of directors.)
Trust your instincts and have a good idea of the type of work you’re looking for. If you are looking for something in particular then get in touch with the guys at Circalit and they can put out a brief for you as well.
What inspired the look and style of the film?
The script and my director of photography Graham Turner!
Planning a film that’s told in reverse requires a unique approach. What challenges did you face during the pre-production process?
We just had to be really clear on the story and effect we wanted to have. The film is less about plot and more about conveying an emotion.
What was life like on set?
I had a great team and used actors I’ve worked with before so it was fantastic. Boring I know, but the only fight that broke out was over who wanted the last muffin.
A film like Smoke relies heavily on the execution on set but most importantly in post-production. How did it all come together?
I edited it myself which was actually easier than you think thanks to the great script, and then my friend Gwilym Gold composed an awesome soundtrack.
What did the complete experience of making smoke teach you as a filmmaker and artist moving forward?
That you don’t need a big budget or a completed script to make an ambitious and engaging piece of work.
What’s next for Smoke?
What’s next for you?
I’m currently working on a couple of feature films and developing some new plays. I’m also rehearsing my comedy act Guilt and Shame for next year’s Edinburgh festival.
Special thanks to Gabriel Bisset-Smith.