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Q&A with Dan Hodgson, dir. of Love is Blind at Encounters

Wednesday 23 September 2015, by Abla Kandalaft

We caught up with writer/director Dan Hodgson at Encounters in Bristol. His second film LOVE IS BLIND was screened at Encounters and has been shortlisted for a short film Palme d’or at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.

Can you tell us a bit about how your first short-Are You Albert-came about?

In the final few years of her life my grandma was in a care home with dementia and the idea grew from there. I wrote it up in an afternoon for Film London’s short film scheme and although it wasn’t selected it did mean that I had a rough draft of the script. After that it was always going to get made.

How did you get into filmmaking?

I’ve wanted to be a film director since my early teens but I’ve gone about it in an incredibly roundabout way. Eventually, I did a short film course and in 2009 spent three months on friends’ couches for a three-month internship at a production company in London. I stayed there for two years before going freelance in 2011. During that time I’ve always worked on personal projects but have really concentrated on my own films in the past couple of years. The goal has always been to direct fiction.

How did you fund your first and second shorts?

Are You Albert? was crowd funded, along with a chunk of money I put up myself. I was also able to call in a lot of ’in kind’ favours for kit and crew.

Love Is Blind was predominantly funded by my producer Lizzie’s production company Bird Flight Films and was supported by another crowd funding campaign.

What conditions/organisations/people would you say where the most helpful in getting the films made?

Film London helped us develop the script for Love Is Blind and their feedback was crucial in creating something that had heart and depth to it.

Not to get all ‘lovie’ about it, but I am completely indebted to my producer Lizzie Brown, who is exceptional. Also my DOP Adrian Marciante, who has shot all of my shorts and let’s me crash on his couch when circumstances require it!

What were your biggest hurdles?

As I work as a freelance filmmaker, I have access to kit and good connections with crew, so the biggest hurdle is always the money. That and a good producer. Thankfully I found a good producer in Lizzie and so I was able to concentrate on directing.

You are now working on your first feature. Should we expect a similar (comedic) tone to the the shorts?

It’s a comedy but the tone is slightly darker than Love Is Blind...

What has been your best festival experience?

We were nominated for a Palme d’or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and so attended the awards ceremony and got the whole red carpet experience. Being in competition at Cannes is pretty hard to beat!

Any films on the festival circuit this year you care to recommend?

I attended Encounters for the first time this year which was terrific, as is LSFF. Less well known in the UK is Emden-Norderney in Germany, which is a really warm and friendly festival.

More on Dan at http://www.danhodgsonfilms.com/

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