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Luke Snellin – One To Watch

Luke’s second short film Mixtape, starring Bill Milner (Son of Rambow), was nominated for a BAFTA in 2010 and won the Grand Prize in the Virgin Media Shorts competition. He is currently in post on his follow-up, DISCO. Set in 1997, the film charts the build-up to the Year 9 school disco and once again stars Bill Milner, alongside Charlie Rowe, Izzy Meikle-Small and Lil Woods.

What training have you received?
I graduated from the BA screenwriting course at Bournemouth University in 2007. From there, I began making shorts independently.

What kind of projects attract you?
So far I’ve written everything I’ve made but I’ve started reading more and more feature scripts that I get sent. I guess right now I’m looking for writing that has a personality and a style or a voice to it. I like stories that embrace colour, life and warmth as opposed to anything too serious, provocative or kitchen sink. I kind of feel like we have enough of that in British cinema at the moment and some of it is really good work, it’s just not how I feel or what I want to go see at the cinema. Right now I just want to entertain and make people feel good.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given as a director?
I had some great advice from Mike Newell. He told me to never contemplate the significance of being a director, because ‘most of the time it’s just sitting on a box in mud being pissed on’. Also some other great advice from another director was to not over-block the actors; let them move freely in the space and see what their instincts are, then bring the camera in. I always go back to that when I’m rehearsing with the actors or blocking a scene.

Tell us the most significant moment in your career so far.
In terms of the career ladder, it was winning the Virgin Media Shorts competition with my second short, Mixtape. That launched me in a way that I never anticipated. That and the BAFTA nomination. Both allowed me to make my new film DISCO. Making that has been a wonderful experience and just really gratifying. Especially after working on it for longer than anything I have ever worked on. It’s the thing that has most prepared me for making my first feature.

You’ll die happy when…
I’ve worked with Ryan Gosling.

Taken from movieScope magazine, Issue 19 (November/December 2010)

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