Mark McCombe is a director hailing from the small town of Newcastle in Northern Ireland, but now based in London. He has just finished his first short film Lover’s Jump, which stars up-and-coming Brit actor Laurence Fuller.
What training have you received?
I’ve had no formal training in directing. In Northern Ireland, where I grew up, there was little encouragement for any type of career in filmmaking especially for someone who had no real aspirations of going to university. We always had a camera in our family. It was a bulky over-the-shoulder camera so I would pester my dad to allow me to use it; thankfully he gave in most times. One thing he used to do was put music to our home videos, which really had an effect on me; music and video is a powerful combination. Imagining ideas set around the foundations of a song, that’s what I love to do. I have a passion for music videos that I intend to pursue.
What kind of projects attract you?
A strong story that can draw the audience into the world I am hoping to create. It’s the backbone. You can have all the fancy equipment of a Hollywood studio, but without a good story you have nothing. When something excites me, ideas seem to be plucked from the air with no effort at all; that’s when I know its something special. It becomes part of my thinking throughout the following days and weeks.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given as a director?
Get out there and do it, regardless of what kit you have; you achieve nothing waiting around.
Tell us the most significant moment in your career so far.
I’m hopefully right at the beginning of my career, so completing Lover’s Jump was a great achievement for myself and for everyone else involved. Thinking back to when I asked Jenny [Wong] if she would mind me directing her script right through to completion then finally seeing people’s reactions has been extremely rewarding. From its very humble beginning it has blossomed into a project that shows off the talents of everyone involved.
You’ll die happy when…
I’d love to make the feature I have penned myself and see people enjoy it; a lot to ask but, hey, life is full of surprises.