We recently featured the trailer for an upcoming independent short film called Trust by filmmakers Sam Milletti and Michael Sweeney, both of the U.K. Since we’re starting a new series featuring the behind-the-scenes magic of indies, we thought we’d get some info from Sam to kick things off. He also graciously shared with us the exclusive new poster that will be debuted on his site on Friday. Yay for previews!
Definitely check out his trailer and support these independent and upcoming filmmakers. There are a lot of hidden gems out there and every click and share helps get the word out on talent unfettered by Hollywood mainstream limitations. And go!
[Movie Gnome:] What inspired you and Michael Sweeney to write a drama like this?
[Sam Milletti:] When we sat down and discussed what to do for our next project we both agreed that it would be interesting to steer away from the supernatural elements which were evident in our last short Daisy. We looked at areas of our own lives that we felt we could draw from in order to make a film that was genuine and heartfelt. This process almost felt like therapy as we were having to confront our own issues and put it down on paper. Once we decided we were going to go with a drama that focuses on domestic issues, we looked at several films that dealt with similar themes as a reference point. Most notably was Andrea Arnold’s Fish Tank (2009).
Close to home is quite a risk. Tell us about why you wanted to address issues like depression and alcoholism.
It was clear from the start that we didn’t just want to make a film for film’s sake. We wanted to make a film that spoke to people, that carried a message. We wanted people to see this film and to know there is help out there no matter how made things are. As I mentioned, we drew from personal experiences. That’s not to say that everything you see in the film happened to us, but we are not outsiders trying to make a film about something we have no clue about.
Does the film address the struggles of having an “invisible illness”, one that isn’t outwardly apparent?
Good question. The film doesn’t address the struggles of having an ‘invisible illness’ but more so addressing the fact that people in those situations want to believe that they don’t have one at all. Steve (played by Christopher Thorpe) has become so used to looking after his Mum who has depression (played by Caroline Jenks) that it’s as if he’s blocked it out of his mind… for the time being at least. It’s as if the fear of confronting the situation is so real that it is safer for him to procrastinate instead. I think this is true for a lot of people not just when dealing with depression but also day-to-day tasks. As the film progresses we see how Steve and Debz (played by Kirsty Nadine) confront their own issues and come to terms with their situations.
I’ve always been a fan of coming-of-age themes. Do you address any of those typical subthemes that often accompany stories with teenagers?
The characters definitely do a lot of maturing within this film. I think what’s nice about it is that it has an uplifting and inspiring message but it doesn’t come across as a cliche or corny.
Do you plan to enter Trust into any specific festivals? If not, how do you plan to distribute the film?
Definitely. So far we’ve entered Trust into the Exposures Film Festival and the Hull International Film Festival. There several more which we would like to send it to but we will have to wait until the beginning of 2012 for the submissions to open. While the festivals are great and can provide brilliant exposure for indie film makers, our aim from the start was to approach anti-abuse campaigners and organizations and see what they could do with this film. We are in talks with one organization at the moment (our dream one in fact)… but I can’t say who in case it doesn’t work out.
That’s amazing. I wish you luck with that route. Tell us about the cast. Any hidden gems?
All of them! And I’m not just saying that. All four leads did more then I could ever have hoped for with this script. It’s one thing to write a story and write down characters who say words. But it is then another thing to have those words interpreted and said by someone else. I couldn’t have asked for a better cast. They were the A-Team.
Who are your filmmaker inspirations? Any indie heroes?
I have quite a few. My biggest inspiration by far though is Pedro Almodovar. Not that I would ever want to imitate someone’s career, but if I had to choose one then it would be his. I’m inspired by his use of colors and the way he writes roles for woman. He delves under the skin of his characters and portrays them with so many different dimensions. Indie-wise I would say Marc Vincent Price for his Zombie film Colin. To make a film for approximately $70 and have it make waves at Cannes is quiet an achievement.
I loved Talk to Her and Colin. I’m so with you on that. Any advice for aspiring indie directors?
I would say that if making films is something you want to do then go ahead and do it. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t. Although people can get caught up in the glamor and the illusion remember that it is an industry. Hard work and persistence pays off. Never give up, say focused, and do not let rejection get you down.
I couldn’t help peeking at the first episode of “Amnesia.” on your blog. Any interest in telling us a little about that project? It looks pretty bad ass.
Why thank you. Amnesia is a bit of a weird one purely because it’s more style over substance… but unashamedly so. Episode 1 was shot while I was in pre-production for Trust. I felt like so much planning was going into Trust that I just wanted to shoot something for a day, go a bit crazy and experiment. The story took a back seat and I wanted to play around a bit. For my next project I would like to work on a film that has a similar style to Amnesia, something quirky and different. Definitely more of an escapism piece. My plan was to make an episode every few weeks, but life took over and I got busy. Becky Torne who was the make-up artist for the episode has been on at me to make a second episode, and I have to say I’m tempted. However, if I were to do that then I would probably start from scratch, re-work the story and build it from the ground up.
Thanks so much for your time, Sam!
Get all the news on Trust at trustshortfilm.com.