INTERVIEW: R.M. Moses

Interviewed by Jakob Lewis Barnes

We’re continuing our #SundaySpotlight this week with an interview with R.M. Moses, an award winning independent filmmaker from East London. Jakob talked to Moses about his films, inspiration, and his goals for the future!


JB: For any of our readers who aren’t aware of your work, would you like to introduce yourself?

My name is Remi Moses, professionally known as RM Moses and I’m a filmmaker from East London. In the past 4 years of being a filmmaker, I’ve created over 30 films and counting, I’ve won multiple awards around the world in film festivals and award ceremonies. I hate the spotlight and so you’ll rarely ever see me at events and things that require me to leave my bat cave, unless I have to wear a suit… Them I’m showing up in full effect.

JB: I’m always curious to know if there was a certain moment in a filmmaker’s life when the idea of chasing that dream was first sparked; do you recall such a moment for yourself?

I was making youtube videos before I was filmmaking and that was really where I gained the knowledge on how to film/edit. It got to a point where I was creating so much content, I became jaded and I didn’t know why. One day I realized I didn’t want to make youtube videos for a living, that wasn’t the career I wanted, so I quickly transitioned into filmmaking. I took courses and read books on how to write for screen before actually making a film. Then when I found out how to piece the puzzle together of writing, filming and editing, I just loved it.

JB: Are there any filmmakers who really inspire you, who you draw from when working on your own projects?

Not anyone in particular just because I love so many different kinds of movies, but if you were to ask me my top 5 films, you would definitely see 3 Chris Nolan movies in that list. His perfectionism and talent in his craft is something I aspire to, I love the depth and thought in his movies. I follow a lot of cinematographers on Instagram who give me sooooo much content for my private mood boards, so, if anything, I would say they give me the most inspiration.

JB: Of course, every filmmaker has their own identity and style, so tell me how you would describe your work?

I personally like to think my work is very dialogue driven, emotionally heavy but painted with a very subtle brush. I tend to write better for strong female leads, but just in general, I think my work is best reflected upon actors who can reach a certain level of emotion that promotes a realism to the scripts. CJ Beckford and Sarah Isabella are two actors I’ve worked with recently who have this quality. I can’t really articulate it, but they have sensibilities that make your scripts so full of complexities and wonders. I love that.

JB: As an independent filmmaker, there are plenty of obstacles along the way; what are some of the challenges you’ve faced and how did you overcome them?

I think funding has been the hardest part because sometimes that is the difference between average work and being able to accurately paint what you see in your head. You can still tell effective stories with no budget but as a perfectionist, you need the funding to create the perfect painting. Other than that, I haven’t had any obstacles because I mainly produce all my own content, so I don’t have to rely on other people.

JB: Your films have garnered a lot of praise, which must give you great hopes for the future. Where do you hope to be in five years time?

I’m going to be nominated for a BAFTA or OSCAR. Then hopefully, with my foot in the door, I can create all these ideas I have, with no obstacles. I just want to create as much as I can, and as much as I don’t like the spotlight, if I have to go and pick up and award just to give my work some credibility, so be it.

JC-ARTICLE-IMAGE

JB: Speaking of praise, I saw Letitia Wright – of ‘Black Panther’ fame – gave you a shoutout recently. Congratulations, first of all. How important is it for these kind of stars to support those of us trying to break into the industry?

Letitia has been to a couple of my past film premieres and I love her to bits. When she gave me a shoutout, my phone was going crazy the whole week. I think its testament to her personality, being so kind and humble, but it happens a lot in the industry, just on a bigger scale. We always see interviews with big stars name dropping their well-known celebrity friends but I think it’s important to talk about the emerging talent coming through. We don’t usually get wind of filmmakers until they get Oscar nominated, which is crazy but that’s what I mean when these awards give creatives validation. The indie film community in London is pretty close-knit but there isn’t much going on in terms of support and development. The support from people in the industry, as mentors and teachers, is critical for our growth in this country.

JB: I also saw on Twitter, that you were considering writing a British gang movie; is this an avenue you will genuinely be pursuing? Because I would love to see that!

I’m creating a 3 minute short film called “MANDEM” which is for the RODE film competition. It’s more of a proof-of-concept than a film because it’s so short but I think it could go far. It comes out during the first week of August so watch out for that.

JB: What can we expect from you in the near future, what are you working on?

I have a short film called “Grounding” starring Sarah Isabella and Stefan Boateng which is about anxiety in a relationship and the fallout of poorly dealing with your mental health problems. It’s a 7-9 minute short and is incredibly beautiful, so raw and elegant. I have high hopes for this in the film festival circuit. Also I’m working on a web series at the end of the year which should be available online sometime early 2019.

JB: Do you watch many films yourself? What have you been enjoying lately?

I haven’t seen much recently because work has been intense but I’d like to think I’m an amateur cinephile. ‘Ready Player One’ made me cry recently after watching it for the second time. I had read the book so I knew what was to come but that was one of the best cinema experiences I’ve ever had. And of course, ‘Infinity War’, absolutely blew me away. Just recently I’ve been preaching about the new horror movie ‘Hereditary’. Such a brilliant film, the acting is some of the best I’ve seen in recent years. I really do urge people to see it, not because it’s a horror movie, but because the filmmaking is soooo good.

JB: What’s the best piece of advice you could offer to other aspiring filmmakers out there?

Learn to wear as many hats as you can. Don’t limit yourself to one specialty, learn how to edit, produce, direct, write, and increase your value to a future agency or studio. Make sure you learn as much as possible, don’t be naïve to think you can be in the industry without training. Read books, pay for courses, study your craft as much as you can because you can never learn too much. Educate yourself and go and create as much as you can. The theory is only 25% of it, filming/producing content is another 25% and the last 50% of becoming a filmmaker is making mistakes. Like any creative field, we only get better with practice. I’ve made over 30 films in the past 4 years and I feel comfortable and confident being able to specialise in any department because I’ve put myself through the process of making mistakes and learning how to get better next time. Sounds cheesy but it’s true.

JB: And finally, the most important question of the day, maybe ever – Pineapple on pizza? Right or wrong?

I’m sorry, but it’s so wrong. Anyone who eats that combo probably binges YouTube videos of people gaming and doesn’t value their life.

Strong words there! We’d like to thank Moses once again for taking the time to talk to Jakob and answer his questions.

 

Moses’ latest short film, Mandem, is now available to watch on YouTube!

 

 

 

Advertisements

‘Gotham Awards 2017’ Winners List

The 2017 Gotham Independent Film Awards took place last night, with ‘Call Me By Your Name’ walking away with the biggest award of the night for ‘Best Feature’ and Jordan Peele’s ‘Get Out‘ walked away with 3 awards, including the ‘Audience Award’ and ‘Breakthrough Director’.

Going into the awards, ‘Get Out’ had the highest amount of nominations with a total of 4, followed by 3 nominations for Greta Gerwigs acclaimed directorial debut, ‘Lady Bird‘. ‘I, Tonya’, ‘The Florida Project’, and ‘Good Times’ also had multiple nominations, including ‘Best Feature’ with ‘Get Out’, and the winner, ‘Call Me By Your Name’.

The full list of winners: 

Audience Award: Get Out
Best Actor: James Franco – The Disaster Artist
Best Actress: Saoirse Ronan – Lady Bird
Best Documentary: Strong Island
Best Feature: Call Me By Your Name
Best Screenplay: Get Out
Breakthrough Actor: Timothée Chalamet – Call Me By Your Name
Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award: Jordan Peele – Get Out
Breakthrough Series – Long Form: Atlanta
Breakthrough Series – Short Form: The Strange Eyes of Dr. Myes

FotoJet (3)

Oliver Park: The Future Of The Horror Genre

Interview by Jakob Lewis Barnes

The horror genre is a tricky place to make your name, but Oliver Park is an up-and-coming director taking the independent film scene by storm. Stepping behind the camera, after making his name as an actor, the future is bright for Oliver Park, with his short film ‘Vicious’ enjoying success on the festival circuit, and upcoming short ‘Still’ set to do the same. We caught up with Oliver to speak horror, filmmaking and the future.

Continue reading

Harlequin: An Update

If you follow us on Twitter (you’d be mad not to), you may have noticed that our latest short film ‘Harlequin’ is complete, which is very exciting. The short film, directed by Jakob Lewis Barnes and starring Kenton Hall (A Dozen Summers), is a dark drama about a clown who reaches his breaking point – very appropriate with the recent outbreak of crazy clowns on the streets. That’s nothing to do with us though, promise.

The film has been sent as a private screener to a select few, for advanced reviews, and the response so far has been overwhelmingly positive. Please take a moment to check out these reviews from these lovely people:

Moving forward, ‘Harlequin’ is now in the hands of its executive producer over at Felix Mater Society, who is navigating the minefield that is festival submission. Due to this, we are currently unable to nail down a general release date, but rest assured, we will bombard you all with the link to watch the finished article once it’s up on YouTube. You can watch the trailer here in the meantime (please do). Thanks to everyone who has supported this project so far.

Kenton Hall: One Year Later

Interview by Jakob Lewis Barnes

Around this time last year, I had the pleasure of interviewing the writer/director/star of indie flick ‘A Dozen Summers’, Kenton Hall. In the year since that interview, Kenton Hall has seen his little independent film go from strength to strength – achieving festival circuit success and fighting a certain merc-with-a-mouth in the DVD charts. Coincidentally, I’ve also been lucky enough to work with the man himself on my upcoming short film ‘Harlequin’. So, I thought now would be the perfect time to ask Kenton some questions about his whirlwind of a year.


JLB: So, you’re pretty busy right now with the DVD release of ‘A Dozen Summers’ – how are you finding that particular rollercoaster?

KH: Exhausting? It’s been strange; Two years of hard slog and emotional turmoil. (Take note, young filmmakers, this game is not for the faint of heart.) I can’t pretend it’s not exciting to see my film on shelves – a physical item that people can take home – but I think rollercoaster is a pretty good word to describe it. In a way, the hard work has only just begun, because now we have a shot at a much larger audience and we need to let people know we’re there, and then march them to the till, or to press the button online. But I’m super proud of what our team accomplished. It was – as far as we can figure out – actually impossible. But there it is, all shiny and shrink-wrapped.

JLB: I remember you were chasing ‘Deadpool’ hard in the pre-order charts – did you end up beating that son of a bitch?

KH: You mean the OTHER part-Canadian fourth-wall-breaking movie? I’m afraid Mr. Reynolds and friends JUST held us off the top spot on Zavvi’s chart, but we snagged it as soon as ‘Deadpool’ was released into the wild. So, yeah, we got number 1 on the Zavvi DVD pre-order chart. That was…odd, but cool. I won’t pretend it wasn’t cool. Especially for a little film like ours, which probably cost about the same as Ryan Reynold’s assistant’s snack budget.

JLB: ‘A Dozen Summers’ has proved to be hugely popular and pretty successful – what kind of doors has this film open for you?

KH: Well, I’m going to stop you there. I want it to be made very clear that I didn’t say it’s been “hugely popular and pretty successful”, because that would make me insufferable. It’s great that it’s meant something to people though – and, hey, we’re human, we love to feel loved. And there have been some people that have not enjoyed it, which is their prerogative. But, overall, I think people “got” what we were trying to do, which was to make something a bit different, a film which had a little something for everybody, be they 12 years old or 12 at heart – and that’s a huge demographic, so it is a big ask. Those people who loved it, really loved it though – and it is films that did that to me when I was younger that started me on this path in the first place, so I can’t complain.

In terms of doors, I’m trying to stick my foot into a few that have opened a crack. There are a lot of stories I want to tell, and one or two that other people want me to help them tell. I don’t want to jinx anything. Genuinely, a lot depends on what happens over the next couple of weeks – an official chart placing would be useful. (Hint, hint, people. The next seven days are the time to give “A Dozen Summers” a shot. I’ll be ever so grateful. There may be dancing.)

JLB: Well, we all want to see Kenton dance, of course. Now, I’m going to be very selfish and veer the conversation towards ‘Harlequin’ for a while – how did you find that whole experience?

KH: Well, other than the fact that a lot of people I love are frightened to death by clowns, and therefore will probably never speak to me again, it was great to get back in front of a camera and do something different. And I love working with people like yourselves who are just trying to make something unique. Plus, short film is a real love of mine. Our producer on ‘A Dozen Summers’, Alexzandra Jackson, is the director of a film festival called The Short Cinema, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year and therefore I’m going to plug the hell out of it – it takes place in Leicester from August 24th to 27th and you can get tickets here. I expect to see you all there, having also bought ‘A Dozen Summers’ and being geared up for ‘Harlequin’.

JLB: Have you managed to get all the clown make up off yet? You really threw yourself into that character (which made my job a lot easier) – what was your process/preparation for becoming Charles the clown?

KH: I do bathe, you know. Although there is a tricky spot in the middle of my back. No, I’m back to what passes for normal in my universe now. 

It’s very kind of you to say such nice things about my performance. Preparation? Like most actors, I have what might charitably be referred to as a fluid relationship with reality. There’s more of me around than there used to be – perils of being responsible for small humans – but it’s still relaxing to cast yourself off and slip into someone more comfortable for a while. Now I know, in this instance, that you wouldn’t think my character screamed “comfort”, but it’s an exorcism, of sorts. I may never have been exactly in Charles’ oversized shoes, but playing someone who is struggling with his identity, with his need for and abandonment by an audience? Hell, son, I’ve been preparing for that part for my entire life. Also, I like being made-up, so that was a win.

JLB: And we got your delightful daughters in on the act too, to play a couple of unimpressed audience members – do you enjoy working with the girls?

KH: At the risk of appearing sentimental, I would work with them all day, every day; I love their company. They can be challenging, but that’s kind of the beauty of those two. I like to see them grasp the idea that hard work brings rewards. Plus, they’re genuinely funny and genuinely kind, so it’s a pleasure. I’m proud of them, because they care about the world and they’re paying attention. That’s all any parent can ask.

I’m also counting on, if they do insist on remaining in the arts, them repaying me with work in my dotage, when my looks – such as they are – have faded and I’ve been reduced to making commercials for stair-lifts.

JLB: We’ve said it before but the success of your film really is quite inspiring for indie filmmakers – what role in the landscape of cinema do you think indie film plays?

KH: If we inspire anybody, that’s good news. Independent film is the lifeblood of the film industry. Low budgets mean having to concentrate on script and character to make a film work; You can’t hide behind spectacle. Production value, we all aspire to; Emotional value, however, is essential. Our film is flawed, and a lot of indie films are, technically, flawed. But what you’re seeing, in most cases, is an unvarnished view of the soul of the writer and/or director, and the result of the love and talent of a large group of people who couldn’t have been doing it for the money, because there wasn’t any. How can that not make it one of the most important threads in the filmmaking tapestry? Other opinions are available, but I’d have to hear a hell of an opposing argument before I stood down.

It is, however, up to all of us to make it work. Distributors, broadcasters and exhibitors need to take more chances, sure, but why should they, if we as an audience don’t? How can they make their living? We need to watch more indie films and talk about more indie films before we get to make more indie films.

(P.S. Did I mention that ‘A Dozen Summers’ is available now, wherever DVDs are sold? I did? Alright, then.)

JLB: And finally, where do you see yourself in five years’ time?

KH: I have a picture in my head that puts a smile on my face, let’s just leave it at that. 


You can order your copy of the brilliant ‘A Dozen Summers’ here (and we really urge you to do so – our praise can even be found on the DVD cover). And if you’re itching to see what Kenton is up to next, check out the teaser trailer for our short film ‘Harlequin’ here.

Harlequin Gets A Colourful Logo

All has been quiet on the filmmaking front from us for a while now, but that’s just because we’ve been so busy behind the scenes getting ‘Harlequin’ ready for you. The short film is nearly complete, but for now we can offer you a glimpse at the official logo/title for the project, in all its colourful glory. What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.

Harlequin’s Leading Man

Our next filmmaking venture – the short film titled ‘Harlequin’ – has found its star. We are delighted to announce that Kenton Hall, who you may recognise from the brilliant indie flick ‘A Dozen Summers’ (a film which Kenton also directed), will play the lead role in ‘Harlequin’.

With the film being something of a one-man-show, all eyes will be on Kenton Hall and his portrayal of a troubled clown. Personally, we think Kenton will be perfect for the role (not that we think he’s a clown or anything), and we’re very excited to work with such a talented performer. 

Harlequin Gets An Executive Producer

We are delighted to announce that Felix Mater Society will be acting as Executive Producer on our next short film – ‘Harlequin’. After discussing the project with the head of Felix Mater, an agreement has been put in place and the company have really got behind us on this one. Isn’t it great when you connect with people who share the same vision as you?

The short film – written and directed by Jakob Lewis Barnes – is set to begin filming in May 2016. Look out for more details in the near future and please, continue to support indie film!

Our Next Project

If you enjoyed our debut short film ‘Layla’, you’ll be happy to hear that the wheels are in motion on our next project. Filming is set to begin at the end of this month on ‘Harlequin’, a short film about a clown suffering with mental health issues (and no, there’s no links to The Joker or Harleen Quinzel, sorry). 

‘Harlequin’ is a story written by Jakob Lewis Barnes, who will also direct the film. Look out for updates on this project and any other filmmaking information on our new JumpCut UK Productions Twitter page.