James Webber is a London based film director who co-founded the production company Fingercuff Productions. We met him to talk about what comes next after last years brilliant short film Three and to discuss some of his influences:
Hey there! Thanks for taking the time to speak to me!
First off – How did you start out as a director?
I’ve always had a love for movies and telling stories. I studied film at Bournemouth Arts Institute and then moved to London to pursue getting into the industry. As a day job I shoot music videos and corporate promos but making feature films is what I want to progress to.
What can you tell us about Driftwood?
Driftwood is an 8 minute short film about fifteen-year-old Sam, a swimming prodigy, whose life operates in two very different worlds: a poignant antithesis between talent and achievement at the dawn of his sporting career, and fear and torment in his home and social life.
Having lost his mother at an early age, Sam suffers verbal and mental abuse from his alcoholic and depressive father who resents him for his talent. He also struggles with unrelenting taunts and physical bullying from a local gang of boys. Sam finds an escape through swimming and the close bond he shares with his trainer, Angela. Focus, dedication and extreme hard work allow him to reach towards his dream, and ultimately gain the confidence to overcome his daily hardships.
What gave you this idea in the first place?
I’ve always loved underdog stories and this is very much one of those kind of films. Although I’m not personally a great swimmer I’ve always been fascinated with it. I read up about the training regime that young swimmers go through and realised that it was really interesting material for a film. And with the Olympics coming to London this summer, there has never been a better time to tell a story like this.
We are about to finish our funding campaign in the next few days then it’s full steam ahead to the shoot which is taking place mid-march. We are aiming to have the film completed towards the end of May so we can get the film out there well before the Olympics begins.
How are you funding the project?
We are using a website called IndieGoGo to fund the film. This is the first time that one of my short films has been funded in this way. My previous shorts have always been self-financed.
So far the response has been amazing. Crowd-funding is a great way to not only make your film happen but it also means that the people who back you can come along on the journey too and follow the creation of the film they helped to make happen.
We planned our campaign very carefully as it’s important to stand out from the other projects on the site. Social media has also been a very powerful tool at our disposal. Through Twitter we have gained backers from all over the world!
How can people get involved?
Our page on IndieGoGo can be found here: http://www.indiegogo.com/Driftwood-1?a=231658. We also have a website, http://www.driftwoodfilm.co.uk, that will be used to keep everyone updated on the films progress, from the shoot and post-production, right through to its progress on the festival circuit.
Who has been the biggest influence on your films?
There are plenty of directors I love. I grew up in the 80’s so Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Ghostbusters & The Goonies were a big part of my childhood. As I grew older I discover a love for foreign cinema especially from Hong Kong and Japan.
What’s your favourite film?
That’s a difficult question to answer! I like so many films that it seems unfair to pick one in particular although I do have a soft spot for the Lord of the Rings trilogy! Some films I enjoyed recently are: Kill List, Fish Tank, Tony, Heartless, The Social Network, The Tree of Life & Inception.
What’s next for Fingercuff?
We’ve got plenty of big plans and I’d certainly say that making a feature film is where we want to be. But at the moment it’s all about Driftwood!
We would like to say a big thank you to James for his time and we urge you all to get on to http://www.indiegogo.com/Driftwood-1?a=231658 and make a donation if you can.