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Interview with director Jonathan Blagrove

Filmmaker Interview by Chris Olson.

Having recently watched and reviewed #shortfilm Brink, I was keen to find out from the film's writer and director more about this short #homeinvasion movie.


Jonathan Blagrove behind the scenes.

What made you want to tell the story in Brink?

I’ve been producing short films for a while now, but never really directed a narrative short myself, I’ve got ideas for bigger films in the pipeline which I would love to direct, so BRINK was conceived as project to give me some hands on experience working with actors and putting myself in the director seat.

I really wanted to tell a dramatic story which revolved around a single location with a maximum of two actors, that played on audience expectations. It would also be a project which would be manageable with no money!

Fair enough. How influential were other home invasion movies when you were writing this short?

Probably not directly, though its possible the long shadow cast by watching ‘Funny Games’ and ‘Straw Dogs’ when I was younger might have certainly crept in there. I was wanting to create something which didn’t really inhabit a single genre and have its feet grounded in reality.

Luke Witcomb (#cinematographer) and I were looking to films that merged genres for inspiration both visually and thematically. Films like BLUE RUIN, GREEN ROOM, ANIMAL KINGDOM and NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN were all scrutinised.

As an indie filmmaker, what were the challenges in getting this film made and how did you overcome them?

As always the lack of money or time!

The whole project was self funded, so we had a very limited budget than normal, a lot of favours and good will from cast and crew alike kept the good ship BRINK afloat. As we had limited funds and limited access to the camera and lenses, we had to shoot the whole film in one day, including the night time shots of suburbia. Despite the script only being a handful of pages long, it was still a challenge to get all done in one day.

Behind the scenes of short film BRINK

Well I certainly enjoyed it. Where can people watch the film?

We had a good run at film festivals in 2018 and following that the film was acquired by Gunpowder & Sky for their ALTER online platform. Its currently streaming via ALTER on YouTube, Facebook and web alongside a collection of other thriller & horror shorts.

Thanks for that. What would your advice be to anyone looking to make movies?

Have an idea? Get some friends and go out there and do it. We are living in age when its never been easier to make a film, the access to the technology now is incredible.

Don’t have access to a camera? Use a smart phone. Keep the idea simple to start with and learn from your mistakes. Even Stanley Kubrick had to start somewhere.

A legendary #filmmaker. Who would you most like to work with and why?

A very good question! In front of the camera, I would love to have a chance to work with Ben Mendelsohn - I thought he was terrific in Animal Kingdom and Blood Lines and I pretty much watch anything with him in. And I would love to have an opportunity to work with Elisabeth Moss, I’ve admired her work since Mad Men onwards and think her versatility is incredible. Behind the camera…The list far to long to mention!

What’s next for you?

I’ve got quite a busy slate of things at the moment. I’m currently entering pre-production on a very short #documentary about veteran scenic artist Tony Strong; he has worked with the likes of Ken Russel, Stanley Kubrick, has been involved with more Bond films than you can shake a stick at (he even painted the tarot card from Live and Let Die!) and still paints for pleasure.

Narrative wise, I’m in pre-production on another short thriller at the moment, which we are hoping to shoot in early February of this year.

I’ve also got a few other projects on the boil, including a feature with long time collaborator, director and actor Jonny Phillips (Woodwoo).

Thanks so much. What would you say if you were a dolphin?

So long and thanks for all the fish!



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