Home Culture & SocietyCaines Corner UK’s Got Film Talent I: Featuring Duane F.L Wharton

UK’s Got Film Talent I: Featuring Duane F.L Wharton

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Clive Caines CaribDirect

Clive Caines Cultural Contributor

They may not yet be household names but they are talented and are definitely ones to watch out for. In this regular feature Caribdirect show cases the talent bubbling under in the film world.

Featured filmmaker: Duane F.L. Wharton

Where did you train and what were the benefits of training there?

I studied Scriptwriting for Film and Television at Bournemouth University.
Bournemouth was great for learning the basic principles of writing for the screen, which gave me a good foundation to craft my own individuality and style.

Is there a particular theme that runs through your films?

Not particularly. When I’m writing I try to create interesting characters that are familiar to my life as a black Briton. I like to paint my characters into unusual circumstances, whether that’s a psychological thriller or a kitchen sink drama such as my film ‘Sweet Mother’ (2008) or science fiction, like my time travel Afro-futuristic short ‘Yesterday’s Tomorrow’ (2011) or my forthcoming online fantasy drama ‘Walking with Azrael’ (2013) which is about angels.

I guess my overall theme could be multi-cultural Britain; growing up as a frequent cinema goer I often felt that real diversity was missing when it came to narratives.  Black faces seemed to be purposely omitted when it came to Richard Curtis’ Working Title films – ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’, ‘Notting Hill’, ‘Love Actual’ – and other white washed British films. When aliens take over the earth for the umpteenth time why do we never see the reactions of the Asian family in Southall or the black family from Tottenham.

I believe the contributions, sacrifices and investments (putting it very lightly) of the commonwealth countries are dangerously overlooked in the narratives we produce as a nation, I try to covertly redress this in my films.  The title of my online broadcasting company Product of An Empire is somewhat a reflection of my views.

Have a look at a product of An Empire Channel:

Which filmmaker(s) inspire or influence your films?

Though it may not appear so from my earlier comments I’m a big fan of Working Title films as well as other classic British films and television shows like ‘Only Fools and Horses’, ‘The Sweeney’ and ‘Taggart’; the only thing I didn’t like about many of these shows were the absence of black faces, as if black and brown people hadn’t been a part of this country for hundreds of years.

Recently I’ve become a major fan of TV drama; in particular I’ve enjoyed the North European dramas such as  ‘The Killing’, ‘Borgen’ and ‘The Bridge’.  I love the structure, which I feel is similar to American dramas such as ‘The Wire’ and more recently ‘Homeland’.  This contemporary structure of arching the story over the whole series instead of making self-contained episodes is becoming influential on the screenplays for my upcoming online dramas.

Empire Windrush

What’s the hardest part of getting yourself established as a filmmaker?

The hardest part of being a filmmaker is finding funding.  In order to make a film to prove you are skilled you need money, in order to get money you need to prove you can make a film… Catch 22!

Oh, and nepotism’s a bitch!

What I know about being a filmmaker

I’ve learnt that not everybody who says they want to make films genuinely do; it’s usually just talk. Everybody’s got a film idea; everybody wants to write a script. For many people it’s just a phase but filmmaking is something you have to truly love.

You have to truly love the craft because you won’t see any money from it for a long time, most sane people will give up, but love being a form of insanity will help you stick with the impossible task of being successful.

What advice would you offer other aspiring filmmakers?

This is kind of contradictory, but my advice would be not to listen to anybody (apart from me of course).  Learn your craft, figure out the patterns, and then just do it how you want to do it ignoring everyone else in the process.

Duane’s got talent, says who?

Scott Macdonald of Eye for film
“With great performances and assured direction, Sweet Mother is a rather good story, well-told.” Jun 2009.

Untitled Project – Pre-production (Writer/Director)
‘Yesterday’s Tomorrow’ – 2011 (Writer)
‘Sweet Mother’ – 2008 (Writer)
‘UYDO’ Animation – 2008 (Writer)
‘Yesterday’s Tomorrow’ – 2005 (Writer/Director)
‘Love Man’ – 2003 (Writer/Director)
‘Regulate’ – 2002 (Writer/Director)
Product of An Empire Channel – youtube.com/DuaneFLWharton



We provide news and information for anyone interested in the Caribbean whether you’re UK based, European based or located in the Caribbean. New fresh ideas are always welcome with opportunities for bright writers.


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