Having a film premier at the 2012 Raindance Film Festival is an indicator of the level of success already enjoyed by Gareth Morgan.
‘EPiSODE’ his Rain Dance debut film is a live action animated short and is just one of thirteen films produced in a career that was well underway before starting university.
Since Raindance Gareth has enjoyed a new found freedom, which has allowed him to tackle a much broader scope of genres than his first love science fiction. There is now a high level of anticipation for his next short film ‘The Bride’, which is currently in post -production, and in some circles the short is being talked about as his break through film.
Where did you train and what were the benefits of training there?
My formal training was at De Montfort University in Leicester. I had been making films for a few years prior to enrolling on the course, so the benefit of the course was allowing me to progress in a safe environment.
Well I say safe, in my first year the university threatened to kick me out because I made a film that featured scenes with samurai swordplay; they did however ban my work from being shown on campus.
This forced me to set up my own film festival at the local library where I showed my work and invited film makers from all over the world to show theirs, the festival was a great success. In a reverse of fortunes the university then used my work to promote for their course, suffice it to say I was also allowed to make whatever I wanted.
Is there a particular theme that runs through your films?
My work usually falls under the Sci-Fi genre and 9 times out of 10 have a strong female lead character. Even as a child I always hated how women were portrayed in the films I liked: either screaming in the background or a strong character that still needs a man to save her at the end of the picture.
From my own experience women are beautiful but deadly and this ethos is how I create my lead roles, so that’s a constant theme to my work. Currently, due to being a low to no budget filmmaker, I work mainly on Green Screen and as a friend put it, my work is best described as Live Action Animated films, so in a way I guess that’s a theme too.
Babel: competition entry for this year’s The Pitch
Which filmmaker(s) inspire or influence your films?
I always find this a hard question to answer. I tend to follow the work, rather than who made it, which I know sounds weird. For example, ‘Blade Runner Director’s Cut’ is my all time favourite film but for me Ridley Scott isn’t a filmmaker who inspires, as I’m not too impressed with a lot of his other work.
Same with say John Woo, I love a lot of his stuff from Hong Kong, but when he moved to Hollywood his work started to suffer in my opinion. So when I get an idea and start to script it I will research other films/games/television/music that follow similar themes and genre, without really considering who made it.
What’s the hardest part of getting yourself established as a filmmaker?
Getting the attention my work requires in such a saturated market. Making films is getting easier and easier, that’s not to say that making a good film gets easier. But with more and more low to no budget films being available and the usual stigma that comes with the idea of a film being made with no money; it’s a constant up hill march.
Also due to having no connections in the industry I am always turning that corner towards where I need to be. Getting into this year’s ‘Raindance Film Festival’ has definitely improved my chances of becoming recognised; I just have to keep moving forward.
Bonnie & Clyde: We Rob Banks: retelling of the infamous criminal duo
What do you know about being a filmmaker?
All my life I have been a story teller and have used many different mediums to tell these stories; drawing, writing, puppetry, acting, dancing, photography and now film.
Though the technology has changed, the way the stories are created remain the same; that isn’t to say that it’s easy to be a filmmaker, especially when you lack a budget for the work. I am blessed with knowing a host of amazingly talented actresses/actors, dancers and musicians that believe in my work and are willing to collaborate with me; if it wasn’t for them my films would only exist on paper.
What I know about being a film maker changes every time a new idea comes to me, with every new storyboard and script I create, I feel that I have barely scratched the surface thus far and will be learning more about being a filmmaker as I progress and eventually become a recognised name in the industry.
What advice would you offer other aspiring filmmakers?
Don’t let a lack of money stifle your creativity; there is always more than one way to do anything. With that though, I do spend time questioning my actions and why I am sacrificing a normal life for a “live each day as it comes” artist life, but I am what I am and it is what it is so believe in yourself, regardless of how clichéd that may sound.
Cavendish: Dramatisation of why Cavendish House burnt to the ground.
The Bride (in development, 2012, writer, director, editor)
Grind House Horror Thriller, Leicester UK
Darkness (in post production, 2012, writer, director, editor)
Gothic Vampire, Leicester UK
Parasite Eve (in post production, 2012, writer, director, editor)
Science Fiction, Leicester UK
Syndicate Wars (in post production, 2012, writer, director, editor)
Science Fiction, Leicester UK
Nancy Wake (in post production, 2012, writer, director, editor)
War Science Fiction, Leicester UK
Space Jockeys (in post production, 2012, writer, director, editor, producer)
Music Video Science Fiction, Leicester UK
Babel (2min 2012, writer, director, editor)
Religious Science Fiction, Leicester UK
Cavendish (8min 2012, director, editor)
Historical, Leicester UK
EPiSODE (6min 2012, writer, director, editor)
Horror Thriller, Leicester UK: Premièred at 20th Raindance Film Festival 2012
Violet Rain (9mins, 2012, writer, director, editor, actor, producer)
War Science Fiction, Leicester, UK
Bonnie & Clyde: We Rob Banks (12mins, 2012, writer, choreographer, director,
Crime Science Fiction, Leicester, UK director, r, nce Fiction, n, n, ts, Lottery Funded project to create 3 films about 500 years of Abbey Park Leicester’s Historyeditor, producer)
The Halsteadarian: Chronicles of the Colne Engine (37mins, 2011, writer, fight, Steampunk, Leicester, UK. Choreographer, director, editor, producer)
Premiered at The Rose City Steam Punk film festival, Portland Oregon
The Colne Engine (13mins, 2010, writer, director, editor, producer) Steampunk, Leicester, UK Shown on the BBC Big Screen at Glastonbury 2010