Thursday, 10 October 2013
IFTA Masterclass Report - Neil Marshall
My masterclass with Neil Marshall (the director of Dog Soldiers (2002), The Descent (2005), Doomsday (2008) and Centurion (2010), as well as Blackwater, an episode of the HBO series Game of Thrones) two Saturdays back helped me in looking at the life of production in film and television. I got in for free. It was an IFTA event, for industry professionals, and I was an aspiring filmmaker, but I got in as there were limited places,I e-mailed IFTA came in at around 11 o'clock, though it began at 12-15 PM, at the Lighthouse Cinema. I was surprised to see Neil there, having breakfast along me in the cinema café, an affable Geordie 43-year-old balding, bearded man. I was almost starstruck. He was a lovely, solid bloke. He told me not to answer too many questions, as I'd have to answer some at the IFTA masterclass. I asked him what was the most unconvincing portrayal of Britain in a TV show or film not made in Britain, as his films Dog Soldiers and Doomsday, both set in Scotland were respectively filmed in Luxembourg and South Africa. He didn't have an answer, but he did say that the hardest part of faking the UK was setting and laying tand finding the street furniture. Soon, more industry professionals came in - including the producer of several TV3 reality docusoaps, and the editor of The Voice of Ireland (whose job, she said jokingly was to ensure that all the judges wear the same clothes day in, day out to provide continuity) and Dearbhla Walsh, director of The Tudors, The Borgias, Shameless and a recent BBC adaptation of Esio Trot, the Roald Dahl novella starring Dustin Hoffman and Dame Judi Dench. I asked Marshall several questions (He told me the film he'd like to remake would either be The Car (1977, Jaws or Duel with a Lincoln Continential limousine) or the 1975 Peter Fonda film Race With The Devil (two couples in a camper van witness a Satanist murder-orgy and are chased through the desert by the Satanists who want revenge). He liked the fact that I pointed out Sean Pertwee in Dog Soldiers did the gurn when in peril his father Jon did as Doctor Who, Marshall being a Doctor Who fan getting this reference. He also said that he'd follow my blog, said that his new film Troll Hunter though set in Norwegian territory will be filmed in Canada, and he liked me noticing that John Carpenter's The Thing was similarly set and filmed in that way and liked my enthusiasm for his WW2 Alistair MacLean tribute Eagle's Nest, currently in development hell and my knowledge that he was briefly attached to a film of the TV series The Professionals. In all, it was a good day.