The unintended consequences of accepting a late night drink.
Interview with Writer/Actor/Producer Jonathan Digby
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
Wow, a bit of a curve ball to start with!! I guess one reason why I made the film is that I am first and foremost an actor and I think that it is really important for actors to strive to create their own work. Acting can be such a tough profession where you rely on other people’s subjectivity all of the time, and at least this way you can bypass some of the barriers! It also adds a bit of diversity to the overall casting pool! I’m a novelist too and so it seemed like a very good idea to bring the writing and acting together. But there are lots of other reasons for making a film – it is a great challenge, lots of fun, the festival circuit can be something that is very rewarding – ultimately if you are coming up with film ideas you really want to be able to fulfill their potential and get them made.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
9862 is a black comedy which starts with a relatively normal situation but then quickly descends to extremes, touching on some very uncomfortable themes in the process. But the film is also basically a blast – it is very irreverent and funny, and is also an attempt to see how much chaos could be created in ten minutes.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
The universal theme of the film is vulnerability. The male protagonist is needy and weak, and craving love and significance; the female protagonist needs money and is having to deal with a world that considers her only asset to be her looks. And these types of vulnerabilities that we all face … the film is about how, if we don’t deal with them, they can push us into extreme situations that we can’t deal with.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development?
Hugely for what amounts to a 10-minute film. The original script was simply very impractical to film – including shenanigans with a dart gun and burning down a house! As soon as the director, Giles Greenwood, came on board we had to have some grown up discussions about what was and what wasn’t feasible. Giles and I also had slightly different visions about the overall feel of the film and so there was quite a bit of back and forth which resulted in changes in the script. I think it is a testament to how collaborative filmmaking can be – although I would still love to see the original script made one day!
What type of feedback have you received so far?
The festival circuit is quite strange in that you can’t actually show the film to many people to begin with because there is a certain desire for exclusivity. You are kind of guided by how many festivals it gets into and then the reaction from those. Having said that, so far, the feedback has been really encouraging, and we recently won the Best Narrative Short Film award at the Erie International Film Festival.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
I was surprised that a few people didn’t agree with, or understand, the ending of the film, which, without giving too much away, was a chance to show that the male protagonist has changed from his ordeal. Maybe some people are a bit more cynical than I am?!!
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
I think that a lot of the time filmmakers inhabit a bit of a bubble and forget to connect with the people that really matter – the audience – and these types of articles are a great opportunity to do that. Obviously it only makes sense as a filmmaker if the film is known about and seen by as many people as possible.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
I think a short film distributor will definitely be something that I am looking at down the line but at this stage it is all about the festivals and getting the film into as many as possible – and then hopefully getting the opportunity to visit the festivals themselves and meet lots of other filmmakers.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
Above all else, hopefully people will find 9862 really entertaining – and I also hope that it becomes a successful addition to a few different festival programmes
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
When a normal situation turns to complete insanity – who is to blame?
Would you like to add anything else?
Only that it has been a pleasure for me to get the chance to talk about the film and engage in this way. Thank you!
What other projects are the key creatives developing or working on now?
The 9862 crew are a prolific bunch and it is quite hard to keep up with what everyone is doing. Jonathan, the co-producer, has another short film doing the rounds because we were on the same program at a recent film festival! For my part, I’ve just been working as an actor on the Sky Atlantic series Britannia, I’ve got a feature film script in pre-production and am working on a pilot of my novel for a Netflix-style series.
Interview: December 2018
We Are Moving Stories embraces new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series, music video, women's films, LGBTQIA+, POC, First Nations, scifi, supernatural, horror, world cinema. If you have just made a film - we'd love to hear from you. Or if you know a filmmaker - can you recommend us? More info: Carmela
The unintended consequences of accepting a late night drink.
Director: Giles Greenwood
Producer: Jonathan Digby
Writer: Jonathan Digby
About the writer, director and producer:
JONATHAN DIGBY is an actor, writer and filmmaker based in London UK. His recent acting credits include Britannia (Sky Atlantic). His novel, A Murderous Affair, has been a frequent #1 in the Amazon history charts.
GILES GREENWOOD has been directing visually striking work, both short films and commercials for over ten years and has collaborated with some of the world's leading brands.
Key cast: Jonathan Digby, Amber Anderson, Nathan Harme
Looking for: Film Festival directors for sure; A short film distributor in the short to mid-term
Facebook: 9862 short film
Where can I watch it next and in the coming month? TBC