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Interview with 'Small Film'

This week’s SmallFilm featured film is Luke Taylor’s “Nan”. We were particularly impressed with how he managed to portray the complex/changing relationship between a Nan and a grandchild in just 2 minutes 41 seconds of film. Along with the beautiful camera work and music, this makes an impressive short short indeed.

Luke was nice enough to answer a few questions and let us know a bit more about his short film, his background and his aspirations. Without further ado, here’s the interview with Luke Taylor: Director of Nan.


Let us know a little bit about yourself, what’s your background and how did you get into film making?

I recently graduated from Bath Spa University where I studied Creative Media Practice; a degree in practical media. Throughout my 3 years of study I was able to work in a variety of environments in lots of roles, including Television Studios, short films, documentaries, and traveled to Chicago to work on Frequency TV in April this year. Since then I have had experience at Wall to Wall media, in research and development, including work on BBC’s ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’

The majority of my work focuses on people, and their unique stories. For example, last year I created a short Documentary/Drama called Briefest Encounters, working with Jo Crosse in sharing the story of her ancestors; a story inextricably linked with the famous film Brief Encounter. At university I was able to pinpoint my key area of interest within the media; this being the importance of sharing peoples journey, their past, their achievements, their story.

We really loved your short film “Nan”, what was the inspiration behind it?

For my final degree piece I had the scope to create anything. Having experimented with Drama in Briefest Encounters, I knew I wanted to connect emotionally with audiences through this genre, however I wanted to do so telling a story we all have. For me, University was a journey of self-discovery. So I looked at my own story. The inspiration behind me studying, was my Nan, so I chose to tell our story in a way that audiences could relate to, through a bond they have with anyone. Producer Rosie Jones and I have been good friends and colleagues for many years, and we collaborate on creative projects, showcasing our work through our creation of Old Trunk Media. When I came up with the idea for Nan, we worked together to turn the idea into a short film.

What cool facts can you tell us about the shoot?

The first cool fact is that the Nan in the film is my Nan! I wanted a true representation of a Grandma, someone who could truly connect to the story. For the person who inspired me to make the film, to be a part of it was very special for us both. You will notice smooth transition shots. These were filmed on a Jib…which also crushed the D.O.P’s hand at one point! The house we filmed in was where Rosie and I lived with 4 other housemates.

The film was not going to be made as I was swaying more towards another idea, but I really wanted the challenge of moving audiences with no dialogue, and the idea for Nan utilised this. Ultimately, the acting was natural. I would simply tell my Nan to be herself, which made everyone else comfortable, and the emotions were portrayed effortlessly by all.

Are you working on any projects at the moment? Or have any films in the pipeline?

There are always ideas in the pipeline! I have been working on an idea since before the creation of ‘Nan’, again experimenting with the journey and cycle of life. I am currently working for a company, curating, archiving then externalising their unique history; sharing their story with the world, and work as a freelance editor and cameraman.

Where do you hope to go with your career? What’s the dream?

I am incredibly passionate about storytelling. The work I have done, and am currently doing, has made me realise the value in giving someone, or something, a greater sense of belonging. So, to be able to continue transferring this into film and documentary is something I will always do. To be able to share a story that we all have through beautifully, simply crafted film/documentary, and to see and hear audiences positively respond and reflect on their viewing experience, is of enormous creative value to me as a film maker.

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