Interview with Daniel Boocock

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Made on a shoestring budget Daniel Boocock's The Desolate One is sparse, poetic and visually arresting. LIVIFF spoke to the director about his film. 

What inspired the film?

I was never happy working on film jobs as an assistant or any other job in fact, if I’m being honest. I’d do it for the ‘experience’ or ‘money’ but I'd feel boxed in. My intent has always been to bring my own creativity to life regardless of any situation.  

I’ve always felt confident in my own ideas and believed they would catch on. The Desolate One was the first. I knew that to make my own mark I’d have to get out there and do something that others in my position wouldn’t dare attempt so that’s what I did.  

What where the challenges of shooting in Snowdonia?

The conditions were insane but that was part of the point. The Desolate One is a moody enigmatic piece so it had to be done in an environment which could reflect that. Cold, heartless and brutal.  

We shot it in early March 2017 in a full blown blizzard. The snow, wind and rain would cut right through us at times but as far as I was concerned nothing was going to stop this from happening. 

There was five of us up there.  We just dug deep, made it fun and went for it.  As crazy as it was, it was all good.  We got a buzz out of the madness.  

How did you fund the film?

I’d see people going to film institutions begging for anything between 1 and 5 grand. Quite a few of those people could have just went out there and filmed what they wanted but didn’t. To me they didn't want it enough. I did. I still do. 

I’m not rich in the slightest right now but I said to myself I'm gonna work, save up & self fund this short and visually it's going to look like it’s cost double, even triple than what I’m putting in. That’s how it's turned out and that kind of mentality has earned me respect with future financiers and collaborators.

How has the film been doing since LIVIFF? Any more festival screenings?

The film has screened in quite a few places at a decent level since LIVIFF17.  So far it's screened in Holland twice (New Renaissance Amsterdam & Leiden International shorts), it’s won awards in Denmark (Annual CPH Fest) and Texas too (World Fest Houston) and it's still doing it’s festival run up until winter, so who knows where it will end up.  I imagine it’ll continue to be recognised.

What is next for you? Any new projects?

It’s all about progressing now to the highest level of the short film world with another project. 

My next project is called The Neolith.  It’s ambitious for a short.  Very raw, mystic and primal. It’s a big step up from anything I’ve done before but there is good energy around the project. It’s already in prep with actors from Denmark and the UK and some fantastic crew members from the highest level have attached themselves to the project.  

There is still a lot of work to do and some moves to be made but it's only a matter of time before this one comes to life.  It will be shot in Skye, Scotland.  I can’t wait. 

For more info on Daniel visit: www.claretandbluefilm.com

Carl Barlow