Interview with Nick Hatton Jones

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Director Nick Hatton Jones won Best UK Short at LIVIFF2018 for his film Spoon Fed, which stars Lesley Sharp as a woman who is diagnosed with MS.

We caught up with Nick to talk about the film.

Where did the idea for Spoon Fed come from? 

My cousin got diagnosed with MS at the age of 30 with two small children and my Uncle has had Parkinson's for nearly 20 years, seeing how people living with these life changing conditions, the highs and lows, and how they had to adapt was a story that I was keen to explore. Ultimately I wanted it to be a story of hope and the triumph of the human spirit, where you see the person not the condition. 

How long was the process from script to screen? 

Script to screen was actually fairly quick. I knew that we would need great actors to tell this story, because if the performances weren't believable the rest of the film making process wouldn't matter. We drew up a dream list of cast, headed by Lesley, who we wrote to more in hope that expectation. A couple of weeks later my business partner and producer Nellie called me when I was on holiday in New York and said that Lesley's agent had called and said Lesley loved the script and was interested in doing it, but she only had a week available between TV projects and that was in 2 weeks time when we would have to shoot. Then it was a race against time, we had no other cast, crew or locations at that point, so we have to get it all in place very quickly.  

What were the challenges you faced in getting the film made? 

We had limited prep - but so do all shorts really. Time and money are always the biggest constraints of any shoot. Having actors that could nail performances straight up definitely helped though. We called in a lot of favours and people were very supportive throughout the process and crowd funding helped us complete post. 

What is next for you and the film? 

The film is still on the festival circuit. We just won Best International Short Film at Sanctuary Cove International film Festival in Australia. I've developed Spoon Fed into a feature film and Lesley is onboard to reprise her role. We are now trying to raise the money we need. I've also written a spec TV drama series that I'm currently looking to shop around bigger production companies and networks and again Lesley is attached to be part of the project. 

Carl Barlow