‘Silence is Golden’ dir. Chris Shepherd (2007)
My neighbour’s a right loony. He’s always bangin our wall down. I’m used to it. I think other people’s houses are well weird. There’s no knocking – right?
Director: Chris Shepherd
Writer: Chris Shepherd
Producer: Maria Manton
Key Cast: Conor Morris, Kate McLoughlin, Andrew Dunford
Winner, Best Short Film, 2007
Presented in association with Rushes Soho Shorts Film Festival 2012
5 Questions for Chris Shepherd
C8: Where did the inspiration for this gem of a film come from?
CS: Northern stories and legends. I’m very nosy and love hearing people’s stories. Also, watching the tellly had a big effect on me. When I was a kid in Liverpool I used to watch a lot of Play for Todays and I wanted to make proper seventies drama.
C8: How long did Silence is Golden take to make and what were the biggest obstacles during production?
CS: It took two years and the biggest problem was that the film’s main star, Conor Morris, was getting older. I recorded a voiceover when he was 12 and by the time I finished the film he was fourteen and looking and sounding older. The other tricky thing was shooting period. No matter which way I turned I was facing a continuity challenge.
C8: How was the film received on the festival circuit generally?
CS: It did really well and won lots of awards. I was really proud when it won the TCM award at London Film Festival.
C8: Your last short, ‘Bad Night for The Blues’ didn’t include any animated content, are you going to concentrate on live action from now on?
CS: I always think about the story first then the technique. For me the style could be anything as long as it’s good story. One day I’ll direct a musical. Who knows?
C8: Who should we watch as up-and-coming animators on the UK scene?
CS: There’s a whole gang graduating from Kingston that are amazing, check them out…