‘This Is Vanity’ dir. Oliver Goodrum
The dark and tragic tale of a tiring mother who struggles to protect both herself and her disabled teenage daughter from the continual attacks of local adolescents.
Director: Oliver Goodrum
Writer: Alexander Craig
Producers: Rob Leonard
DOP: Justin Brown
Key Cast: Lucy Brown, Dominic Mafham, Richard Crehan, Sophie Farquhar
C8: How did you come across the script by Alexander Craig and why did you want to direct it?
OG: I original found the story on the BBC and took it to Alex, who I’ve collaborated with on his music videos (such as ‘Consequences of the Kill’) for a few years and we developed and wrote the film together.
C8: How did you cast the film? What were you looking for in your actors?
OG: I was very lucky to work with to very generous Casting Directors. Tommy Edwards, who cast ‘Consequences of the Kill’ with me, is a young filmmaker from an acting background is amazing casting director. We cast the kids together and we were looking for someone who knew that type of world and that type of life. We actually cast Richard Crehan (who played the main kid) via his monologue on YouTube.
And then the rest of the cast were found with the help of Casting Director Sophie North, which we did in a more traditional way. I took a list of 10 British female actors to her, most of which she said we’d never get and then she said ‘Oh I know her’, talking about Lucy Brown, so we met and really got on.
C8: Some scenes are incredibly difficult to watch. Did you worry about alienating your audience at all?
OG: No. I wanted to make the type film that I would like to see, something strong, serious and makes you think.
C8: You funded the film through an IndieGoGo campaign. What is the most difficult aspect to crowdfunding?
OG: We got about 20% of the budget from Indiegogo and even that was difficult, I’ve since learned how to do it better and how I would do it next time. Which mainly consists of employing a campaign manager to run it entirely for one month only and let them do what they do.
C8: There are so many crowdfunding campaigns. Did you find it difficult to cut through the noise?
OG: The majority of our sponsors were friends and family (which at the time was all I thought it was capable of with film) so I guess we found it very hard.
C8: What did you shoot on and what was the reasoning behind this choice?
OG: We shot on 35mm. We shot on it because it’s the best and we managed to do it budget.
C8: From start to finish what was the most difficult aspect of the production?
OG: Casting and working on the character Tyler who had severe learning difficulties. It’s an impossible task, there are no rules, no consistent traits and everything looks and sounds wrong. It was a very stressful experience for both myself and Sophie who played her.
C8: If you did the whole process again is there anything that you would do differently?
OG: Be more patient in general.
C8: What, in your opinion, makes for a good collaboration?
OG: The old cliché of trust. I think my best collaborators is [Cinematographer] Justin Brown simply because he is the person I have worked with the longest, we have the same taste and he’s always right.
C8: What is on the horizon for Oliver Goodrum? What are your plans for the future?
OG: I’m working on a new short film of equal difficult subject matter as well as a feature that again is in that sort of world and themes and them I’m also working on expanding my commercial and content work so I can director full time.