‘One Man and His Dog’ dir. Jonathan Hopkins (2010)

A con-artist meets the salvation of mankind.

Year: 2010
Country: UK
Director: Jonathan Hopkins
Writer: Jonathan Hopkins
Producers: Maddy Elles-Hill and Humprey Elles-Hill
Key Cast: Bruce Mackinnon, Oliver Englehart

10 Questions for Jonathan Hopkins, Director of One Man and His Dog

C8: ‘One Man and His Dog’ is a highly original project - can you talk us through your inspiration and references for the film?

JH: I have always wanted to make a sci-fi film and specifically one with comedy. I loved the idea of a benevolent alien come to save mankind and bumping into the wrong human, thereby nullifying mankind’s potential salvation in one fell swoop! References for the film: there are homages to many of my favourite Sci-fi films including Starman, Predator, Deep Impact, Superman. Funnily enough, the core concept was inspired by the very funny Dr. Pepper TV commercials - “What’s the worst that could happen?”.

C8: What were the hardest things about getting the film made?  What obstacles did you come across both in production and post-production?

JH: The hardest thing about getting the film made in production: dealing with the weather on the shoot. We were totally exposed in the middle of a field in mid-October and it started to rain….a lot. We had to keep shooting however, and luckily you can hardly tell. Post production was a huge challenge as there was so much to do. The opening shot took a month to build alone! In all, we spent 5 months in post. MPC did it all for free and they were great, but as we were getting a very generous free-bie, it took ages to finish.

C8: How did you go about casting these unusual characters?

JH:  We had a casting director. Bruce Mackinnon was a friend of mine however, so I contacted him direct.

C8: Where does ‘One Man and his Dog’ sit in your career?

JH: It is my second short that arrived 3 years into my professional directing career.

C8: Who from the industry would you love to work with and why?

JH: Where to start? Somehow, working with composers excites me the most. Bruno Coulais is my favourite. The way he can capture an feeling of magic is unparalleled in my opinion.

C8: What to you is the essence of a good collaboration?

JH: Enthusiasm for the project, sharing a common goal and creating a fluid, creative working environment. If everyone is excited by the common goal and able to express themselves fully in their role (producer/DP/sound designer etc) then you’ll produce something great.

C8: What’s next on the horizon for Jonathan Hopkins?

JH: I am busy directing TV adverts at the moment but a feature film is very much the next goal. I am attached to a couple of features at the moment, one of which is a horror comedy I have written. Hoping to get it into production early next year!