‘PRANG’ dir. Orlando Cubitt

Writer-Director: Orlando Cubitt
Producer: Jacob Swan Hyam
Key Cast: Brendan Patricks, Hannah Kew

10 Questions for Orlando Cubitt, writer-director of ‘Prang’ 

C8: You wrote and directed ‘Prang’. Where did the initial idea come from and how did it develop and change as you wrote and then made the film? 

OC: I was writing Prang as a novel set during the housing crisis/ early days of the current recession- it was about this self-hating estate agent who gets a call from his ex who wants him to sell her house.  In crashing his company car he was forced to see London on foot, and in selling the ex-girlfriend’s house made to see the error of his ways in life… I’d been writing it on and off for a year and decided it would make a better short film - so I threw all the crap out and got to the heart of the story.

C8: ‘PRANG’ has a very quirky ‘feel’ to it. Can you tell us what other films or works influenced you during the production process?

OC: I think I wanted it to exist just outside of reality. Caustic and dry TV like Armando Ianucci / Coogan were definitely an influence.

C8: What was the most difficult aspect of the shoot? 

OC: Location shooting always throws up a few exciting obstacles. Shutting down even the tiny part of the street/pavement and making sure we had the shots play out between cars rolling by.

C8: How does the final version of ‘Prang’ stand up to what you originally envisioned? Were you happy with how the piece inevitably evolved or are there things you would do differently now? 

OC: I think some of the jokes work, some don’t - the long introduction is probably overlong - my idea was that the car alarm was actually his obnoxious ring tone - I’m not sure anyone else got that! I might also have been a bit more free and easy with the camera work in the present day - gone for more handheld look - more cutaways, etc..

C8: What have you done in film up to this point?

OC: I’ve shot a few dozen Pop promos, commercials and a bag of digital content. It was great to finally realise my own piece - beginning to end - for better or worse.

C8: You’ve shot several fashion films and commercials (http://orlandocubitt.com). What is the biggest difference in shooting a narrative short film? 

OC: Working with actors: developing a performance with them beforehand, testing things with the dialogue before a shoot. Then also telling a story, angles and so on - it isn’t just pretty pictures - if it doesn’t help tell the tale then it probably should go out. Prang isn’t pretty lens flare stuff - its me trying to tell a short story.

C8: Do you find your work in commercials and fashion films inform your narrative work, and vice versa? And how, if so?

OC: I think so, from videos im very conscious of images - and have them in mind when I’m writing, I know angles, lens choices, sound design, rhythm, music. And from making the short I think I now want to develop more of my own voice in my commercial filmmaking. 

C8: What is your approach on working with actors? Do you spend a lot of time with them developing the character or do you like to see more of what they bring to the table?

OC: With this one we had the audition, a brief meeting and then straight into it on the day - a one day shoot. Brendan Patricks was great - he nailed it

C8: What advice would you give to new filmmakers wishing to create a short film? 

OC: Haha I’m still just trying stuff out myself… Write something you can shoot in a day. Edit in a week. And learn from straight away. Go to a lot of galleries. Watch a lot of movies. Read a lot of books.

C8: What does the future hold for you? 

OC: I’ve just joined BigBalls Films (bigballsfilms.com) who are really looking after me. I’m shooting a lot and working everyday to make better work. I’m keen to shoot another short in the next few months - I’ve got a few ideas I’ve been working on.

I am also working as an Executive in the development team at Matador Pictures (matadorpictures.com) . We are currently building a new strong slate , and I’m developing my own feature script with them.