We've talked about this before [click
here], but do bring us up to speed: Your new movie I Need a
Sign - in a few words, what is it about?
The film is about the difficulties deaf and non verbal people/children
face every day, and how sign language can be the most effective way of
Need a Sign is a movie that must feel very personal to you, being
based at least partly on your own experiences, what does it feel like
bringing exactly this story to life?
Yes, I went deaf just
before i was 3 years old, I learned to sign at 4. But every day has been a
communication barrier, to be able to communicate effectively is a big
thing for me. But also because of the nature of my deafness (not born or
raised deaf), it's been a long challenge to find my true identity. It's only
in the recent months I have accepted who I am.
What can you tell
us about your overall directorial approach to your story at hand?
I was very relaxed because it all went to plan, yes I gave a couple
directions on what I wanted, but mostly it all was very straightforward
and the team did their magic. So I wasn't really needed to give directions
and just went with the flow.
talk about your co-director and cinematographer Sebastian Roberts [Sebastian
Roberts interview - click here], and what was your collaboration
with him like?
The collaboration with Seb is absolutely
fantastic, he's a professional, knew what I wanted, knew the best way of
filming it, I learned a lot from Sebastian on the day. And would work with
him again given the chance. I have a follow-on film from this in mind that
is at the pre-production stage.
The central character of I Need a Sign,
Jesse, is a young girl that only communicates via sign language - so how
easy or hard was it to find the right actress for the part? And what was
working with Imogen Clarkson like, especially in light of the W.C. Fields
quote "never work with children or animals"?
Finding the actor/actress was extremely hard because I don't have much
association with the deaf community, but not through choice. And
everything I tried just wasnt working - then I came up with the idea, I could post just in local selling site even tho
I wasn't selling. It had
to be worth trying, within an hour of posting, BINGO, Imogen Clarkson's mum came
forward and emailed me, and after a long discussion via email we agreed.
Working with Imogen was a fun filled day, and she is absolutely amazing,
everyone adored working with her. She really will go far in the
industry, Imogen remembered her lines and actions so well I couldn't
fault her. Everyone absolutely smashed it, I am proud of everyone, I am
proud of the outcome, and I know the film will go far because there's a
gap in the industry.
talk about the rest of your cast, and why exactly these people?
where can I start, Sharon Spink [Sharon
Spink interview - click here] is an amazing actress, she is who
I had in
mind when I wrote the script and was happy when she applied. Igor Naylor
is a fab actor, I have personally worked with both of them, in different
set-ups, and they just fit the profile that I was looking for. Sharon has
been taking sign language classes with me, and it's just a perfect fit all
few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
the day of the shoot, nothing went to plan for me. Right from the min I got up, until
I arrived on set was challenging, I did a monologue mash-up
before I went, left plenty of time for the busses but unfortunately didn't
turn up for over an hour. But I still made it in time. Only JUST. The day
on set went plain sailing, so much easier than I thought (my first film,
so I had no ideas behind the scenes), my dreams coming true I had to
pinch myself on the day I was so happy and proud I couldn't ask for more
from the cast and crew, it was so much fun with cast and crew,
especially with Imogen entertaining us. Come the end of the filming I was
absolutely shattered mentally and physically but so so happy as well.
$64-question of course, where can your movie be seen?
Right now at this min, nowhere, but I am entering it into suitable
festivals and so far it's been entered into 20, I am hoping that
somewhere in those 20 it gets accepted in at least half. And makes its
Have you heard of The Silent Child by Rachel Shenton? Well, my film is on
a similar score but in a different way, I am fighting for sign language,
deaf awareness every day and this film will help, hopefully encourage
more people to learn to sign and unite together. We are 1 world, 1 human
race, we should be helping and supporting one another and not excluding
anyone because they are different.
you can tell us about audience and critical reception of I Need a Sign
It's to raise awareness of deafness, the effective
communication of sign language vs spoken English. It's bold, it's powerful,
it's mind blowing, it's visual and direct to the point.
Any future projects you'd like to share?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
have another pre-production and it's a follow on, based on cochlear
implants and different hearing aids. And the society's perspectives - that's
enough info on that at the min as it's still in the very early stages.
movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
am also an sign language coach, and an actor, combine them are my
for the interview!