Welcome to another edition of SIX OF THE BEST, the semi regular part of BRWC where we fire six questions at lovely people. This time, we chat to writer-director Tobias Tobbell about him and his new film, Confine.
Where did the idea for Confine come from?
I can’t quite remember exactly how it started, I wrote the first draft ten years ago, but I wanted to write something with both a female protagonist and antagonist. It’s still so rare for film to have a female lead that isn’t a rom-com or some other romantically based story. It’s strange and I’ve always been very conscious of the fact half the audience, as well as half of the acting talent out there, are women. I guess I’ve been surrounded by strong, motivated women growing up (both family and at school/uni). I can’t understand why there’s such a massive mis-representation on screen. It’s definitely improving, but that’s a key reason for starting Confine off this way.
What film makers influenced your work?
David Fincher certainly has an influence. The visuals of his films in particular – low-key lighting, sweeping camera-work, all of his films are so slick, so cinematic, they really deserve to be seen in a theatre. Christopher Nolan is another more recent influence. I love his complex storytelling and it’s a pleasure to see original stories like Inception and Interstellar being made for the same size budgets usually reserved for guaranteed seat-fillers (like the Batman films!).
What influenced you to write Confine?
There were no particular film influences when I wrote the script. The references and influences came much later when looking at set design and cinematography. I started in theatre, both writing and directing (and even a little acting, I was pretty terrible) and since then I’ve always been interesting in contained or isolated environments. Confine probably ended up a little more theatrical than I’d intended simply because of this past influence. But I love the fact we manage to stay in the flat for the entire film. Still, not as impressive as Buried or Cube
Did you know from a young age that you wanted to make films?
According to my family, and I have no memory of this, I told them I wanted to be a film director when I was 6 years old. I’ve no idea why, I don’t remember even understanding what films really were at that age. I do remember watching Dumbo and other Disney films many, many times at that period in my life and can only assume I decided that’s what I wanted to spend all of my time doing. I started writing long stories at 11 years old and short films followed three or four years later.
Do you have a favourite director?
My favourite director keeps changing, to be honest, but the few that are consistently fighting for the top spot for me are Ridley Scott (Alien, Blade Runner and Gladiator are all favourite films), David Fincher, Christopher Nolan, the Coen Brothers, sometimes Stanley Kubrick (i.e. whenever I watch 2001 or The Shining again).
So what are you working on at the moment?
I’d really like to make a sci-fi thriller next. I’m conscious of how many sci-fi’s are coming out at the moment and don’t want to repeat anything, but it’s a real passion of mine. I’m working on a script set a few hundred years in the future, mostly based in a small research station on another planet. It’s kind of a heist story told from the point of view of those discovering and attempting to stop the heist from happening. It’s got the more rough working environment of The Abyss, mixed with the icey remoteness of The Thing… it’s currently called The Last Planet and I’d like to shoot early 2014.
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