As part of our birthday celebrations, we’ve been working hard to bring you new content, including our first ever movie premiere! Watch it here now:
We were lucky enough to catch up with Tom Brumpton (Producer) and Adam Luff (Writer and Director) to find out what goes into making a great short film and get some insight into the world of film production.
How did you decide to make Nurture of the Beast?
Tom Brumpton (Producer): Honestly, it came about by accident! It started off as putting something together for my showreel as an actor, and we loved what we were doing and Adam saw a way to turn it into a short film. We’ve both been pleasantly surprised by how well it’s done!
Adam Luff (Writer/Director): Tom and I were brainstorming ideas for his acting reel; as we’d be filming brief clips and wouldn’t have to worry about an entire film, we’d list anything we could think of. Next thing you know, I’m saying “How about you get eaten by a monster?”; but as Tom said, it evolved from two clips (a monologue and a death scene) into the film you see today.
What were your inspirations in making this short film?
Adam Luff: British Television and a Cannon movie! Originally, Tom was going to be an astronaut trapped in the wreckage of his ship. But out of the blue, I saw Tobe Hooper’s “Lifeforce” and loved every minute of it. The fact it was a sci-fi epic set in Britain reminded me a lot of the Quatermass serials and the UNIT stories of the Jon Pertwee era of “Doctor Who”. So I scrapped the astronaut and changed Tom into a scientist trapped in a laboratory; it also gave me the character name, Quatermass. Finally, the green eyes of the beast were inspired by the Mysteron rings from Gerry Anderson’s “Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons”.
What were the biggest challenges you faced in making Nurture of the Beast?
Adam Luff: Trying not to overthink! Despite being in good hands with a helpful crew, storyboards and a shot list, I can’t help but go over every single detail in my head, “Wait! This shot needs to be at this angle because it will avoid crossing the line when we do the next shot which will be Tom’s close up, so that means — ” *passes out* (fortunately, that part didn’t happen on set!)
Tom Brumpton: When you’re doing something on a shoestring budget there are always challenges. In this case, we had about four hours to shoot the whole thing and get it all wrapped and finished. I personally find that confinement, those restrictions, can be quite good for the creative process. It can force you to think on your feet and can bring out the best in you as a film maker.
Can you share your best/ funniest stories from on-set with us?
Tom Brumpton: By the end of the shoot I was covered in fake blood and latex, my ass was numb from being stuck on a freezing cold, stone floor and Adam had a splitting headache. We were just done! *laughs* It was one of those weird things where you had adversaries and yet somehow things come together rather smoothly.
Adam Luff: The aforementioned overthinking gave me a killer headache. Apart from that, I remember a funny moment recording Tom’s scream. Filming in a corridor, in total darkness, absolute silence … “Action” … “AAAGGGGGHHHH!!!” Now that’s a jump scare!
How were you able to create a story, as well as a fear factor, within such a short space of time?
Tom Brumpton: For me it’s about urgency and being able to connect with the character. Do we care about the character? Do we love them? Do we hate them? Do we fear them? Can we relate to them? It’s about striking the right emotional note, and running with it for me.
What advice would you give to anyone who wants to get into the industry?
Adam Luff: For first-time scriptwriters, just go for it, write away and don’t stop until it’s done. Also, don’t worry if there’s plot holes and other kinds of errors at first; the first draft is always the hardest, but once it’s done, subsequent drafts will be fun when you’re rewriting, cutting out and rearranging scenes.
Tom Brumpton: Network, network, network. Get out to events, sign up to the BAFTA, BFI and Raindance newsletters and get to events. Don’t be shy.
So following Nurture of the Beast, what’s next for you both?
Tom Brumpton: We’ve both got a few things on the go, but the big one for us is “The Guiding Light”. It’s a short musical that we’re working on, and we’re hoping to film later on this year. We’ve just heard the music for the trailer, and it sounds so good! Our go-to music guy is Alex Norman, who has just had a piece of his work used in the Black Panther trailer! He’s just the best. We love Alex.
Adam Luff: As Tom said, “The Guiding Light” will be our venture into doing a surrealist musical. As a freelance writer, I am currently in discussions with potential clients as well as looking forward to seeing footage from two animated projects I worked on last year (I wrote a pilot and co-wrote a feature). Once I’m given permission, I’ll be announcing them for sure.
Huge thanks to Adam Luff and Tom Brumpton for their time! For more content like this, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter @lightandnerdy