FAULT FEATURED: Director Luke Snellin

Read Luke’s full feature in FAULT Spring 2011. Out Now
Luke Snellin is a multi-award winning writer/director, with authentic ‘up and coming’ status.

FAULT: What were your main reasons for becoming involved in film?

Luke: I guess at the very beginning when I was at school I didn’t really know what I wanted to do but I always loved English and Drama and one day my drama teacher gave me a leaflet for The Young Writers Programme. They would hold workshops where you were taught how to write plays, and I enjoyed that so much and spoke to my teacher again and he suggested that I do a screen writing degree at university. I’d always loved film and when I was younger I would always be in my local video shop called Manhattan Video, they’d have deals where you could rent a movie for a pound so I’d get five and be constantly obsessed! I went to Bournemouth to do my degree and started making shorts there and they were awful, really bad. After I finished my degree I pretty much just tried to smash myself into the industry. I remember watching Blade Runner and loving it, same with all the Tarantinos. I’d watch Reservoir Dogs and then get True Romance out and then fell into Scorsese. University for me was when I started watching a lot of Asian films, like Takashi Miike, the most obvious being Audition and Takeshi Kitano. I love world cinema, especially Spanish stuff.

FAULT: What was your first move out of University?

Luke: I didn’t have a job and I was a carpenter for three months and then went to New York for about nine weeks and worked for free for a friend of a friend. When I came back luckily there was a film production company that picked me up and it went from there really.

FAULT: Are you a fan of Wes Anderson? I can see a lot of similarities in your work.

Luke: Yeah, he is definitely a big influence on me; I try not to draw too many parallels with him because I think that a lot of film makers almost try and ape that style that he has. I always try to do things cinematically, I think when you go to the cinema it should be an experience that you can’t get anywhere else. I like to think that I’m quite a technical film maker… what else sets me apart? I guess I try to tell love stories that are inherently hopeful and I want to make people leave the cinema happy.



FAULT: Do you try and convey a lot of your childhood and your personality into your shorts? Did they hold a lot of similarities with your own life?

Luke: Yeah, I think a lot of the stuff in Disco and Mixed Tape starts off as things that I remember, specifically in Mixed Tape; the fact is that I did make mix tapes with my dad’s records and that is really where my music taste has come from. In terms of my personality I would say I’ve definitely tried to put it into the things that I have made so far, maybe in the future I will distance myself from it.

FAULT: How do you construct your films?

Luke: I just take those recollections of my life and what I remember it was like to grow up in the 90’s, the music, the films, the clothes and how I felt at that particular time. I’d take that and figure out what the story was going to be and most of the time it gravitates towards some sort of love story and human interaction. Once you’ve got a skeleton of what it’s going to be you can start adding the layers, memories, influence little details here and there which are really important to me. Then I write a synopsis and turn that into a screen play.

FAULT: Are you involved in every aspect in terms of casting, etc?

Luke: I do work with other people, on Disco I worked with a casting director called Anna who’s brilliant. I wouldn’t say I’m a control freak but I like to be involved in things. I feel like I’ve got a vision as a director of how I want things to be and I work with my producer James and then the casting director to try and reach that vision, but at the end of the day I’m the only one who really knows exactly what that vision is, even down to shooting lens choices, camera moves.

FAULT: What do you think sets you apart from other film makers; I know you’re still really young?

Luke: I guess that’s something that sets me apart. I feel like a lot of films being made in this country are very much kitchen sink dramas, serious social commentary, and the cameras are always mainly hand held and the pallet is always really grey and grim. I’ve always been influenced by films that have a lot of colour in them.



FAULT: How did it feel to be nominated for a BAFTA so young?

Luke: It was amazing! Both of my films were eligible so I submitted them both, one morning my phone was backed up with messages and I thought something bad must of happened, I’d worked late the night before so all my friends and family had seen the list which had been released. Then I got a call from the short film category who rang me up to congratulate me. It was a huge shock and the whole experience was just amazing, to be invited to the party where all the nominees are is just incredible. Some of my biggest heroes from the year’s films were there, and then there was the award ceremony itself, and I felt so privileged to be there. It felt weird to go back to normal life after that was all over.

FAULT: What other endeavours are you currently working on?

Luke: I’m working on a few commercials, I did one earlier in the year for Wrigley’s chewing gum, and I did another one for LG which was an online film. I’m also doing two films for The Red Cross to be shown in cinemas next year, which is going to be a mini- 21 Grams; one film is going to be from the girl’s point of view and the other from the boy’s. It’s a love story with non-linear narrative so it’s starts at the end and ends at the beginning, and these films are to shine a spot light on the way people react when their friends get too drunk. The one I’m currently working on is epileptic fits and what to do in that situation.

FAULT: What is your FAULT?

Luke: I’m really OCD when it comes to my films; things have to be a certain way, take the titles for instance, I’m really big on typography and wording and where the titles should be on the screen. Technically I should step back and let other people handle it but I can’t help but get involved. So I guess that’s my FAULT!



CHARLIE from Virgin Media Shorts on Vimeo.

CHARLIE from Virgin Media Shorts on Vimeo.