BIG SOCIETY (2011)

The film started life as an idea for a character who rationalised the use of extreme violence for relatively minor crimes. People tend to have strong reactions to anti-social behaviour and I thought it would be interesting to challenge peoples' sympathy for a character who tried to do something about it by making his methods extreme. I'm also interested in how soldiers fit back in with life at home after serving, and how difficult it must be for them to see people abusing society's freedoms after they have risked their lives fighting for their country.

I really enjoy working with Jonathan Rhodes. He is a brilliant improviser and we have created a number of characters through a very specific way of working. I write a series of loosely structured scenes supporting an central idea and then we rehearse, improvising around the structure and filming everything. I then go through the tapes and distill the most interesting ideas into a full script. This allows us to take the character in an interesting direction in a way which suits Jonathan's delivery and retains that spark of improvisation. We are currently working on a comedy feature about a character who sets up an agency for dumping people called 'It's not me, it's you'.

One of the biggest problems was finding a way to film the violence - especially against younger adults. Fortunately I knew Melissa who runs Urban Young Actors in Leicester, and her performers were fantastic. They understood the context of the scenes straight away and came up with lots of ideas of making the incidents in the street look as real as possible.

Cast

Jonathan Rhodes

Ian Appleby

Nick Crawford

Tarek Gjonnes

Garrett David Millerick

Ben Taub

Tom Wright

Zane Burkmar

Yasmin Chamberlain

Nathan Charles

Oliver Collins

Benjamin Fisher

Lewis Meagor

Reece Roe

Simone Smedley


Produced by Jonathan Rhodes, Nick Scott and Melissa Simpson

Written by Jonathan Rhodes and Nick Scott

Editor Gareth C. Scales

Sound Recordist Sunjiv Mainie

Sound Editor Justin Bryant