Focus on Filmmakers: Christian Cooke

Edith website 3

Continuing to emerge as one of Hollywood’s most engaging and sought after talents, Christian Cooke currently stars in the Crackle series The Art of More, alongside Dennis Quaid and Kate Bosworth, with the second season currently streaming. In film, Cooke’s most recent project was the independent feature ELECTRICITY directed by Bryn Higgins. Other work in film includes LOVE, ROSIE where he starred opposite Sam Claflin and Lily Collins, HELLO CARTER, Relativity Media’s ROMEO & JULIET, UNCONDITIONAL LOVE and CEMETERY JUNCTION written and directed by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. Christian has also made an impact on the small screen being seen as a series regular on Starz’s Magic City. Cooke has starred as the lead in two BAFTA Award-nominated miniseries: BBC’s Stonemouth, starring opposite Peter Mullan, based on the acclaimed novel by Iain Banks, and Channel 4’s critically acclaimed The Promise, starring opposite Claire Foy.

Film Critics, agents and investors
If you are a film critic, agent or investor and would like to access our private online Screening Room to watch Edith please contact us at enquiries@winchestershortfilmfestival.com

Here we talk to Christian about the making of his first short film, Edith, which was awarded a Special Mention at the Winchester Short Film Festival 2016.

What training did you undertake to become a filmmaker?
I never formally trained to become a filmmaker but I having spent 20 years on film sets as an actor, I have tried to absorb as much as possible.

Where do you get your inspiration for your projects?
Inspiration comes from all over. Your own experiences, books, plays or even other films. I think once you get the bug for making films you start to seek out stories and become more absorbent to situations that could be put in to a film.

How do you go about financing your projects?
Up to now I have used crowd funding and private investment to finance my films.

How do you cast your films?
Sometimes you will have specific actors in mind for a project but using a casting director is invaluable.

What cameras do you use, and why?
For my last film I used the Arri Alexa Plus, as in my opinion it is the best digital camera on the market.

What size crew do you have on your sets, and what roles are the most invaluable?
The size of the crew can depend on the demands of the project. All crew members are vitally important but perhaps the most key relationship for a director, outside of the actors, is with the DP, the production designer and the editor.

How did you go about setting the soundtrack for your film?
The soundtrack for Edith was all original music scored by a classical composer named Richard Birkin.

How do you split your time for pre-production, production, and post-production, and which is the most important for you?
Pre production, production and post production are all equally important.

What’s the best piece of filmmaking advice you’ve been given?
Direct what’s in front of you not what’s on the page.

What other filmmakers do you most admire?
P.T. Anderson, Denis Villeneuve, Martin Scorcese, Michael Haneke, Lars Von Trier, Shane Meadows, Ken Loach… to name but a few.

How important are film festivals and competitions to you?
Film festivals are particularly important for short films as they provide a showcasing platform and guarantee exposure.

What advice would you pass on to burgeoning film makers?
Make your film by any means necessary.

What are your future plans?
I have three feature film ideas I am developing, one that I have written, one based on a play, and one based on a real life experience.

Edith website 4

If you are a film critic, agent or investor and would like to access our private online Screening Room to watch Edith, please contact us at enquiries@winchestershortfilmfestival.com.

COMING SOON! Interview with Producers of Edith, April Kelly and Sarah Huxley of Mini Productions

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