Elliott Power directs ‘Freedom’ for EE, and used by Bloc Party for the re-release of ‘So Here We Are’.
Words from Elliott below.
Elliott, could you talk a little about the casting process? How did you run the sessions, what were you looking for, and what did you find?
I saw approximately 4000 school kids in the casting process. We held open auditions and went and did sessions in schools across England and Scotland. During these sessions, I observed one class at a time, taking on the persona of a strict teacher to gauge the students’ reactions. Afterwards, I would ring the bell and dismiss the class in groups, observing their natural behavior while walking and talking after school.
What struck me the most was how at ease young individuals were in front of the camera.
This process revealed the significant role that phones and technology play in the lives of young people. What struck me the most was how at ease young individuals were in front of the camera.
For a film that paints a broad lens of the UK, I’m interested in how the production was organised. How many days were you shooting for? And across how many locations?
We shot 4 scripts over 12 days. Everything mixed in, I’d shoot a scene for Freedom followed by a scene for a different script. We shot in London, Glasgow, Edinburgh and St Abbs. The whole job was a massive logistical puzzle. Some days we were shooting 4 units at once.
Could you share an insight into your methods for capturing scenes on set, and any technical aspects that make this approach more achievable?
We’d create scenarios and simply let them play out. It felt more like making a documentary.
Humanity was at the core of everything we were shooting. So if anything the approach was anti-technical. We’d create scenarios and simply let them play out. It felt more like making a documentary.
Are there any scenes or moments in the film that feel personal to your own experiences from when you were that age?
I love the kids on bikes, it reminds me of being 14 years old hanging out after school popping wheelies. Push bike’s were such a symbol of freedom in my youth. Spending time with the cast made me realise that not that much has changed from when I was at school, with the exception of the pressures of social media.
What are you reading at the moment?
Akira Kurosawa ‘Something Like an Autobiography’.
- James Guy
- Executive Producer
- Shirley O’Connor, Maeve McMahon
- Director of Photography
- Director of Photography
- Arthur De Borman
- Production Designer
- Laurie Walters, Imogen Toner
- Art Director
- Hannah Edwards
- Wardrobe Stylist
- Kat Morgan
- Make Up & Hair
- Holly Jane Ritchie, Kharmel Cochrane