Matthew Thorne directs ‘Thumbs Up’ for The Howl And The Hum.

Written by Hannah Lad, Yasmin Williams, Kyle Stead, Ryan Stead & Matthew Thorne. Inspired By ‘Small Fry’ By Hannah Lad.

Filmed in Rhondda Valley, Wales.

Words from Matthew below.

What’s your connection to Wales?

MT: My Father’s family was from the Rhondda Valley in Wales where we shot the film. They were coal miners there before they came out to Australia and became Taxi drivers in Port Adelaide. I grew up as a young man with a Welsh flag over my bed, and a miner’s lamp and a lump of coal from the Colliery they worked at by my bedside table.

Working on this film was the first time I had returned to Wales.

‘Thumbs Up’ The Howl And The Hum 3


What was your method for dealing with numerous cast and locations?

MT: The core cast was found by Katie through her outreach to local community groups at the very start of the project. She found a local organisation SPARC who run workshops for at-risk youth across the Rhondda Cynon Taff area. Miranda who runs that program was incredibly supportive and connected us to some of the talented performers who had come through that network.

Most people were shot exactly where we found them, as we found them.

The other faces of the community that fills out the film’s picture of the Rhondda were street cast as we moved through the community in pre-production and during the shoot. Most people were shot exactly where we found them, as we found them. Right down to the four older blokes sitting in the Rhondda Valley meeting of the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes.

‘Thumbs Up’ The Howl And The Hum

On projects like this, I try to work with small intimate crews so that we can move quickly and efficiently across many locations and setups.

What are you reading at the moment?

RH: At the moment I am battling my way through reading ‘Liquid Modernity’ by Zygmunt Bauman, ‘Cassavetes on Cassavetes’, ‘Paragraphs on Conceptual Art’ by Sol Lewitt, ‘Concerning the Spiritual in Art’ by Kandinsky, ‘Troubled Identity and the Modern World’ by Leonidas Donskis, ‘Antipoems’ by Nicanor Parra, ‘The Origin of Capitalism’ by Ellen Meiksins Wood and ‘For Australia and Other Poems’ by Henry Lawson.

Director of Photography
Filippo Samore
Sound Recordist
MrMr, OffYatrolley
Production Company

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