In Conversation with Filmmaker Charlotte Regan

Charlotte Regan is a BAFTA nominated writer director from London who recently premiered at TIFF 2016 with her short film Standby.

She has been creating music videos since she was 15 and has worked with a range of artists including Dot Rotten, Keaton Henson and Netsky. She was most recently named one of Samsung’s ‘Ones To Watch’ by Pro Moviemaker magazine and featured in Empire Magazine as an inspiring young person to look out for.

Charlotte is a Sundance Ignite and BFI Film Academy alumni and is currently in post production for her short film Fry-Up and production for her short film Dodgy Dave.

Standby Movie Film Still 1

The first thing I noticed when watching this was that this contains a very unique, clever camera angle. Why did you choose to keep the same angle throughout the duration of the film?

To be honest, that was mostly to do to cost and resources, I knew I wanted to focus on these two characters but also knew we were limited to roughly £2500 production budget. That angle was a way to keep it within that whilst still telling the story I wanted to tell. It was also my first script, so I wanted to be able to focus on my characters and their journey.  This gave me the freedom of not worrying about background elements and being about to put all my time into writing dialogue and directing the actors.

The character development was very well done. Immediately, I could tell that the woman was the more outgoing character. Do you think the plot would have changed if the two characters switched personalities?

I’ve never thought about that but yes I’m sure it would have changed it a lot as she was always the one more willing to create this friendship as she’s new and eager to please. Having it the other way round would of been very different for sure.

It made it very believable when there were criminals in the back seat. However, I noticed that the criminals weren’t just in the back seat to be quiet, but seemed to further the relationship between the two partners. Did you intend to include the criminals as a catalyst, or was there another reason behind it?

I think people often think criminals all merge into this one big group of people that are difficult to deal with and anti police when in reality the people the police are picking up can vary massively. Me and my family love British cop shows where they have cameras on the dashboard whilst they pick people up.   We saw a guy on there one day who wouldn’t stop singing Razorlight’s, ‘Golden Touch’ for the entire journey and we just thought what an amazing character. Mid arrest and still more upbeat than most people on a good day!

Standby Movie Film Still 2

Watching these characters slowly grow to like one another made me smile. It was as if I had gone through that process with them. Was that your intention when filming Standby?

That was definitely the intention so I’m happy to hear it made you smile. I think life is filled with little moments that can mean so much.  Getting someone a coffee in the morning to me is a better filmic moment than someone telling another person how much they mean to them because most of us just aren’t able to express ourselves in that way.

What was your inspiration behind Standby?

Similar to what I mentioned about little moments I feel Standby is inspired by relationships (in whatever form) that are filled with gestures instead of words, I know my family is full of those relationships. Me and my step dad will rarely give eachother wordy birthday cards or send grateful texts but I’ll buy his favorite coffee whenever I’m coming by and he’ll do the same when I’m having a bad day. It was mostly based on that, dads who are less inclined to communicate their love to their children through words.

When did you know that film was a passion of yours, and what was your first project?

I’ve always enjoyed watching film and started creating music videos when I was 15, the performance based videos turned into writing creative treatments and pitching more and more creative work. I love working alongside Jack Hannon my producer whilst we create treatments and craft our ideas but I also think there’s no better job than being on a film set surrounded by your friends (the crew) getting to tell a story.

What is some advice that you have for anyone who is looking to create their own films?

I don’t feel I’m quite in a position to offer advice but something I always tell myself is to just enjoy it, work as hard as you can and over prepare, but at the same time remember it’s a film and a career we’re all doing because we hopefully enjoy it. Don’t make a film with an audience or a festival in mind just tell the story that’s exciting you and making you happy or compelled to work on and you’ll create great work.

Standby Movie Film Still 3

Monica Ring

Though Monica isn't Monica Geller from Friends, she's Monica from Monologue Blogger, which is even better. Monica is a current student at SUNY Purchase. She's an aspiring screenwriter/director, who hopes to someday work in the Hollywood industry. Projects have included writing for The Odyssey Online, assisting with the production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and being part of the French Cinema Festival in Greenwich Connecticut. In her spare time, Monica enjoys playing the guitar and piano. You can follow her on Instagram to keep up with her latest adventures: @Monicafromfriends

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