I invited you all on a recent thread to submit questions for Filmaker Daniel Barber.
Thanks for the input from forums, here's what Daniel had to say.
We invited people from forums as well as bloggers to submit questions to celebrated short film and advert maker Daniel Barber. He’s currently in production of his first feature, set for release in November, called Harry Brown, a gritty revenge movie set in London’s grimy underworld about a former soldier turned vigilante starring screen legend Sir Michael Caine.
He said “The move was really exciting, making features is what I have always dreamed of doing, and to be working with Michael Caine !!! The biggest difference was the overall scale of the piece, the large amount of shooting days ( although not enough ), and just how long the whole Film took to make from start to finish.” ( A year !!)
Despite having won a clutch of awards for short films and being nominated for an Oscar last year for his western “Tonto Woman”, Daniel isn’t yet a household name. He tells us that’s because many short films “ do tend for the most part to be ignored, as there is no real outlet for them.”
As well as his highly acclaimed short films Barber also made his name making the famous globe idents for the BBC in the 90’s as well as high production adverts for prestigious clients like B.M.W., Nike, Orange, Barclays, Adidas and B.A. during his time working in the advertising industry
He says the main attributes required to make it in the cut throat world of filmmaking are “impatience, arrogance, humility and modesty”. But as well as having belief in your own abilities Daniel adds that some of his success is due in part to collaborating with good professionals, he says the polished look of Tonto Woman is down to employing a great director of photography.
As a highly respected and prolific filmmaker Barber attributes much of his success to great stories and great ideas but he adds that young directors mustn’t be afraid to tweek their ideas His top tip is to “refine the story and then do it again & again….”
Daniel has also judged competitions like ours to find the best shorts, he’s seen thousands of entries and insists that there is no genre he gravitates towards and reiterates his opinion that its all about good ideas rather than high production values or clever special effects.
Barber told he also rejects the notion that just because a film is short it doesn’t mean characters can be developed within the piece, “Story telling and character development go hand in hand. My short film [Tonto Woman] is all about the characters in the piece and their relationships.” he also adds that there is no genre that can’t be attempted within the format, proof to us all that if you have the confidence and belief as well as a great story there are no barriers to what you can do.
Daniel’s worked for a long time to get to this point of making a mainstream feature, he told us it was “a pleasure and an honour” to work with Sir Michael Caine. We asked him how he got the best performance out of the double Oscar winner, he replied simply “that’s what I do”
Matt (On behalf of Virgin Media Shorts)