I like making films for myself and seeing if people like them.
I dislike making films for somebody else, and feeling unfulfilled at the end of it.
I really dislike working for someone, and being told, for some reason or another, that they will not pay me as much as they agreed because of some small matter, even when I get the job done. This has happened three times to me, and by the end of it the employer always asks ‘that’s fair, isn’t it?’ But that’s another matter.
I dislike making filmsthat somebody tells me to make, unless I am involved in a subsidiary role such as cameraman. If someone wants me to act as a Director to tell their story, I end up being used to their own means.
I dislike being called young. This word should have nothing to do with talent or creativity, and has been given to me twice in the last week. Firstly in the case of a Welsh director, who, when asked if he would hire me to shoot his film, remarked that I was too young to do so. This is condescending behaviour that I have only ever encountered in Britain.
Until this happened. The following is an email sent to me by a New York-based director, who was asked to give feedback on my films. I appreciate him taking time out of his schedule to do so.
Sorry this is a little late, been a bit snowed under with work.I think Tom has obviously got some real talent. His work is stylish and good at creating a mood. However, I think he falls into the trap that an awful lot of young film makers fall into, which is that the stories are the weakest link. Having strong intellectual ideas in a film doesn’t mean that the story can be sidelined, if the story isn’t working then you confuse your audience.The first 7 minutes of “Around The Corner” is interesting - if a little confusing. The plot seems to be overly complex and confusing. Can you explain the whole plot in two or three lines? If not, why not?I think some of Tom’s other films are a bit clearer story wise - I particularly liked “End”. It was very clear what was going on, and, for me, that worked better than some of the others.I guess my overall advice to Tom would be to keep going, he’s definitely got some talent here, but really make sure the stories are working. Perhaps consider getting script writing help. Perhaps try directing someone else’s screenplay - even if it is just as an exercise.At the moment, his style and direction is good, but his stories are, in my humble opinion, where he needs to refine his skills.Of course he might be the next Tarkovsky, in which case, he should probably ignore me!Hope that’s a bit of help!