Interview with Filmmaker Stu Gamble (STATIONHEADS)

STATIONHEADS, 17min., Hungary, Crime/Thriller
Directed by Stu Gamble
Three educated (and bored) twenty-somethings are working a dead-end job in a gas station. Their futures are grim. When a group of bank robbers turn up fresh from a heist and fresh out of fuel, things get a bit more interesting.

Get to know the filmmaker:

1. What motivated you to make this film?

I’ve often wondered what happens in the most obscure places of our cities. The places that stay open 24 hours a day, the places in the middle of nowhere, the people that happen to pass through or inhabit such places. So when I met my production partner and we threw ideas around about making a film we landed on this.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?

I would say around 18 months. The post-production work took a while, I did the majority of it myself – the editing and motion/animation credit sequence at the end.

3. How would you describe your film in two words!?

decidedly nutty 🙂

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

Crafting the edit after the shoot. We put our first edit together that followed the script but the flow wasn’t working, it was missing my signature voice/style, the script read very well but the pace was a little flat. So we threw the script out and I edited the movie with my gut, just improvising and having fun. It was at that point that my signature style crept in.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

Honestly, I welled up. After living and breathing the film for so long you kind of lose sight of it. So when you hear people speaking about the elements of it and it’s exactly what you hoped an audience would feel it’s intensely gratifying. And the film has been getting those kinds of vibes from all over the world which is insane. And the one thing we hear the most is ‘This should be a TV show’ and the film is actually a pilot for a TV show, we’re working on the scripts now.

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?

I’ve always loved film since I was a kid. My mother once told me that I would never be quiet, always noisy, shouting or being a rascal. That was until she sat me in front of the TV. It silenced me immediately. She told me she knew I’d work in film and TV when she saw me sit through the entirety of Kubrick’s Spartacus – all three hours of it! – apparently I didn’t move the entire time it was on so I guess film was in my blood from an early age.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

Damn, that’s a hard question, there are so many great movies out there – actually when I was 16 I used to work as a picture framer, the workshop was in the lower levels of a shopping mall so there was no sunlight, only grim breezeblock walls. I dreamt of making movies continually and I used to put my favourite movies onto audio cassette and listen to them continuously. So the movie I’ve HEARD the most is probably Evil Dead 2 and Lethal Weapon 2!

The movie I’ve seen the most is probably Close Encounters of the Third Kind. I can’t eat mashed potatoes without sculpting the Devil’s Tower out of them!

8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?

Stationheads is the first movie I’ve ever entered into a festival – I’ve worked in animation for over 30 years and made animated films but I’ve never really showcased them – so currently the festival circuit is new to me and considering the results that the film has gotten so far I couldn’t be happier.

9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?

Fantastic, as I said this is our first festival film and the site has been a pleasure to use. There’s nothing like seeing that email with ‘congratulations’ on it!

10. What is your favorite meal?

My mother’s Sunday Roast. It’s been too many years since I had it and I try to recreate it but it never tastes the same.

11. What is next for you? A new film?

We just finished shooting my next film, I’m currently in post-production on it. It’s a five-chapter movie about a pair of useless private detectives that want more than just the boring cheating husband and wives cases. It’s called D*CKS and it’s much bigger than Stationheads both in scope and runtime. I’ve squeezed an insane corridor fight scene in there with a professional stunt crew which I’m currently enjoying using my frame-by-frame animation skills on. It should be finished in a few months and out to festivals in late summer.


By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival

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