Monday, 20 October 2014
how TIGER HOUSE got made
TIGER HOUSE originated with a conversation with director Tom Daley. He is a first time director and I said I would write something that he could shoot really cheaply, and we would apply for funding from the microwave scheme.
I said maybe something set in a wood - and he said no, that would be tricky, with changing light and weather. The absolute cheapest and simplest film you could possibly make would be set in a house - then the crew could live in it when they weren't shooting.
So working with that as the arena for the story, I came up with the idea of a tiger kidnap - that's where bank robbers take a bank manager's family hostage, in order to get the manager to rob the bank for them. So it would be a heist film but you would never see the bank. And then from there came the idea that there was someone in the house who wasn't meant to be there, the teenage son's girlfriend who snuck in. She would be hiding under his bed, but one of the robbers got injured getting in, and he would be put by his colleagues on top of the bed. She would be free, but in peril. So it's kind of Die Hard in a house, basically.
Anyway, with not much more than that, I wrote a trailer - you can see it here. Just something simple that sold the basic concept. A bit of youtube footage, some narration, some dramatisation from the local am dram group. And Tom shot it. That got lots of interest - before there was a script. Even from America. So barely a month after coming up with the idea we were going to meetings about it.
I learnt an important lesson there: producers will watch a two minute film much more readily than they will read a script. And they're visual people; like children, they get excited about moving pictures.
The script was finished, sold easily, and it was shot a couple of years later, in South Africa. Should be out in 2015.