Ten Minutes

Exclusive images from the new short film starring Craig Charles.

11 April, 2003

Alongside Lock Stock star Nick Moran, Craig Charles appears in Ten Minutes - a black comedy set in real time which just received a private screening at BAFTA. It tells of Andy, a magazine editor on his first deadline... who then accidentally destroys the CD of images for the issue. Will he make the deadline?

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The film was directed by Ben Mole and produced and written by Dean Fisher for Scanner Rhodes. Reddwarf.co.uk spoke to Dean Fisher, who explained where the concept of the film came from. "I wrote Ten Minutes three years ago. The idea originated whilst I was working in the city and was witness to the fast paced, frenetic atmosphere that city life can take on. Because my time management was so poor I was always hitting deadlines at pace. The principal character Andy was me. The other characters were based on friends and people I know."

Casting the film proved to be a breeze. "I met Nick [Moran] in Cannes at last years film festival on a boat where he insulted the girl I was with and having seen both Lock Stock and a short Long Time Dead thought Nick would be an ideal Andy." Craig's casting, meanwhile, was a suggestion from the director. "Ben had worked with Craig on a number of occasions and told Craig he was about to work on a short. Craig said, 'Give us a part'. There wasn't a moment of thought - we both said he would be ideal to play the character of Mark. Without actually writing the part for Craig, I don't think we could have found anyone who suited the part better."

The film was shot on location in London, and the usual time and money pressures - though apparent - were cleverly negotiated. "The film took eight days to shoot. Having a small budget, we had to work twice as hard on locations which suited the story as opposed to creating them in a studio. I also had to re-write the script and incorporate my garage as location."

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Such effort requires a dedicated crew, and Dean is keen to point out their hard work. "This was the best crew we have ever worked with. When you have forty people coming together who hardly know each other and have to spend twelve hours a day together, you are facing a 'big brother' situation. We wanted to make sure that we had a crew who weren't egotistical and would gel as unit. The time spent interviewing paid off, and the atmosphere on set was superb. I think Craig gave everyone [things] to laugh about for the next month."

The good news for all concerned is the reaction from audiences. "The audience response as a whole has been very good - especially the comments about Craig's performance. It's hard to grab an audience's attention in the space of fifteen minutes, but I feel from people's reactions that we have a story which people can relate to."

Ten Minutes will be launched at Cannes this year, while at the same time Scanner Rhodes will be gearing up for their first feature film. In the meantime, it's good to know that the making of the film may have created another Dwarfer. "I wish I could say that I am a long standing fan of Red Dwarf," Dean admitted, before adding. "I've watched it a couple of times since working with Craig and wish I had seen it from the beginning..."

For up and coming filmmakers, though, there's more good news. A Guide to Filmmaking documentary, based on the experience, is now being sold on DVD. "I was the co-founder of the Highgate Film Festival, which was set up to encourage first-time filmmakers. We all can make a great film in theory, but going through the processes teaches you more than you will ever know."

"We wanted to carry on from what we achieved at the HFF and make a documentary about making a short film, using Scanner-Rhodes' production of Ten Minutes as a case study. We wanted to make a short which would make an impact and help us prove to the industry that we can make feature films of a high standard. The documentary hopefully will show how, when working with a limited budget, you can still achieve a film that looks like a mini feature."

Invaluable advice indeed - if only they'd released it before the camcorders came out at Dimension Jump!

You can link to the Ten Minutes website via our Links section.

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