2014's British independent film Hyena screened as part of the Shorts2Features strand at the twentieth Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival 2014, the annual meeting place for filmmakers and industry professionals.
The second feature length film from director Gerard Johnson and the first feature from producer Joanna Laurie, Hyena is the story of Michael Logan, an anti-hero for our times. He's a natural predator and a complex mix of high-functioning addict and corrupt police officer, who finds London's criminal landscape threatened by a recent influx of Albanian gangsters.
One of the UK's leading producers and stalwart of the British independent film scene Stephen Wooley, joined Johnson and Laurie to discuss the transition from making shorts to creating their first feature film in a Q&A session hosted by Watershed's Cinema Curator and Encounters Advisor, Mark Cosgrove.
Johnson tells of how his 2009 short film Tony (made on a budget of just £200!) played at Dinard British Film Festival in France, and impressed Stephen Wooley and Joanna Laurie. After initial conversations at the festival, the producers helped Johnson to win a Film4 commission for the feature and worked with him on the long process of researching and gathering first hand evidence, refining the story and characters, and of course, planning for the shoot.
Watch this video for an insight into how directors and producers transform shorts to features, particularly in the British independent scene, and learn about career paths, ways of working and lessons learnt from both emerging and established industry professionals.
Hyena screens from Fri 6 until at least Wed 18 March
Posted on Wed 17 Sept 2014.