I think most writers or directors have an ambition to make a passion project. A film that is close to their heart and tells a very personal story.
The Man Inside is just that for me.
It's a story based on my life and a very close friend.
I wrote it without any initial thoughts for genre or how it might end up. It was a story I had to tell from my heart.
Once it was written, I had a lot of interest in the script, and was fortunate enough to have funding to develop it and turn it into a script that would ultimately prove very powerful and provocative.
It's never easy to get funding to make a film, and especially this one, which although generated much interest, was pretty challenging and raw. Which can make people very nervous.
With the film industry being a commercial entity, a film with a predominantly black cast and a powerful message could be interpreted as difficult to sell.
Thankfully, the UK is quite unique in its ability to launch films which can be challenging. Like the recent Tyrannosaur. There is an audience who want to see a film because of the story and the performances.
Which is where people like Kaleidoscope films and Northern Film and Media come in.
They saw the potential in the project and got behind the film.
Believing in the script, they gave me the opportunity to make the film that means the world to me.
In a funny way, I guess it's reassuring have a director tell his own story, because those financing a film know he/she will deliver the story as its written without interpreting it any differently.
Similarly, the cast got involved because of the script.
I remember sitting opposite Peter Mullan for the first time and asking why he had gone out of his way to do it.
"I had to do it Bro. It's a cracking script".
This might sound a bit like me slapping myself on my back, and I don't normally do that kind of thing. But I'm doing it to illustrate how people have made it possible for me to make this film.
Next month will see the post-production come to an end and I will deliver the finished film.
In all honesty, if this is the last film I am to make then I am proud to have made it.
I'm super-critical of my own work, and acknowledge the mistakes I've made.
I'm not in favour of phrases like "we did well with the money we had". That's a cop-out for me.
With The Man Inside, I believe the story and the performances will be what people will remember.
I hope the film can be seen by as many as possible, and I hope it's social message will touch people and maybe make a difference too. That would be the best part of all.
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