Monday, March 20, 2006

Lens Flare - Dan Turner

Highlighting film talent and activity in Manchester and beyond

On the bus at night, stuck in a rain-swept traffic jam, going nowhere. Then an annoyingly loud woman starts blathering into her mobile and the bleeps start among fellow passengers – vibrations, text message alerts and novelty ringtones. Your tolerance starts to plummet and irritation soars. Connecting, a short film by Dan Turner takes this scenario and pushes it to dramatic effect, resulting in a Falling Down moment where one man decides he just can’t take it any more. The film is one of North West Vision’s Digital Shorts and is currently proving a success on the festival circuit.

With a dystopian atmosphere and claustrophobic cinematography that plays with the neons of water and electricity, it’s easy to see Turner’s admiration for Se7en and Fight Club director David Fincher. “Of recent filmmakers he’s my key influence,” Turner states, “The kind of stories he goes for, dark twisted things, are what I want to do. He’s also a very technical director using innovative techniques and I think that’s important.”

Born in Stockport, and inspired by his father’s love of Humphrey Bogart and James Stewart classics, Turner studied film at university, and got a job in a production company on graduation. Working on various film and television productions, including experience with directors Mike Nichols and Steven Poliakoff, in spare time Turner continually wrote his own material.

“When I came out of uni I was naïve about how long it would take. It is a long process. You have to build up a body of work,” Turner says. Now the 28 year old has two successful shorts to his name (previous film 4:37 can be viewed at And while Turner continues to learn his craft on promos, commercials and TV work, the plan is now to get cracking on a feature.

“What I want to do is direct films,” Turner concludes. “I’m working on two feature script ideas at the moment. I’d definitely like to do more shorts, but you could do a hundred of the best shorts in the world, and it’s still only a feature that’s going to get you noticed.”

Connecting is showing in Kinofilm Manchester International Short Film Festival in the Made in Manchester programme, Thursday 2nd March, 6pm at the Green Room.

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