Following a successful screening of Night Bus, at the launch of the Big Picture Film Club, we caught up with Simon Baker, director & producer of the independent feature-length film.
BPFC: What first got you into video production / directing?
Simon: I first started playing around with video cameras when I was about 16. I went to film school in the 90’s, and got a job a runner when I left, I worked as an editor for a few years before getting a break as music video director and went on to commercials/ short form content.
BPFC: What was the inspiration behind Night Bus and how difficult was the production process?
Simon: The inspiration was two-fold – firstly I had a few experiences on Night Buses that I always thought would be good material for a drama, and secondly, as an (aspiring) indie filmmaker, I needed a simple idea, preferably a single location idea – when the two came together it seemed perfect.
BPFC: Which one of your projects has been the most fun to work on?
Simon: I have to say Night Bus as it’s the only time I have been able to do whatever I wanted.
BPFC: What is your favourite British Independent film (and why)?
Simon: Too many to say – and also these days it’s unclear what exactly defines “Independent”. I’ve always been a huge fan of British realism, from Mike Leigh to Ken Loach, Shane Meadows. One of my favourite films has always been Mike Leigh’s “Naked”, but there is so much more.
BPFC: What is the best piece of advice that you could give to people interested in becoming a filmmaker?
Simon: Get stuck in – film can be quite daunting, as it relies on so many other elements and people, rather than other creative mediums which are more self-sufficient. But don’t let that put you off, pick up a camera, get out there and shoot something – these days cheap cameras are incredibly good, and you can edit/finish at home – something you could never do when I was young. The more you practise and experiment the better you will become. Don’t just sit around talking about it – do it.
BPFC: What projects do you have lined up for the future?
Simon: I am working on the follow up to Night Bus – it’s called “90 Minutes” and is set on Hackney Marshes, a film about football that’s not about the football. I’ve written the script and am exploring production options right now.
Big Picture Film Club would like to thank Simon Baker and everyone involved in the making of Night Bus.
Follow Simon Baker on twitter: @elcardinale
Follow Big Picture Film Club on Twitter: @BigPicFilmClub