Soundstage Events welcomed Interstellar visual effects supervisor Paul Franklin for a special Q&A in London last night. Soundstage is a unique London-based film and arts event. Each month, there’ll be a line-up of two special guest interviewees, discussing their popular work and achievements.
Joining Paul Franklin at the first event was BBFC (British Board of Film Classification) senior examiner Craig Lapper.
The Others, based in Stoke Newington, is a far cry from your usual London venue – but that’s its draw. The intimate surroundings made for an engaging, unique event, with Wayne Imms perfect as our quirky and entertaining host. He joked at the start of the evening that this is the first ever Soundstage Event and it’s something you’ll want to tell your children and grandchildren about one day. I kind of hope that’s true because I liked the unique setting and hope there are many more of these to come!
Craig Lapper was first up and gave a humorous, insightful and revealing look into the organisation’s work. The BBFC, so often the target of animosity, have a very important and lawful role to play in film certification. It’s a fine balancing act and Lapper discussed in length what it means to work for the organisation and how challenging it can be. He also told us some very funny stories about the day-to-day running of the BBFC and had very engaging anecdotes about his 17 years working there. A particular highlight was his ongoing dialogue with Edgar Wright about how many times the ‘C’ word can be used in a film!
After a brief intermission, Paul Franklin took to the stage. Apart from Interstellar, his other credits include other Nolan blockbusters Inception (for which the visual effects supervisor won an Oscar and a BAFTA) and The Dark Knight trilogy along with Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince.
The company he co-founded, Double Negative (one of the world’s leading visual effects companies) have had a hand in the likes of Man of Steel, The World’s End, Godzilla and Skyfall.
Franklin was a joy to watch and after he showed us a sizzle-reel of his company’s work, he discussed his fascinating rise to the top, his background and how he first met up with Christopher Nolan. But not before a humorous segment where he explained the difference between Special Effects and Visual Effects! He also spoke about working on Pitch Black and The League of Extraordinary Gentleman – a movie that had crippling problems throughout. Franklin was very candid about that experience and was always engaging and very funny.
Guests confirmed at later Soundstage events include the producer of Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back, Gary Kurtz; actor David Morrissey, best known for playing the Governor in The Walking Dead; mix master DJ Yoda, BBC Radio 4’s The Film Programme presenter Francine Stock and Primal Scream’s bass player Simone Marie Butler.
Soundstage is held at The Others at 6 Manor Road, Stoke Newington. For more information and to book tickets, check out their website www.soundstage.thespace.uk.com