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Interview with alumni Charlie Bentley - 1st AD on 'The Cutting Room'

Brighton Film School alumni Charlie Bentley recently picked up a 1st AD credit on a new British film, The Cutting Room movie - a film which will be released on Amazon, iTunes and HMV on the 1st June.

We caught up with Charlie to find out a bit more about the film, how the role came about and how his time at Brighton Film School has benefited his career as a new filmmaker.

Hi Charlie,  tell us a bit about The Cutting Room and your role on the film?

The Cutting Room is a new found footage horror film with some brilliant twists and turns. It follows three media studies students as they make a documentary about cyber bulling which leads them to a search for two missing girls, the hunt soon brings them into conflict which some deadly forces who will do anything to stop them.

My personal view on the film's main selling point, is that unlike many modern horror films, the writer/director Warren Dudley put great care in creating fun and likeable characters the audience will really care about.

I had the job of the First Assistant Director and so had the responsibility of scheduling the entire two week shoot and running the sets, ensuring that everything ran smoothly.

How did your involvement in the film come about?

I was contacted by Warren Dudley after he had seen a short film myself and my two great friends and business partners Ed and Luke White had made a few years prior, he was impressed with the film and us as a unit so called us for a meeting, we sold ourselves as a film-making unit with lot's of experience working as a team and shortly afterwards he offered us all jobs on the film, myself as 1st AD, Ed as DoP and Luke as Gaffer.

What were the best things about this shoot?

There's something wonderful about doing a shoot with a small team of people, all of whom share the same passion and strong work ethic. Working so closely with these people for an extended amount of time can be stressful, so we were lucky to have such a lovely cast and crew.

What were the biggest challenges?

As First Assistant Director, my main focus was ensuring that the shoot remained on schedule, as we were on such a tight two week shooting period, ensuring that everything ran smoothly was my biggest challenge.

I understand it is going to get a wide distribution - congratulations! What does this mean to you and your career? 

The film has received a fantastic distribution deal and will be going into HMV, Tesco, Amazon Prime, iTunes and Love Film from June 1st and is currently available to pre-order on amazon. The fact that this film that we all put our life and soul into is getting this chance to be put out in the UK in such a big way gives us all such confidence to move forward with our own projects.

If you really put the work in and you are passionate about your film, it can be pushed forward and can have it's own life.

What advice would you offer to someone who is considering going to film school?

I myself always knew I wanted to go into a career in film, what I lacked was a certain amount of confidence in my own abilities. The Brighton Film School gave this to me in spades.

After two years doing the Filmmaking HND course, that passion for film only intensified and I found that drive to push myself forward as a film-maker. Without my course I don't think I would have ever had the chance to experience the amazing things I've been privileged to do like directing a short documentary in Africa.

To anyone considering joining the film school I'd say you have to have that passion and drive, it will help you so much, the work can be tough but knowing that you're in the industry you love makes every day an adventure. The film school has given me so many wonderful opportunities, and I hope more people take advantage of what is offered by the school.

Ends

Brighton Film School is a specialist, independent training facility located in central Brighton. The school offers 2-year degree level programmes in Filmmaking HNC/HND and Art Direction and Production Design HNC/HND, as well as an industry recognised Cinematography and Directing Diploma. Brighton Film School also offers evening classes inFilmmakingScreenwriting, Art Direction and Editing as well as courses for young filmmakers and Summer School. For more information or to apply please visit http://brightonfilmschool.co.uk/