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15th March 2012
Hero’s Return
Title of film: Hero’s Return
Director: John Hillcoat
Production Company: Stink
Director John Hillcoat on shooting for real

The film looks as if it was a mega blockbuster budget. Was it?

No, not al all, but working at a remote Thai border helped as well as deliberately creating shots that gave the impression of scale outside the frame and inside the viewer’s mind.

You’ve drawn out an exceptional performance from the elderly man. Had you previously worked with him? How did you find him?

He came from casting sessions all via Skype. He was a real WWII veteran who did a lot of theatre, so we had a wonderful time as he understood the craft but was able to go deeper due to his life experience.

Was his performance shot entirely on location?

It was all on location, nothing beats location shooting because the actor draws another dimension from the environment, like enforced method. We had mainly real live special effects or elements to help create and hide post VFX in certain shots.

Do you have a particular process of immersing yourself in a script before you come up with the treatment?

I love research, especially visual research. I’ve bee n collecting my personal library of images for a great many years now.

When you think you’ve got all the elements together does the magic always happen?

Almost. Luck always plays a huge part and yet all the right elements often have a way of creating an effect upon what kind of luck comes about.

When did you first pick up a camera and at what stage did you start thinking more seriously about directing?

I picked up a home movie camera when I was 13 years old but I was in awe of movies and felt they were too magical and huge to ever get seriously involved. That gradually changed of course!

See the storyboard roughs in Related Content

Hero's Return
Creative Agency: AMV BBDO
Copywriter: Alex Grieve
Art Director: Adrian Rossi
Agency Planner: Michael Lee / Emily Harlock / Alaina Crystal
Agency Account Man: Sarah Douglas / Lee Simpson / Kate Edwards / Robyn Puttergill / Lizzie Edwards
TV Producer Olly Chapman
Media Agency: MPG / OMD
Media Planner: Simon Jenkins
Production Company: Stink
Director: John Hillcoat
Photographer: Roland Neveu
Production Co. Producer: Malarchy MacAnneny
Post-production Company: The Mill
Audio Post-production: Factory
Exposure (e.g. Youtube, TV, press): TV, Online