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16th January 2017
Sangra’s signature feature
Title of film: Goldbricks in Bloom trailer
Director: Danny Sangra
When Danny Sangra wasn’t shooting his distinctively wry fashion films, music videos and commercials, he would be writing, directing and editing his own short films with his loyal crew and team of actors, on pretty much zero budget. Now he’s galvanized his skills to make a cleverly-observed feature film, Goldbricks in Bloom, where two parallel stories of indulgent and also innocent creative characters collide. It’s available to view on Vimeo and cinemas.

You’ve honed the art of observing modern life, whether it’s in your much shorter vignettes for fashion films such as Balenciaga or ads for The Standard or Mercedez and now you’ve brought your satirical eye to the longer format with your film Goldbricks in Bloom. It’s a look at “a self-obsessed group of disenchanted young creatives”. What propelled you to make this film?

I had just shot a commercial and I didn’t want to be someone who just talks about making a feature length film but in actuality just gets deeper into commercials. I had a feature script ready but it had been developed to the point it didn’t feel like me anymore. I decided to write another feature. One I thought I could make with very little money. I wanted my first film to be 100% me. I figured that if I made sure it was a film totally in my style then at least me and my friends would like it even if nobody else did.

How did you find the process differ from making your shorter films? And what were the main challenges? 

The main challenge was having no money and no time but having to make a 120-page script into a real thing.

I wanted it to be an ensemble cast and I also had a bunch of different locations. These factors pretty much make things more difficult.
The hardest part was the physical strain. There was only 8 people on the crew. So you had very intense days, on one particular day we shot 23 pages. Once we cut, we still had to pack up and get ready for the next day. We were only getting a couple hours of sleep per day.

But in all honesty, everyone kept in high spirits and kept each other on top of their game. Most of the people involved, actors and crew, I’d worked with many times, we were all friends so that helped.

Did you produce Goldbricks independently? And what are the key lessons you’ve learnt from making the film? (We have huge admiration for how you create so many films, sometimes on your own, sometimes with a team – and what’s good about them is that some are stand-out brilliant, and some are not so brilliant, so there’s always an intrigue about what you’re going to produce next). 

Well, I don’t always have full freedom on my films, so unfortunately not all the films come out the way I’d like. This is one reason why I made Goldbricks independently. Very independently. Nobody could change what I was doing. I had people I bounced ideas off but ultimately it was my painting. The bigger the projects I make, the more I want to just disappear with a camera and make things on my own. I’m not from a film making background so I see all my shorts like work in my sketch book.
If you were to super glue all my shorts together you’d get Goldbricks In Bloom. If you’re into my way of story telling then you’ll like Goldbricks. If not, then I guess you probably stopped reading this already anyway.

Anything else you’d like to share about Goldbricks?

Go watch it!

There was so much involved in the process. So many people came in to the rescue. It was only made because of how many good people gave their time and energy to it.
It was my idea but it only became something real when everyone else brought their talent to the table.

We see you’ve signed to B-Reel recently. Are you currently based in London?

Yes, sort of. I tend to constantly be In- between places, however I’m finally happy again now I’m at B-Reel (in the UK). I plan to spend more time in London this year. I was staying out of England because I felt there I had no support. I was filming more in France and the U.S. anyway. But B-Reel got me excited again.

What are you currently working on?

I started a street gang called The Turbo Cobras. We wear matching leather jackets and carry chains and baseball bats. We don’t do anything crazy, we just hang outside Tesco’s and look cool. So, I’m doing that and in my spare time doing loads of film stuff.


Goldbricks In Bloom
Available to watch here:

See all Danny’s personal (and some commercial work he’s had free reign on) here at Voltaville

Danny Sangra

More work by Danny on 1.4 here

Director representation:
FRANCE Control Films

UK B-Reel Films

US AllDayEveryDay

Art: Breed London

A couple of reviews on Goldbricks:

LA Times review

IndieWire article