A wee chat with Scottish short filmmaker Duncan Nicoll


24 April 2018

Ahead of his short film TVOD screening at DUNDEAD 2018, we took the opportunity to chat to local Scottish filmmaker Duncan Nicoll about horror, filmmaking and favourite films...

We'll start with a hard one - favourite horror film and why?

Tricky, very tricky, but I’ll go for John Carpenter’s The Thing for its tension, practical effects, score, cast, eminently quotable lines and one of the best endings ever.

" of the best endings ever."

How did you get into filmmaking, and what do you love about making films?

I wanted to make films ever since I saw King Kong on TV aged about five. After a stint working in special effects in London and doing a degree in Sculpture at DJCAD, I began to make shorts whenever I could get a bit of funding. I like the collaborative nature of filmmaking, cast and crew working together to tell a story that people will hopefully respond to.

Can you tell us a bit about TVOD and what audiences can expect from it?

"Hopefully it’s a bit scary and a bit funny."

TVOD was made for FrightFest’s 90 Second Challenge and was one of four entries selected to screen at Glasgow International Film Festival earlier this year and FrightFest in London this summer. It tells the tale of a simple night in front of the telly gone bad. I guess a short film is like a one-liner joke; there’s not a lot of time to work within, but you need a decent set-up and a good punch line. Hopefully it’s a bit scary and a bit funny.

How long does it take to make a short film, and what were your favourite things that happened when making TVOD?

The time varies greatly depending on budget, what the scope of the film is etc, but TVOD was shot in two half-day sessions and edited over a couple of days. Since it was zero-budget, with no big crew or pressure to deliver, we just had fun making it. To keep the lighting consistent I had to blackout our living room windows with bin bags for three days, which I’m sure got the neighbours talking.

What film are you most looking forward to at Dundead 2018 and why?

I’m looking forward to The Endless - it could be a real head-melter!

You can see Duncan's 90-second short TVOD at DUNDEAD 2018 when it screens before the festival's opening film, The Endless on Thu 10 May.

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