Ones to Watch: Oliver Milburn
Name: Oliver Milburn
Age: 25 ¾
Occupation: Writer/ Director
Inspiration: Danny Boyle, Darren Aronofsky, Martin McDonagh, Edgar Wright, Welles, Hitchcock and Kubrick. Martin McDonagh, Tony Gilroy, Christopher McQuarrie.
Look out for: Milburn’s first feature film, The Harsh Light of Day, out in early 2012. Go to www.harshlightofday.com for details.
A recent finalist of the New Forest Film Festival competition for short films, Oliver Milburn is proving to be one to watch on the rolling credits of many a future film.
“Speechless”, Milburn’s most recent short, is about a boy named Eddie. His dream is to become a stand-up comedian. However, he has a problem – he cannot speak. In fact, when asked how he came up with the concept for “Speechless”, Ollie revealed “I didn't! I didn't even write it. The story was loosely based on the producer's upbringing insofar as he had a speech impediment and hated answering the phone”. Asked to direct it, Ollie couldn’t wait to work on something with a strong script and really original premise. Unfortunately “just before we finished post production a little film called The King's Speech came out, so we spent some time feeling very sorry for ourselves”.
Disappointments aside, in 2008, Milburn was accepted into Bournemouth University’s Masters programme to study Directing of Digital Film and Television. This proved to be an invaluable experience, where he learnt “that there's no one way to make a film, and no one way into the industry”. He revealed “that unless you can finance a film yourself, it can't really ever be solely an expression of the director as artist - films take a lot of people to get made”. Film-making is a famously hierarchical triangle, of which director usually comes out on top. However, as award shows and credits have shown, film is by no means a solo venture. Editing, writing, acting, casting, assisting, costume, set and make-up design, producing, camera operating, are all part of the huge film-making process, all contributors to the never-ending roll of credits at the end of a movie.
One component which no film-maker could do without is experience; and Ollie has learnt that, unfortunately, it really is “who you know”. Ultimately, this comes down to money – "there’s not much of it" and "lots of people trying to get at it". Ollie’s advice for anyone wanting to get into the film industry is “to work ten times harder and make ten times more noise!”