Tell us about yourself and your creative background?
My name is Tef, I'm 16 and I have a massive passion for film, theatre and the arts in general. I love both discussing and making films, and hope to be able to do that professionally one day. Through both Icon youth theatre and Theatre 31, my confidence has grown immeasurably and i'm so grateful for the opportunity, this is the first time I've written or directed a film and I'm so thankful for the incredibly fun and exciting opportunity.
What is the film about and what inspired you to create it?
The film is a short comedy sketch, following two characters attempting to make the best gingerbread house. It was heavily inspired by a variety of sitcoms and sketch shows that I've grown up watching. I have always really loved comedy and so when given no limits I just tried to make something funny.
What is your creative process?
In all honesty I'm not sure that I have one, I wrote the script first but then tried to "roll with the punches'' as much as possible. I'm a massive fan of improv and so tried to let anything that made us laugh on the day into the piece. I mostly tried to remain open, when Lily and Amy at Theatre 31 suggested an animated sequence I was a little confused but all for it, and that's pretty much how the whole thing worked – experimenting and just trying to laugh with the piece.
Did you come up against obstacles?
Originally, one sequence was going to be filmed in a supermarket, but the company wouldn’t allow it and sent us out, that was probably the biggest obstacle of the process. But, we found a place just outside with rows of bushes that we substituted for the aisles and it worked surprisingly well.
Tell us one thing you are particularly proud of and one thing you would have done differently?
I am incredibly proud of the fact that the film exists. This is the first time that I've made something quite as independently, as lockdown has forced me to adapt, and I'm so glad that there's actually something to show for it. In the future I would like to allow myself a little more time, with school and life, I often had to leave this project to the last minute, and I wish that I had a little more time to add to it and reshoot one or two moments. Other than that, I am mostly just grateful for the wonderful opportunity that this film has been.
You can watch 'happy merry new year, maybe' right now on Voice as part of our Winter Film Festival.