It’s inevitably true: the higher up the movie-making ladder you climb, the more interesting your anecdotes become.
But Dan Turner’s no name-dropper. Sitting in the writer/director’s cluttered office among the corridors of Elstree Studios – home of Dancing on Ice, Who Wants to be a Millionaire and Big Brother – this is someone who’s carefully measuring his conversation.
That in itself is probably a sign that Dan’s reaching rungs on the industry ladder (okay, this metaphor’s wearing thin) where an offhand comment or misquote could jeopardise a multi-million pound project.
Filmmakers always want to make bigger and bigger productions, so listen to this conversation to learn about the challenges that your next step may present to you.
The Man Inside is a personal project for Dan. Its story comes from personal experience, but it has taken some years to reach our screens, with other features being made during its long pre-production phase.
He tells a really nice story about what you can achieve through passion and determination: he was able to persuade the producers of the globally massive thriller Homeland to release star David Harewood to return to the UK for several days filming scenes for the Man Inside.
Dan’s got an ideas and planning board on the wall of his office and on it are scribbles of ideas, many of which promise exciting films at some point in the future.
We refer to the board and its contents in the interview, but these ideas are an investment of time and so he’s understandably protective of them.
Developing ideas are a fun part of the job, then securing funding is the next stage. Dan explains how some of this happened on his latest and previous films like The Experiment and Stormhouse.
For the film geeks and buffs (and film history-Nazis) out there: I’m aware Elstree plays a hugely important part in the British film industry, I just went for something more contemporary in my reference to it near the start of this article.