The Lion is a short film written and directed by Sam H. Buchanan. The film is based around a fresh faced video director who sees an opportunity to prove himself in a voice-over recording session for a company brand film.
But with a script that reads like corporate nonsense, clients holding the creative process hostage and voice over talent refusing to cooperate, preventing a train wreck is looking rather unlikely. Sound familiar?
We asked Sam how the film started life:
I think back to where the idea for the Lion came from and I don’t feel that I really wrote the script. Yes, you’ll see my name when ‘Written by’ comes up in the credits, but when you work in corporate video long enough, you can draw on enough painful experiences for a script to write itself.
I’ve worked as a commercial video director for six years and I’ve seen first hand that the world of corporate video is a strange place. — Sam H. BuchananA place where corporate sensibilities mix with creative ideas, where budgets are tight, time pressures are constant and the client is never wrong.
As a filmmaker with artistic ambitions I’ve had to find out the hard way; creative integrity rarely makes it out alive. It was a long day in a studio session and we were recording a voice over for an interactive software demonstration. I was directing, there was the client and the voice over artist in the room.
I can remember vividly the veil of professionalism growing thinner and thinner. Something the client said with a conviction that baffles me to this day made me realise… my next short film is playing out in front of me: ‘Imagine that when you say the line, you’ve just seen a lion’.
Needless to say, we never quite managed to hit the levels of enthusiasm that the client was hoping for. It was only a few hours after the recording session had finished that I wrote my first draft, and The Lion was born.
We had some stellar talent, including of course our star Neil McCaul, which we were only able to cast the night before! And Levent Molnar who had just come off the Oscar-winning film The Son of Saul. But absolutely everyone was amazing, including our crew who had to work incredibly hard to make the film in the two days we had to shoot it! Seems like a distant memory now, but it was all worth it.
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