TRESPASSER FILMS – NOTHING MAN
STEPHEN GALLACHER & JONATHAN ASHDOWN
Nothing Man, the first feature film from Trespasser Films, was shot on a micro-budget of £2500. Co-directors Stephen and Jonathan left their homes and their jobs to live out of a campervan for three weeks during production. Alumni of York St John’s Film and Television Department, they managed to pull some strings, call on friends and recruit students to bring together an amazing cast and crew for the ambitious North Yorkshire shoot. Actors have appeared in productions including The Syndicate on BBC One and HBO’s Band of Brothers. Adam Wakeman, current keyboardist for Black Sabbath, composed the film’s score. Not bad for a production company formed two years ago.
Nothing Man is a gritty British flick and a great example of the Trespasser Films motto: ‘Low Budget: High Concept’. One&Other caught up with Stephen and Jonathan in Evil Eye’s cinema room to discuss the film.
What is Nothing Man about? Where did the concept come from?
SG: Nothing Man is a crime noir thriller. It’s about an amnesiac called Noam who has separated himself from society after losing his memory and forgetting his identity. When his best friend is killed he has to face his fears, pursue the murderer, and find out about his own fragile and tortured past.
JA: The concept originally came out of myself, Stephen and Paul Butler. We were trying to get a different project called Wilderness going, but that didn’t look like it was going to be possible. Knowing that we wanted to make a feature we started looking at other ideas; it was a very quick, collaborative writing process. We knew what we could have access to and the budget, so finding the right story was a real challenge.
Why did you decide to film in York?
SG: York is a unique city with so many great people. The biggest thing we looked for when we were making this film was enthusiasm over experience. We knew because of the budget we weren’t going to get people who could give up that much time who are working on a professional level. So we wanted people who had the drive and wanted to get to that point.
JA: A lot of it was quite run and gun. We had a ridiculous number of scenes to cover in such a short amount of time. There’s a whole subculture in York that tourists don’t really see, like the York Filmmakers Coalition. What we needed were people who were going to turn up every day, bright-eyed and ready to roll.
SG: So many people who worked on Nothing Man have gone on to work together on other projects. It’s brought so many people together.
How did you approach your roles as co-directors?
JA: It came naturally. I’m much more camera-based, whereas Stephen is very proactive and makes sure stuff gets done. We know our strengths and weaknesses.
SG: We’ve worked together since university. If we’re struggling with something Jonny will push the camera side and I’ll go off with the actors, and if that doesn’t work we’ll switch.
What are you plans and hopes for the film and for Trespasser Films in the coming years?
JA: The aim with Nothing Man is to get it out there, get it into festivals and hopefully do well. We want to get the name out there for us and everyone else involved.
SG: In terms of Trespasser Films, we’re pushing forward with other projects. A real, sensible budget would be nice; something where my Nan isn’t doing the catering!
Find out more about Nothing Man and Trespasser Films at WWW.TRESPASSERFILMS.COM