Ashton Cubitt

Director of


A complete interview with Ashton

We would like to express our sincere gratitude to director Ashton for taking the time to answer our questions.

Whole team of Liverpool Indie Awards is wishing you the very best in all your future projects. We hope to see more of your exceptional work in the years to come. Thank you once again!

This project was created from a brief in college. The brief was to make a short film of no longer than 10 minutes, any genre, but it had to include a topic that concerns today’s culture. So me and my team went with alcoholism. We researched how alcoholism affects today’s world and how we could include that in this film.

I’ve always loved working with limited equipment as it allows me to think more outside the box when it comes to capturing a specific moment or anything that may involve using a piece of equipment that we didn’t have access to. For this project, this was my first time working with a professional cinema camera and cinema grade lenses, which allowed me to have more control of the film’s look and feel. Something that I previously struggled with using DSLR’s. Whilst I’m able to obtain a nice image with a DSLR, the cinema grade camera allowed me to experiment further.

We were put in teams of our own choosing. I had myself writing the project alongside my two other teammates providing advice on where the story should go. Me and my cinematographer talked through shot types and how we could use our location to its fullest capabilities.

Probably the biggest issue we had was with our boom mic. We had to call in help from one of our college tutors when we found that the connection between the microphone and the boom pole was loose, he had to tape it with electrical tape to get it to stay!

My personal favourite moment in this film is the moment when the main character throws up in the toilet after heavily drinking. I have two reasons why. First reason is that out of all the short films I’ve made in college, this I’d say is my most emotionally impactful scene, I love it. Secondly, when this scene begins, my actor crashes into the toilet door, throws it open and falls into the cubicle. The shot I planned I decided to shoot as it involved handheld movements that I couldn’t find a way of explaining. The shot ended up being my favourite of the whole film because even though it’s handheld, it’s such a smooth shot.

If I was to do anything different, I probably should’ve taken more notice of the boom mic’s positioning in certain scenes because I had to change a lot of the audio as it was not focused directly on the actors faces when they were speaking dialogue, which resulted in some shots sounding really quiet which I then had to alter in post.

A project that sticks out to me is a documentary that I just finished. The film basically documents me and a friend of mine who’s actually the main actor in BlackJack, travelling to London to watch a film from a niche filmmaker who is considered by some to be the worst filmmaker. It’s outlandish, rude, dangerous and so much fun. It’s my first feature as well, it was also produced by just the two of us! I’m so proud of it.

I’d say the same thing I’ve been told as an aspiring filmmaker. Just put yourself out there! Make whatever you want to make, someone will soon want it. Invest your time into learning as well. Try and network with similar aspiring filmmakers, cinematographers or writers who want to also enter this industry and just make something. And never give up.

For this project, I knew the actor quite well. He’s a very good friend of mine and was on the same film course as me when I made this. When talking about a character I try first to let them find the character’s voice and then if need be I’ll come in and suggest a different path to go down. Most of the time I have so much trust in the actors I’ve worked with I’m able to let them find the character’s voice.

Since this was a college project, we were limited in what we could use. What I looked to do was to just have some room tone of the restaurant we shot in and I wrote some pretty guitar lines myself for the more impactful moments.

I love feedback and constructive criticism. It’s what allows me to grow as an artist. My tutor actually gave me some great advice involving the scene where the main character throws up in the toilet. She suggested that instead of pulling out of the close ups and go into the wide shot that I stay close up on his face, which makes so much more sense since you are so close to tat character you feel his hurt and his stress. The feedback allowed the film to become so much more powerful, especially that scene.