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British film producer Allan Niblo talks about his influences, Short Stories and Mosh Pits

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Allan Niblo is an award winning film producer and a founder member of film production and distribution company, Vertigo Films. His past credits include Human Traffic, Football Factory, StreetDance 3D and the award winning Monsters. His next project will be the big screen adaptation of The Sweeney, and he is currently one of the judges in, 'Short Stories', a film making competition sponsored by Relentless Energy Drink.

HP - What was it that first inspired to get involved in the film industry?

AN - I picked up a video camera and really fell in love with making pop promos for bands, that was the first real step into the film business. Prior to that I was absolutely in love with movies from a young age, I never thought about it as a career but when I picked up a camera I thought "is it possible" and I just started experimenting from there.

HP - in terms of the films you've been making in recent years what have been your influences when choosing a project to work on?

AN - We have a broad range of films we're working on. We like to do a film, if you take for example StreetDance, that was a film with a very specific demographic. We really wanted to make a film that pleased that younger crowd and it scored incredibly high with that audience. But then take Monsters, which was much more experimental in its nature. There was no script, there were no locations, it was just a very documentary attitude. The guy who came in with that said "I want to make the world's most realistic monster movie", and that was the pitch and we went "great, that sounds brilliant, let's do it" so it's a range of everything from art house to more commercial films. A good pitch is always essential though

HP - What was it about the Short Stories film competition that made you want to work with them?

AN - I liked the extreme sports, and I liked the winner from last year, an incredibly impressive piece of work, and I liked the subject matter that comes out. There's some voices that are coming through that's expressing elements of youth culture I've never seen caught on film actually. You could take some of this and put it in a feature film.

HP - if you were to give a piece of advice to an aspiring filmmaker or an entrant in next year's competition what would it be?

AN - I think the most important thing is to try and find a unique angle on it. For example the crowd surfing film was something I'd never seen before and it really captured the spirit of being in the pit. If you can find something that's unique and original, and has never been done before that really helps. Whatever your subject matter you've got to try and tell it in the most poetic and original way, you know, have a voice to your film.

HP - Are there any specific pitfalls you would warn young film makers about?

AN - it's to be aware of clich├ęs, the easiest thing to say but the hardest thing to do.

HP - What projects are you going to working on in the future?

AN - We're going to be working on the Sweeney with Plan B and Ray Winston, which starts filming in about four weeks time, and we've the sequel coming out for StreetDance next march which is much, much bigger in its ambition. We're also working on everything from a range of smaller independent projects, to bigger studio based projects.

HP - do you think this a good time for the British film industry?

AN - The best time in years, it really is.

"The crowd surfing film was something I'd never seen before and it really captured the spirit of being in the pit."

For more information on the Short Stories film competition go to www.relentlessenergydrink.com/shortstories