Col Spector talks Honeymooner
Col Spector talks about his second film, Honeymooner, a romantic comedy about Fran, an honest, down-at-heel everyman who has been dumped just before his wedding.
People-watcher Spector based Honeymooner on the experiences of his friends and his own observations: "I was interested in how a nice honest man could offer security, a nice flat and yet a woman turns him down. The idea that if a guy treats a woman nicely, they get dumped and if a guy treats a woman badly, she loves it."
Spector is also interested in the wider picture: "on the tube in London there’s a much higher proportion of women than men going to work. Women have got more spending power and men have less and what does that mean for men? I want to look at men from this insecure position."
He points out the film is also a bromance and that he wants to take a fresh perspective on male relationships, "you often see films that are very laddy but I like showing a different kind of male lead. Someone that’s vulnerable, moral and sensible."
Perfectionist Spector is keen for his audience to relate to his characters and the script two years in gestation: "It’s very hard to write a relationship comedy with sympathetic characters. It takes a bit of time to find those characters and make them real. If you don’t then the audience feels excluded." He found his ideal lead in Gerard Kearns (Ian Gallagher, Shameless), "he’s got lovely everyman quality. When I started writing I had Elijah Wood in mind and he’s the English equivalent. He fitted it absolutely perfectly, I can’t think of anyone else who would have played that part."
The film was shot in 17 days but this doesn’t mean he scrimped on the detaiI, "every beat of the comedy has to be absolutely perfect and that was potentially a threat but I had the instinct it would be fine." He rates the portrayal of relationships in sitcoms such as The Office and The Royle Family but aims to bring the "subtle, nuanced, intelligent left-field comedy" of American indie directors such as Alexander Payne, Sophia Coppola and Noah Baumbach to Britain.
"We don’t make relationship comedies in this country, very rarely have I seen that sort of film and I don’t see why we shouldn’t. We’ve got amazing talent in this country. I’d like to fill that space."
Honeymooner is screening on the 25 and 26 June.
Winners of EIFF 2014’s short film awards and two of its documentary premieres have been nominated for 2015 BAFTAs.