Local Filmmaker in Focus: Oliver Rogers

For today’s filmmaker in focus, Penny Post contributor Mirek Gosney speaks with Swindon based filmmaker Oliver Rogers about his promising career so far and his latest short comedy film, ‘Toast’. After completing his studies in Film and Television Production at New College Swindon, Ollie set about pursuing his lifelong passion for filmmaking. Some of his credits include short sci-fi thriller ‘Full Disclosure’, which he adapted into an award-winning feature film called ‘The Black Spot’ in 2019.

‘Toast’ employs a simple yet deliciously entertaining premise: that of a man who will stop at nothing to enjoy a decent slice of toast. As someone who enjoys their toast cremated to perfection, the appeal here was instant. The film stars Paul Cooper (of BBC Three’s ‘This Country’). He is complemented by a humourous supporting cast who each bring something to the table (besides a toaster) to enrich the narrative’s silent, visual storytelling. Read on below to see what Ollie had to say.

How did you first get into filmmaking?

For as long as I can remember, I have loved everything cinema. I cannot pin a precise moment or film from my childhood which made me go ‘wow, I want to make films!’ I think Alien and The Thing are probably the first films I have the most vivid memories of, as my dad showed them to me when I just 11! I then went to college to study Film at the age of 14 and have been making films ever since. All to varying degrees of quality, but that’s the best way to learn.

Tell me about Toast. Where did the idea for this come from?

For a very long time, I was having a bad luck streak with toasters. I would buy one and after my first time using it, I always found some way of breaking it. I must have gone through about six toasters in the space of a month! One evening, my girlfriend/writing partner and I were laughing about it when we realised this would make a great idea for a film. So, we began imagining different scenarios which all saw someone trying and failing to make some toast. And the rest is history.

The official poster for 'Toast'

What creative challenges or obstacles did you encounter during the filming process, and how did you overcome these?

Of all my films, this was by far the easiest to make. Our only major setback once we secured Paul Cooper as the lead was to confirm shooting dates. We were forced to delay filming for a few weeks due to the lockdown, since we shot the entire film during the pandemic.

What’s next for you? Any exciting new projects planned for the future?

I do have a few projects lined up for next year. This coming month, I am shooting a new short comedy which I’m keeping pretty quiet about. I can say that it stars Professor Elemental as the voice of the main character. I am also teaming up with actor Ashley Robson, who I collaborated with on one of my previous films, Full Disclosure. This film should finish post-production in the new year. Afterwards, myself and Paul Cooper are writing a new short together, which we’re both very excited about! That’s all I can say for now…

What’s one film you wish you could watch again for the first time, and another you would erase from your memory?

I would love to enjoy Hot Fuzz again for the first time. I’ve watched this multiple times and it never stops being entertaining! I would also wipe the 2019 Hellboy remake from my memory. We all know why!

Indeed we do. Thank you and best of luck for the future Ollie. ‘Toast’ is currently available to view online at the following link: Toast (2020)

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