Director Steven Knight teamed up with actor Tom Hardy on an idea: simple movie about a normal, everyday man who has to face a problem. Show it in real time, follow the rules set before hand, and have it done in 2 weeks. The result was Locke, a film going from festival to festival gathering acclaim all around, and one that I personally viewed at Sundance. In an interview describing the process, it was revealed that the director said action and the entire 90 minute movie was filmed and acted out before “cut.”
The movie was great, but I write about this because I think it is a good sign for independent filmmakers and artists. Movies have been done in real time before, but they do not come out very often and especially not with such high acclaim and success. Tom Hardy is a superstar, being in a few of the most lucrative films ever made, but to step aside and make something for the art’s sake of it on such a small scale should really inspire those trying to break in and hold onto their creativity.
“Everybody said, ‘No you can’t make that [movie] — it’s too simple,” Knight recalled. “But because we had time constraints, it was easily arguable to just shoot it. So we put three cameras in the car, and just set off and did it, almost naively, chronologically from beginning to end every night, almost as if it was a theater piece.”
Despite the tight shooting schedule and challenging nature of the shoot, Knight called the film “charmed from the beginning.” “In terms of budget, in terms of everything it worked. It was a burst of excitement and energy, and I think that translates onto the screen.”
Still, Hardy did have some reservations about the process. “It was quite an elaborate leap,” Hardy said. “It began as a 30-page script that turned to 90-pages. That wasn’t the concern. [The concern] was, can we shoot it to a level at which we could all be happy, to a high standard with makes it a worthy endeavor?”
Creativity in the film industry is still a necessity. Not everything has been done; new combinations of ideas lend themselves to what could be something great. Of course, the issue is still getting it financed and produced, but creativity doesn’t have to stop with the script.