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Interview – Patrick Myles – ‘The Overcoat’ – A Short Film


Posted September 16, 2018 by

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Interview – Patrick Myles – ‘The Overcoat’ – A Short Film

The Overcoat, adapted from Nikolai Gogol’s short story and directed by Patrick Myles, has an all-star cast including the BAFTA-winning actor Jason Watkins (W1A, The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies), Tim Key (Gap Year, Alpha Papa), Vicki Pepperdine (The Windsors, Getting On), Dominic Coleman (Trollied, Upstart Crow) and Alex Macqueen (Peaky Blinders, The InBetweeners).

Having recently started its festival run, this wonderful film has already won Best Comedy at LA Shorts Film Festival, Best Short Comedy at London Independent Film Festival, Best Director at New Renaissance Film Festival and has just been selected to screen at Aesthetica.

A lonely social outcast gets a glimpse of what life is like for someone popular, and cannot let it go, even in death.

Patrick Myles’ first film Anthropopopometry starred Peter McDonald and Lloyd Hutchinson, his Film London-funded dark comedy Santa’s Blotto starring Brian Blessed followed, he made Telling Laura with Louise Ford and Colin Hoult for Finite Films, and his latest film A Pornographer Woos, adapted from Bernard MacLaverty’s short story, stars Michael Smiley.

Kate Turner and Mark Puddle produced The Overcoat, Tom Turley created the wonderful cinematography, Melanie Jane Brookes did the production design and Alex Baranowski composed the music.

Just some of the festivals the film has been selected for include DC Shorts, Palms Springs Shortfest, Belfast Film Festival, LA Film Festival, Galway Film Fleadh, LA Cinefest, Dinard Film Festival and Cambridge Film Festival.

The Overcoat will screen at the Arena Cinelounge in Los Angeles in September and Aesthetica Short Film Festival in November.

Patrick Myles - ‘The Overcoat’ - Interview


To begin with, tell us about your latest film ‘The Overcoat’…

It’s a film about an eccentric, lonely man who, in an effort to raise his status at his workplace, spends all his money on a brand new overcoat. This has the temporary desired effect, but when it’s stolen from him he descends into a spiral and cannot return to his previous life of anonymity. It’s adapted from the classic short story by Nikolai Gogol, and has a wonderful cast led by Jason Watkins.

Where did the idea come from? How did you get involved?

The idea jumped off the page of the original short story and slapped me round the face like a wet salmon. I had just seen a stage adaptation of Gogol’s Diary of a Madman and that sparked a renewed interest in his work, so I devoured his short stories such as The Two Ivans and The Nose, but when I read The Overcoat I immediately saw the film in my head and I became determined to make it. I knew that the adaptation had to speak to us in this day and age, so I transposed the action from mid 19thcentury Imperial Russia to a sort of parallel universe Dickenso-Soviet industrialist metropolis London, where I thought we could provide a fresh take on the story while still retaining Gogol’s core themes. I wrote the script, got it to the producers Kate Turner and Mark Puddle and we started raising the money.

Tell us about the cast, who is starring in ‘The Overcoat’?

Jason Watkins plays the lead role of Christopher Cobbler, who buys the eponymous overcoat, Dominic Coleman plays the Tailor who makes it for him, Tim Key is the narrator of the story, Vicki Pepperdine plays the Policewoman whom he goes to for help and Alex Macqueen the VIP who spurns him. Jason is fantastic in the part, a beautifully detailed and nuanced performance with real emotion, while the others each play a unique character that you believe lives in this world and sparks off Jason. The rest of the cast are equally brilliant as his colleagues and various other nefarious characters who populate the film.

What are your influences as a filmmaker?

It’s difficult to pin down exactly who they are, but here goes – there are the greats: Kubrick, Coppola, Welles; then there are the modern influences like Denis Villeneuve, Paul Thomas Anderson, David Fincher; and then there are the left field influences like Terry Gilliam and Jean Pierre Jeunet. And you mix and match from all the above their imagery, camerawork, composition, tone, lense choices, acting styles, you name it, and put it into the mixer and see what comes out.

What advice would you give any up and coming filmmakers, trying to crack the industry?

I think I’m more in a position of receiving than giving advice, but one thing I’ve learned so far is that the act of doing, rather than talking about doing, has a momentum and a power to itself that is awesome to behold. There are a million reasons why you can’t do something, but as soon as you decide that you’re going to do it anyway, no matter what, that passion, determination and tenacity is extremely powerful and people will follow you on the journey because they’ll be inspired by it. So basically: do more, talk less.

When and where can we expect to see ‘The Overcoat’?

It’s playing festivals at the moment, in September we’ve got DC Shorts in Washington, Dinard Film Festival in France, and then in November we have Norwich Film Festival and Aesthetica in the UK. Aside from that, we’ve got a distribution deal with Shorts International, so the film should be available on VOD as of mid-October for anyone in the world to download and watch.

What is the next step for you? Do you have any other films or projects in production?

The next step is to make my first feature, which I’m working on at the moment. It’s a heist comedy, which is one of my favourite genres, and I’m really enjoying working on the script. I have a couple more treatments for sitcoms and long form series knocking about too, but making the feature is no.1 on the list for now.

Trailer for THE OVERCOAT, adapted from Nikolai Gogol’s short story from New Division Films on Vimeo.


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