Interview: Dylan Scott and Charlie Levers
We catch up with the winners of DIY Filmmaking Challenge: Environment

Portrait of Charlie Levers and Dylan ScottPortrait of Charlie Levers and Dylan Scott

Dylan Scott and Charlie Levers talk to us about winning DIY Filmmaking Challenge: Environment, and what’s coming next.

Sheffield-based filmmakers Dylan Scott and Charlie Levers won our recent DIY Filmmaking Challenge: Environment, landing £1,000 in production support and a programme of career development support in the process. Their winning film, Sitting with Silence captures the filmmakers’ passion for the natural beauty surrounding their hometown and their belief that our shared connection with the landscapes around us runs deep into the human experience.

Having graduated together from a BFI Film Academy short course at the Showroom Cinema three years ago, winning the DIY Filmmaking Challenge represents the next step in Dylan and Charlie’s creative collaboration. Their short film supported through the DIY Filmmaking Challenge will be their first funded short film together.

We caught up with Dylan and Charlie to find out more about their filmmaking journey so far and their approach to creating an effective no-budget micro-short. Read more about all of that below.

Want to follow in Dylan and Charlie’s footsteps? Submissions for DIY Filmmaking Challenge: Sci-Fi are now open - find out more.

Where are you in your filmmaking careers?

We're currently both in our first year of working full-time as freelance filmmakers and have just started a production company called Cave Creatures Productions. Through that, we create commercial, music and narrative work - Dylan serves as the Creative Director and Charlie as Technical Director.

Tell us about your film and how you responded to the theme of Environment.

We shot Sitting with Silence over 4 days. We based the imagery around a poem written by our very talented actor Noah Manzoor in response to the DIY Filmmaking Challenge prompt.

The idea was to explore our intrinsic link with the environment and to interrogate the tendency humans have to consider ourselves as separate from nature when, in fact, we are one and the same.

Green spaces are such an inherent part of living in Sheffield as we're surrounded by them; our memories, relationships, and lives are all deeply connected to the forests we used to wander through and the hills we aspired to climb as children.

What was your approach to DIY Filmmaking with a very small budget and timeframe, and what advice would you give to other filmmakers?

Embrace the practical limitations as creative jumping-off points. With such a short turnaround and likely no budget, you're forced to improvise - but there's a freedom in accepting the fluidity of making it up and figuring things out as you go.

   The stakes are lower: experiment! Take the chance to work with new people, or in a different medium or style from what you're used to.

Short filmmaking can take so long - the process can run over months or even years. We've found that experiencing every stage of a film's production over such a short amount of time really boils it down to one big to-do list. That feels a lot less intimidating and was great for us as a refreshing break from bigger projects.

What projects are you working on next?

We're currently working on a few different commercial and music jobs with some pretty exciting clients. We’ve also begun pre-production for our next narrative venture: a 10-12 minute darkly comedic twist on the whodunnit genre. We’re planning on shooting early next year with funding from the DIY Filmmaking Challenge prize money!

DIY Filmmaking Challenge is delivered by Film Hub North as part of BFI Film Academy.

BFI Film Academy offers opportunities for ambitious 16-25 year olds, anywhere in the UK, to get to know more about film and how to forge a career in the screen industries.