Brixton film maker debuts first feature film Across the River

Still from Brixton film maker Warren Malone first feature film Across the RiverWarren Malone talks to the Brixton Blog and Bugle about his first feature film Across the River and offers tips to budding film makers

Warren Malone, a Brixton resident for 10 years, has written and directed his first feature film, set and shot in London and featuring Brockwell Park and Poets’ Corner.

“Being at the end of the Victoria Line is brilliant,” he says. “Brockwell Park is one of my favourite green spaces and the mix of people and sense of community is great.”

Across the River stars Elizabeth Healey (Dr Strange) and Keir Charles (Man Up) and premieres on 18 June at the East London Film Festival.

Malone (right) says: “It’s an ex-love story about recapturing lost love, following your dreams, responsibility, modern life and cake.”

“Emma is a successful lawyer with a supportive, loving husband, two beautiful children and a fabulous house in Chelsea.

“Ryan is trying to build an elephant out of sand on the South Bank.

“He was her first love; it ended badly years ago and they haven’t seen each other since then. They meet accidentally, and when a strike paralyses public transport they’re travelling home in the same direction. On their way they reminisce, argue, cry and laugh.

“They can never recapture what they had, but the memory of it tempts them.”

Shot entirely on location in London, with no script, the actors improvise the dialogue and action during shooting.

Malone honed his skills on short courses: acting and directing at City Lit, editing at the National Film and Television School and film production at Birkbeck College.

He financed the film “out of my own shallow pockets or the ever-reliable bank of Mum!

“There was a few thousand from IndieGogo during post production, mostly from friends, then credit cards, later paid off with a remortgage.”

The actors came on board thanks to a combination of the script, his track record as a director and money.

“The money was low to non-existent and there wasn’t a script, just an outline, so I wasn’t seeing big names in auditions.
“Fortunately London is a major TV, film and theatre hub so there are a lot of very talented actors out there. I had some assistance from casting director contacts and my short film Forgiving Your PE Teacher helped convince the actors it would be a rewarding project.”


Malone’s tip for aspiring you filmmakers is to practise. “Practise writing and rewriting. This is the cheapest one so there’s not much excuse not to!

“Practise working with actors, getting the best out of them, getting what you want out of them and choosing the right ones for your project.

“Practise shooting. Use your phone or whatever you’ve got or can get and work out how to say what you want to say with light, shadow, framing, movement, colour.

“Practise editing. Work out how to express ideas and information through cuts and what you need to shoot for the edit.

“And, while you’re practising, accept criticism and advice graciously even if you disagree wholeheartedly with it. Try to make something that is rooted in the real world and not just about characters or situations inspired by other films.Poster for the film Across the River

“Try to make the world a better place. Try to be honest.”

Across the River is screening in competition at the East End Film Festival on 18 June, 5:30pm at Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, E1 6LA.