In a rare and very

frank interview, director Andrea Arnold explains why shooting the film

in Glasgow was so inspiring, and reveals how she went about filming one of the most explicit sex scenes ever seen in a Scottish film.


Because I worked with a mostly (ilasgow crew there were a lot ol‘ people who had worked around the Red Road estate and had horror stories to tell. people throwing kniyes at the window at yott and .stul'l' like that. So I think people thought. 'oh we‘re going to come across trouble' bttt we didn't haye any trouble whatsoeyer. liyeryone around there was really friendly: they came tip and talked to Us. I think it‘s interesting. peoplch perceptions of places. ()iie ol' the people working on the lilm has liyed in Scotland all her lite and it really opened her eyes to be lilming somewhere like that. She‘d had this idea ol- estates and a kind ol~ l'ear ol' those places. It really opened her eyes to actually be there and talk to people. She came tip to me at the end and said that it had been a real education for her and that she had been really glad ol‘ it. It made me realise that a lot ol‘ people who liy'e iii (ilasgow don't go to places like Red Road.


.-\II the C(‘IV l'ootage we had to shoot ourselyes. We wouldn't want to Use real l‘ootage. because that would be an inyasion of people‘s pi'iyacy. .-\ctua|ly we wouldn‘t be allowed to. so we had to shoot eyerything oui'selyes. .-\nd most of the ('("I‘\' stul‘l~ we do Use is sltlll of our characters anyway so we did incorporate people from the area into the lilming. We actually went round and actiy'ely sought out people w ho liy ed in the area to be in the lilm. so we did incorporate real people w ho liyed there. Actually a lot of the people trom places like Saracen Street and Red Road. they‘re used to filming and they all said. ‘.-\re you doing 'Iiiggurt'.’ Can we be e\tras‘." So

20 THE LIST :3 ‘9 Qt“. Q‘Ct“

people were quite wise about it and knew that it you got to be an e\tra you could earn titty quid or whatey er. In the end we did tise a lot ol' real people round and about. II we had any characters walking about anywhere that was real. and real people got in. w e'd ask them it they minded. would they sign a release l'orm. so that we could Use that shot. ll~ somebody walked through a shot and then they walked behind the camera. someone would chase them with a release l'orm saying 'sori‘y. do you mind. we got you on camera. it's l‘oi' a lilm. Rt't/ Road. do you mind." Most people said yes. the odd person might say no. but most seemed to

like it.


There was one moment when we were lilming on (‘("l‘\' we caught a to\ by accident coming otit ol' the dark. It was beatitil'til. one ol' my layourite shots in the lilm. I hope people don‘t think we had an animal handler standing by with a wild l‘o\ to let go? We caught the tos on lilm by accident. and some ol~ my layourite things in the lilm are the happy accidents. the things that came sort ol' by surprise.


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When I haye made short lilms. l‘ye tended to shoot pretty much in the oidei‘ that things will appear in the linished lilm. llut iii this case our schedule didn‘t allow me to do that. 'l'hc one thing we did manage to keep roughly in place was the se\ scene. l hat was to really allow cycryonc to know each other a bit betlei. so that we could deal with it and not be strangers. But we all were really determined to get on with it. l'.\ct'_\ottc was e\tremely prolessional and I'd like to giye all credit to the two actois because they were incredibly generous to each other. 'liliey were til dt‘aiiia scliiiol together some years ago so they knew each other which. I think. helped. It was a wry. determined. prolessional lew hours. We were in that room together lot about tour or the hours and had to iust do get it done so I do iemembei' the end being really quite rushed. ’l'hat's the thing on long l'ilms. you haye to stop at a certain time and eyeryone has to go home. no mattei what.


l l’elt really ready to make this llllll. I mean. making eyery lilm is daunting. btit l lcll totally ready l'or this challenge. l‘ye done a lot ol' things in my lite. l‘ye been around a bit. and I just l'elt really ready lor it. Mind you. it didn't l'eel like it was going well at the time: it was a lairly hellish slitiot. When you‘re tilming. you kind ol' know you are getting some good material bttt you don't really know it the thing is going to work until you put it together. I can‘t remember which director said that when you edit and you put the images next to each other it's like putting i'lowei's iii watei. “my kind ot wake up.