Ray Hyland Interview
IFM: Ray, tell us briefly about your film ‘Riffed’.
Riffed is based around the time of the 2009 recession. A British company is closing its Dublin office due to the downturn and it’s up to local area manager ‘Glenn’ to decide who to keep.
IFM: Where did the idea for the film come from, and was there any of your experiences injected into the film?
Well they say write about what you know, so I followed that advice. I’ve worked in a few similar environments in my time. Call centres, general office admin and an ill fated 3 day career doing door to door sales. Suffice to say I never got to ring the bell.
IFM: When writing the script, how important was it to balance the drama and the comedy?
I was definitely looking for balance. In one way it’s horrible to lose your job but then again a lot of people find admin work soul destroying so they do a lot of silly things to pass the day. Due to the way I cast I got to see each character do some improv beforehand. This helped me see what might work better in the script.
IFM: Give us an idea how big the film crew was, and how do you feel they performed?
I did try to get as many people involved as I could but will admit we did cut corners. Those who were there showed great commitment though, we really wanted to make it count.
IFM: How hard do you push yourself when working? And what would you say keeps you motivated?
I worked hard on this but on films I made in the past I worked hard too, just maybe not as smart. Experience is everything, problem solving becomes easier over time. You know that there might be 16 hour days, but at least you know they’re coming!
IFM: Tell us a bit about how the film was shot, and how long was the process from the first day of shooting to going into post-production?
We filmed the office scenes over two weekends. Ideally we could’ve done with one more day but it was an ensemble cast of 15 people so not everyone was available all the time. We used fairly standard equipment, an EX 1 and a Nex 3 for cameras, zoom nice and a Arri lighting kit. Probably more of a documentary inventory really. The additional footage was gathered over the next few weeks as well as some ADR. I started editing roughly a month after the office shoot,quite a long time but I was still experimenting with different ways to open the film.In the end I went back to the script and haven’t really veered from it since.
IFM: Finally, where and when can people get to see ‘Riffed’?
Well I plan to show it to the cast and crew in April. Some friends and family will come along too. If anyone would like to attend that evening please do get in touch. It would be great to get some feedback before I send it off to any festivals. Anyone interested can contact me on email@example.com.