Mission Director Mark Buchanan Q&A

Mission from Phase VI on Vimeo.

As humanity bears witness to the first manned mission to Mars, an astronaut (Emun Elliot) faces up to the prospect of being left behind. Written by Scottish BAFTA-winning screenwriter Gregor Barclay, Mission stars Game of Thrones’ and Prometheus’ Emun Elliot and Holby City and The Smoking Room’s Siobhan Redmond.

OnTheBox talks to director Mark Buchanan about mixing genres, being a director and the health of British cinema.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your background

I’m a Glasgow native and graduated from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama [now RCS] in 2005. I’ve lived in London since 2007 and I’ve directed a number of short films and music videos. I also have a sensible job, but that will remain a mystery.

Have you always wanted to be a director?

I saw Back to the Future when I was 5. I’ve been cursed with the directing bug ever since.

Does mixing genres (domestic drama and sci-fi in this case) appeal to you?

It really does. I’m a Rod Serling fanatic and I’ve tried to channel his skill at utilising mundane settings to tell fantastical tales to relay timely moral truths that were easy to swallow.

Do you think the British short film is in a healthy state at the moment?

Without question — there is so much talent out there. After a bit of a drought, we’re beginning to see the fruits of the first BFI-run short film production cycle and the work that I’ve seen is diverse, electrifying and truly inspiring. There’s also great work regularly being generated by independents like ourselves! We like to keep the big boys on their toes!

Do you plan to move into feature length films?

That’s the plan. I’ve got a script called The Leap about a doomed voyage to Alpha Centauri, a musical about Robert Burns which is sort of an anti-biopic that transposes Burns to the modern day, and a Kaiju flick called Densetsu which I’m pitching as Lost In Translation meets Giant Monsters All Out Attack! There’s a bunch of other stuff. It’s never a bad thing to have acres of ideas at your arsenal.

What are you working on next?

A new short called Track. It’s about a group of Londoners who hear a song that they can’t identify and go on a convoluted adventure to track it down. We’ve dropped the sadness deliberately upped the fun factor for this one. We’re also leveraging the release of Mission to raise funds for Track via Kickstarter. So, if you like Mission, feel free to make an advanced booking for Track. We’re hoping to shoot next spring for a release at the end of 2014.

You can pre-book Mark Buchanan’s next short film, ‘Track’ at Kickstarter