Fast rising moviemaker Oliver Ridge is new to Hollywood but hasn’t wasted any time making his mark.
The Englishman’s first feature length film as a producer, drama Last Days of Summer starring Prison Break’s William Fichtner, is currently storming the festival circuit and his directorial debut, a poetic short called Bluebird that stars Eric Roberts, is also drawing raves.
Now he’s been selected by British Academy BAFTA to be part of their LA Newcomers Program which supports exciting emerging talents in the entertainment industry.
Here Oliver speaks to Cliché about his thriving career.
Why did you decide to move from Britain to make movies in Hollywood?
So much of what I love and what I have loved growing up has come from Hollywood. Sure it is the toughest for competition, but I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
How do you avoid the intimidation factor when working with experienced actors like Eric Roberts and William Fichtner?
I wont lie, there were some nerves! I remember the night before I started shooting Bluebird it dawned on me, that the next day I would be directing an Oscar nominated actor. But It isn’t as intimidating when you know the material inside and out, and after time you come to the realization that you’re all there for the same reason, and that’s to make art. It was an honor to work with both.
What do you hope audiences who see your film Bluebird will feel after watching it?
That emotions are universal. That they transcend gender, wealth, and race. That there is a loneliness in being a human being, but that we are all in it together regardless of what is on the outside.
What was your reaction when your other independent film Last Days of Summer recently won best picture at the Rhode Island Film Festival?
I threw my hands above my head, and yelled at the top of my lungs. My mother was sat next to me; I think I scared her.
What does it mean to you to be selected as part of BAFTA LA’s Newcomers Program?
To have an organization like that behind you, it means the world. I grew up following the BAFTA Awards and to be recognized in such a way is nothing short of incredible.
What else is happening in your world right now?
I am doing the festival circuit right now with Last Days of Summer and in between trips in and out of town to support the film I am writing and setting up my next slate of projects for next year.
What’s been the happiest moment of your life so far?
It may sound cliché but my happiest moment recently was seeing my name in the credits at the end of my first movie. I always wanted to create things that could live on past my lifetime. Film is forever.
If you could write the dream happy ending for your career, what would it be?
To direct a Batman movie
Words by Orlando Drake, Photos by Sonalii Castillo
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