'Dream On' Director Lloyd Eyre-Morgan Q & A

Dream On is the new film by Lloyd Eyre-Morgan. It's playing at the Hackney Picture House in London on June 13th. It's available now on video and DVD. TLA Video, Amazon, HMV and Sainsburys in the United Kingdom have it for sale. Eyre-Morgan describes Dream On as a coming-of-age story in the vein of Beautiful Thing. Set in 1980s' Wales, two young lads meet on a campsite whilst on their summer holidays and fall in love.

Polar opposite teenagers, Paul and George in the summer of '88 make a pact to return the following summer and run away with one another, but things don't go as planned. Paul who is from northern England has an overbearing mother. George who is from London in southern England has a drinking problem. Eyre-Morgan notes, "If they think running away is going to be easy, they'd better dream on."

The film is based on the play of the same name. Eyre-Morgan wrote the stage version and put in into production in 2011. The two lead actors who were in that production reprise their roles in the movie. Bradley Cross plays Paul and Joe Gosling plays George. In their first scene, Paul and George immediately point out that one is from the north and the other is from the south. Other characters also point out the divide between northerners and southerners in England.

One question I asked the director was, "What is the deal between northerners and southerners in England?"

  • There is a rivalry between the north and south of England. The north has always been seen as a poorer area of England and the south rich. It's a very joking subject today. There is a lot of football rivalry still.

Eyre-Morgan is 24-years-old and he told me that he is LGBT similar to his main characters, so I asked him if this movie and the play are autobiographical and how was it for him to come out as gay.

  • It wasn't autobiographical, although some people have said they can see Paul in me. I like to think I'm more confident than him. My sister was gay also, so we came out to each other. I had support which was great. I told my mum she was gay passed the phone to my sister who told my mum I was gay.

How was it directing his first movie? Did he find it easy? What were some of the most difficult things he had to do? What were some of the easiest things he had to do?

  • Directing a feature without a budget is hard work. I had to pull in a lot of favours but luckily had great people around me. The hardest thing was creating a Welsh campsite in Manchester, England. I found a garden centre and with the crew including actors we transformed it into a campsite. The actors were great to direct on this one. I'd been working with most of them for a year on the play so they came on set very prepared.

It looks as if he actually time-traveled us back to the 1980s. How did he achieve the look of the movie?

  • I wanted the film to look bleak. The 80s was a bleak time for Britain, so I took some of the colour out the film to get this bleak look. A lot of 80s films inject glamour and Madonna colour into them. I wanted this to look cold and hopeless to give an accurate feel for 80s Britain under Thatcher's reign, especially in working class England. 

Focusing on working-class England, one thing I asked about was George's drinking problem.

  • Britain has a massive problem with alcohol abuse with lots of people dying each year from alcohol poisoning. I wanted to reflect this in my writing, as I have had a lot of friends with drinking problems in my life. It's important to expose the dangers.

I asked Eyre-Morgan to go further on what the movie means and what he was trying to say with regard to some spoilers about George.

  • The whole film has the theme of idealism. George introduces this concept to Paul and they spend most of the film impossibly dreaming of a better life. Once George dies it allows protagonist Paul to enter adulthood and finally he is able to reach his dreams. George was never well enough to run away with Paul mentally and psychically. This is why he was fixed in childhood dreaming.

Eyre-Morgan said Dream On is the first LGBT film made in Manchester. Why does he think that is? Is it because not a lot of gay films are made in England or is Manchester not gay friendly? Why is his the first?

  • Manchester has a huge LGBT scene. It had the hugely successful TV show Queer as Folk. I don't know why LGBT cinema isn't being made here. Not many LGBT films come out of England. I think filmmakers are discouraged by the current recession. But if you get a good team behind you, independent films can be made through determination. With very little money, this one was.

Lastly, I asked Eyre-Morgan what were some of his favorite films and if there were any TV shows with which he's obsessed.

  • My favourite films are: The Rules of Attraction, (everyone thinks its rubbish I don't know why? I love it), Donnie Darko, Mysterious Skin and Milk. I've recently become obsessed with Dante's Cove. I can't stop watching it. I also am enjoying the new TV series Bates Motel.

If you want to read my review of Dream On, click here. For more information on Lloyd Eyre-Morgan, you can go to his Facebook page or follow him on Twitter @lemfilms.


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