Mark Stirton, Writer, Director, who produced his short film at the age of 25, – Spooked (1995), a psychological horror which was nominated for an award at the 1996 Glasgow film festival.With the goal of turning his hobby into a career, Mark studied broadcast media at Aberdeen College then worked as a cameraman / vision mixer for a local television station as well as at the same time developing several television pilots ideas which were produced on the AVID system;In 2003 he founded his own digital film production company, Stirton Productions, Hia latest film is he 2018 Dark Highlands, a tale of a Japanese artist who visits the Highlands to paint, but becomes the target of a sadistic killer.
For a few minutes in 2019, Mark took some time out for me to send him the Spending Time With..questions and its great to have him take part in my online article series.
What’s the most ‘starstruck’ you have been?
Meeting Tom Baker when I was 15.
What was one of the most memorable films you saw as a child?
Jaws. I was far too young and frightened out of my mind, but I never forgot that screening. I had no idea cinema could be that thrilling, and it seldom has been since.
What is one of the best pieces of advice you can remember being given?
I’m a working class director, actual advice was a bit thin on the ground. 3 films in and I still don’t think I’ve had any.
Have you ever gotten someone’s autograph? Which is the most memorable for you?
Not really. Brian Cox was in my last film and he’s plenty famous, but asking for an autograph seemed a bit tacky, so I didn’t.
Do you have any traditions that you have when you are involved in a project?
Finish the fucker. Plenty of low budget films never actually get finished, hell, the same goes for some expensive films. I like to finish. If I start a project, by God I’ll finish it.
What was the most recent book you read?
The adaptation of The Thing. Took years to find a copy!
Out of all the projects youve been involved with which one do you feel the most proud of?
One Day Removals. Partly because we were selected for Raindance and we had a really good London screening. But mostly because the film has a thick North East accent, which few, if any, other films have.
What film scares you?
The Blair Witch Project frightened the piss out of me
What is the ONE single coolest movie geek thing you own?
The JFK screenplay signed by cast. I won it.
When you are being interviewed Do you prefer ‘interviews’ face to face, over the phone/podcast or by email?
Face to face. I did a radio one when the interviewer was in Glasgow and I was in Aberdeen, Scotland. That sucked.
When a film or TV show comes out that you are in, what one person do you want to watch it first? Don’t care.
What was the last album you listened to?
St Pepper this afternoon.
With regards to your own projects?What are you working on that you can tell me about?
Fuck all. I take more time between projects than Kubrick.
Do you remember who got your first autograph?
If you can sit down with any one living person and chat to them for two hours? Who would you choose?
Russell T Davis. He seems so nice!
What’s the most difficult thing about your creative journey?
Writing the screenplay. I hate writing. But, without that bit I’d have bugger all to direct, so write I do.
And, the flipside. What’s the most enjoyable for you?
Sliding a finished copy into my DVD collection. Love that bit.
Many thanks to Mark for this article, and to learn more about him and also say hi. Head to Twitter https://twitter.com/Markstirton