'Venom' tells the gothic tale of an elderly widow, her cat Ziggy, and their confrontation with the insect world. See the trailer HERE.
A full biography for John is available at the BBC Collective HERE.
How did you come to work with Mark Tuthill and James Mather?
I met James about 10 years ago while shooting a pop promo where he came in at the last minute and saved my ass (my original DP had gone awol). Since then we've gone on to shoot dozens of commercials and promos together, including my first short film 'Two Fat Ladies'.
I also met Mark through the day job. He's a copywriter in an advertising agency here in Dublin and we'd done some commercials together over the years and gotten to know each other quite well. We're both obsessed with movies and talked about trying to get something off the ground for sometime before he finally came to me with the script for 'Venom' and I thought BINGO!
"...our insect wranglers would arrive on set carrying buckets full of ants, spiders etc..."
In regard to Venom, can you tell us a little about the “insect wrangling”? How many takes were necessary to achieve the shots featuring live insects?
Not as many as you'd think. Strange as it may sound I'd worked with our insect wranglers before (again on a commercial) and knew what these mad geniuses were capable of. Of course we decided what we wanted to capture in-camera and what would have to be done in post in advance of the shoot so everyone was well prepped. On the day once we got the shots set up and lit our insect wranglers would arrive on set carrying buckets full of ants, spiders etc and various suction devices to retreive them and we'd shoot 4 maybe 5 takes and that would usually be it. As with any short film time was of the essence so we didn't have many chances to gather our cast back up and go again.