Matt Hookings is an actor, producer, writer and founder of London-based production company Camelot Films.
He recently produced and acted in The Obscure Life of the Grand Duke of Corsica (the story of an architect – Timothy Spall – who is commissioned by an eccentric billionaire – Peter Stormare – to design his own mausoleum), playing Saint Francis of Assisi and Leos, an actor himself playing Francis. The Upcoming had the chance to hear his thoughts about the film and the industry.
What about the script of The Obscure Life of the Grand Duke of Corsica stood out to you?
The script was great, the script was really good. The film itself was toned down slightly, but the script was very poetic and direct, and in your face, and funny and candid – all those wonderful things that you want a script to be – so it jumped out. It’s also a multi-narrative story, and the way that Daniel [Graham, the screenwriter] connected each string of the characters in the story was really impressive, especially on the page. It was actually much more challenging to bring it to life and connect on screen than it was on the page because he did such a good job.
Would you say that Camelot Films has any sort of cinematic identity? If so, what is it?
No, I think I made a decision a long time ago to just gravitate towards making stuff and investing in stuff that’s just good. It doesn’t necessarily have to have a certain genre or a cinematic appeal. There are certain things that personally I’m attracted to, and certain things that I’m less attracted to, but that doesn’t mean to say that if I’m not a massive fan of horror films, I wouldn’t make a horror film.
It’s all about the script – the script is the blueprint, the foundation. If the script is good, then you can build so much onto that. And if there is a vision and theme and genre already in place off the back of the script, then it’s already making your job easier, because it’s all there.
I am gravitating towards true stories with the next couple of things that we’ve got lined up, and we’re really going to try and connect with people in that sense, but we don’t have the mindset of “right, this is this is the only kind of genre or focus that we’re making”, no.