Interview with Southcliffe director Sean Durkin
What is Southcliffe about?
Southcliffe is about how a fictional small town is affected by a tragic event, a shooting. It’s not the story of the killer, it’s the story of the journalist who goes back to Southcliffe to report on the tragedy and also it’s about the people left behind, the community. It’s about ordinary people.
Is that small town element a reflection of small British towns?
I don’t think so. When I received the script and read about the beautiful characters Tony had created, I just wanted to make something based on those people’s lives.
Did you find filming for television different to making movies?
Not at all, the whole preconception that making TV is different to film is ridiculous. You’re filming drama with great actors, so there is absolutely no difference.
You’ve been in the US for a long time, how do you find it?
I love being in the UK. I have lived in New York for 18 years, but coming back to England feels like home, and I still have the chance to catch up with a few Arsenal games!
Have you formed any strong relationships with any of the cast or crew?
I formed some fantastic relationships with both the cast and crew. When I started work on Southcliffe I didn’t know anyone at all so it was like starting at a new school. Luckily for me, we had an incredible cast and crew working on this project and as a result of everyone being so collaborative and open it was a wonderful experience.
When working with such sensitive themes would you say that as a Director you have responsibly to represent the different stages of grief in the truest light possible?
Absolutely, all I ever want to do is create truthful moment after truthful moment. That’s what directing is about; capturing something that is honest and engaging and I hope I have done that.
Did you find when making the drama there was a particular scene that stood out for you?
There are so many and each actor has their own moment that stands out but there was one image in episode two that particularly resonated with me. I can’t reveal it now as it would be too much of a spoiler so without going in to too much detail I have to say that this particular scene just contained one of those moments where everyone just knew what to do. I only had to shoot it twice. Whether it was a combination of great writing or acting everyone was completely in the moment and responded to one another perfectly. It was so effective and really captured the spirit of the show.