Guy Soulsby Channels His Inner Demon for 'Devil Makes Work' Short
Park Village Director Guy Soulsby premiered his short-film Devil Makes Work last week at Framestore to a packed cinema filled with agencies, producers and creatives.
The project was a real labour of love for Guy, from the original discussions to completion; it has been two years in the making as the idea was incredibly ambitious. Guy adds “I never wanted to make ‘just another short-film’ – I wanted to make something that had a purpose, a stepping stone, possessing a real filmic quality that would look more like a feature; and from the responses at the screening we certainly achieved that.”
Devil Makes Work depicts the world through the eyes of the Devil, played by British film and TV star Shaun Dooley. Dressed in a filthy, once-white suit and cast upon a throne of tyres, the Devil delivers a sinister monologue, revealing his twisted take on our hopes and dreams. He debates life, love and struggle together with the sacrifices we make for success. It takes inspiration from films such as Angel Heart, a firm favourite of Guy’s along with Jacob’s Ladder, Apocalypse Now, Evil Dead and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, as well as an abundance of other films, books, religious sources and artistic works.
This isn’t your normal short film, more like that of a director who has a desire and aspiration for higher heights, it could be classed as a mini movie not too dissimilar to something that the folks in the distant land of Hollywood might sit up straight for. Guy says, “You don’t usually get to make something about the Devil in the commercial world! Horror is a great genre to show your skills, you get to explore good and evil, but at the same time, with this film, create an engaging story peppered with visual effects, compelling and detailed characters and incredibly dark visuals.
Despite his love of directing commercials, the freedom of this personal project allowed Guy to break away from an industry in which directors are often pigeonholed and have to create a specialised style for which they become known. Whilst he remains passionate about creating commercials, the short film adds another skill to an already talented armoury.
“Commercials are great and I want to do a lot more of them, it’s that knowledge of shortform, the 30” or 60” spot, which influenced the film, keeping it short, with a total running time of just over 7 minutes and making the scenes sharp and punchy leaving the viewer wanting more.” Guy, added ”A brilliant way to show one’s true creativity without boundaries is to create something oneself; a personal project and, in this case, a variety of aspects such as the striking visual look, prosthetics and creature creation, the heavy post and visual effects, elaborate set dressings, the complex music and sound design and so on can all be translated into future commercial work.”
The project, which is Guy’s first focussed short-film since moving to London 10 years ago, has been a massive undertaking and required the help of a lot of industry friends and colleagues. With no financial backing - a hugely talented, collaborative effort was required from over 100 people, all of whom contributed to the film by giving up their personal time and putting forward their skills for the film’s production. A host of production and post-production companies assisted with the project, including Take Two, Panalux, Love High Speed, ENVY, UNIT, MPC, SNK STUDIOS and FOUND.
Producer Pete Ryan commented: - “Guy’s enthusiasm and passion were the back bone of this project. The creative idea was clear throughout and it was evident that this was no usual short film we were all making. The transition from storyboards to screen with no compromise in production values shows that with determination and perseverance anything is possible.”
The time and effort it’s taken Guy to complete the film has clearly been worth it as the responses have been hugely positive. Even with such a dark concept people really connected with the story and imagery, creating a buzz at the screening ‘what next’ some asking, others keen to know if there were plans to turn this into a feature.
Guy has forged a successful career in the commercial industry by specialising in the areas of sport, lifestyle and performances. He’s worked with a range of top actors and athletes, including Wayne Rooney, Mo Farah and Paula Radcliffe, and has directed in a number of locations around the world – including the UK, Europe, LA, Las Vegas, China and Canada.
By adding Devil Makes Work to an already illustrious commercial CV, Guy wants to continue working on creative projects and looking to the future, Guy comments “I think that’s the thing – strike while the iron’s hot and keep that momentum going. I’ve always had the mentality that no-one’s going to give it to you, you can’t sit on your hands waiting for jobs, you have to go out there, meet people, connect with the industry and even make your own projects to get ahead. You’ve always got to be fighting, pushing yourself and showing people something new to get opportunities – you’ve got to keep knocking on doors!”
Director: Guy Soulsby
Production Company: Park Village
Category: Music video , Short films