Short film Lucky Break, written and directed by Bournemouth University (BU) graduate John Addis, has been nominated for a BAFTA.
Lucky Break is one of five films nominated for a 2021 British Film Academy Award (BAFTA) in the British Short Film category. The film was written and directed by John Addis who studied BA (Hons) Television Production at BU before graduating in 2007.
Although he studied TV Production, John always wanted to work in film and since graduating he has worked in editorial roles on big budget films including Avengers: Age of Ultron and the Grand Budapest Hotel.
Alongside what John calls his “day job” as an editor he has pursued directing, collaborating with fellow BU graduates on short films and music promotions before eventually writing and directing Lucky Break.
John describes Lucky Break as “a comedy with heart” and said: “It's very short and very silly but I hope there's some humanity in there too. It's about not taking each other for granted, not judging people and finding allies in unlikely places.”
The BAFTA nomination cements John’s film as one of the best British short films of the year and demonstrates the skills that John has developed as a filmmaker through his career. Lucky Break is up against four other films for the title of Best British Short Film which will be announced at the BAFTA ceremony on 11 April.
John described what it feels like to be nominated: “It's ridiculous to be nominated, I'm obviously incredibly happy but equally confused. There are so many shorts I've seen which are brilliant and should be on there but anyway it feels great and I just hope I get the opportunity to keep making films because of it.”
His filmmaking journey started out at BU, with John initially studying Computer Animation and Visualisation but he quickly realised the course wasn’t for him and changed to Television Production. He has fond memories of his time at BU, not least because it was where he met his wife.
It is the work experience during his degree that John credits with shaping the direction of his career explaining: “I did my final year work experience working as a floor runner on the Matthew Vaughn film Stardust. It gave me first-hand experience on a high budget film set and I loved it.
“I can trace pretty much every job I've ever had back to that work experience. I heard that one of the runners had gone to work on Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox and I was a huge Wes Anderson fan so I wrote a gross, sycophantic cover letter to go along with my CV and ended up getting a job in IT on that film.
“I was rubbish at IT but it got my foot in the door and once I was in I managed to segue into the Editorial Department. I went on to work in Editorial on a mix of live action and stop motion films such as Frankenweenie, Grand Budapest Hotel, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Isle of Dogs. Slowly, very slowly, I worked my way up”.
“When asked what advice he would give to aspiring filmmakers, John draws on a lesson from creating Lucky Break. He said: I'd written a script which got it onto a development scheme with the British Film Institute. This scheme brought the project along but in the end, it wasn't selected for funding. Then the producer had to move onto other projects so I was stuck with no producer and no funding.
“You get used to rejection when looking for funding but by that stage I just really wanted to make something so I took a risk and funded it myself. So, I guess the advice would be if you believe in something then it's worth a risk. It might not work out but at least you'll know you put everything into it.”
The full list of BAFTA nominees can be found on the BAFTAs website. To find out if Lucky Break gets lucky at the BAFTAs, you can watch the award ceremony on the BBC next month.