Josh Allan is a Brisbane based writer and director. Recently, he released a short film called 2:32AM which has won multiple awards and screened at countless festivals. It is truly an incredible short-film about human connection and finding your place in the world. As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to grab an interview with Josh. Read on for our conversation about his short film, movies and his future.
What is 2:32Am about?
“It’s a short film about two lonely strangers learning to find that deeper connection that they’re both missing. Titus is this sort of rough around the edges, charismatic character that has an internal conflict he needs to address. Whereas Caleb is more of that reclusive Uni student who hasn’t made close friends.”
What was your process writing this short film?
“I find writing challenging. My process is kind of all over the place. It starts with messy feelings or ideas that I will start to write into a script. I have also learnt to integrate feedback a lot. My main process is trusting my intuition while also reaching out for help.”
What were the biggest challenges of creating an indie film and how you overcame them?
“I found that on set we had a limited time to shoot. It was difficult trying to work to a schedule while trying to preserve the quality. What I am always learning is to trust yourself, the material and the people around you. Trust amid the stress is key.”
How do you run your set?
“To me a lot of problems that you need to solve during production start in pre-production. I like to have in depth discussions before I get on set. Most of the tension on set comes from a lack of creative alignment. If someone is stressed or angry I just try and see it from their perspective.”
How you battle lack of motivation?
“The thing that helps me is if I am stuck on one project, I jump onto another temporarily. I am a filmmaker and I also do music, so I swap between them.”
What filmmakers inspire you
“Richard Linklater. I find the way he wrote stuff – from a very personal / semi-autobiographical place – very interesting. Rather than having an overt plot, conversation becomes the plot. In interviews for the Before Trilogy, he was saying the connection is cinematic enough.”
“Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. While they don’t influence my style, they inspired me to make films.”
Can you list four of your favourite movies?
“Manchester by the Sea I really like because my Dad and I connect through it. Short Term 12 I could watch that movie forever. One that has stuck with me and ignited something within was Whiplash. It showed me that a story based in the real world can be more anxiety inducing than a horror. Also, Kramer vs Kramer I clicked with it because my parents got divorced when I was that age.”
What’s next for you?
“I am one of the producers of an up-and-coming indie film studio. We have been making some micro short films and we have a drama/ thrill coming out called Sparring. It’s like a Whiplash style psychological thriller about a military guy being interrogated by a dictatorial figure.”
Where do you want Australian movies to move?
“Truthfully, I am not that wired into the Australian film industry and the trends. For me, I don’t feel much pressure to try and represent the whole country. It’s fine for filmmakers to make something that doesn’t have to be distinctively Australian. Also, I think filmmakers worry too much about what the market wants and appealing to a demographic.”
All photos by Millie Lawyer