At the start of our interview, filmmaker Tom George admits he still can’t believe he’s here promoting his feature debut, See How They Run.
The British director has swiftly gone from helming hit comedy series This Country to making a Hollywood movie starring Sam Rockwell, Saoirse Ronan, Adrien Brody, and more – a huge move he’s still processing.
George told Zavvi: “I had just finished making the final series of This Country when [studio] Searchlight sent me the script. I loved it, met with them, and thought ‘they’re not going to give me this film as that’d be crazy’.
“I only went as I thought if it’s a good meeting I’d be on their mind for future projects. But it went really well, I shared my ideas of how the script could be further developed, and put together a visual treatment.
“Before I knew it, I was pitching to the American team and got attached to the film two weeks before the first lockdown. At that point I thought ‘well, that’s that’, but then it gathered momentum and it started feeling like we might actually make it.”
And they did, meaning this month audiences can get wrapped up in the mysterious murder of a Hollywood director, set against the backdrop of 1950s London.
With this being a period we have seen countless times on-screen before, George knew he wanted to do something different with it visually, making this clear to the studio as soon as he signed up for the project.
Fortunately, the fact the story takes place within the theatre world provided plenty of creative opportunities, something George took advantage of:
“I wasn’t interested in making the sepia-tinted version of post-war London that we have seen that so many times before, and I felt that this world of West End theatre could be vibrant and exciting.
“Also, you have these two monochromatic looking police officers entering that world, where they’re completely out of their depth, so it was a great opportunity for a lovely contrast.
“It was also important that it felt like the 1950s but had a contemporary sensibility to it, so there is a slight artifice to the framing.”
In the latest edition of our free digital magazine The Lowdown, George discussed all things reinventing the murder mystery genre while paying homage to it.