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HomeLifestyleArt & CultureMovie magic: An interview with comedy filmmakers Leon Chrimes and Wesley Gee

Movie magic: An interview with comedy filmmakers Leon Chrimes and Wesley Gee


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Jamie Morris talks to the duo behind the wacky agoraphobia short Aaron and The Wizard, after it won Best in Category at Repton FilmFest…

Mojatu: How did you meet?

Wesley Gee: We were both at uni – I was playing the piano, and Leon came and sat with me, and he says, “What are we playing, then?”

Leon Chrimes: I can’t play any musical instruments, so it was an empty self-invitation, because I knew I wouldn’t be able to do anything – and that’s pretty much how we make films together.

Mojatu: How do you know when you want to turn one of your ideas into a film?

LC: As we’ve gotten older and left uni, we’ve had less chance to hang out with each other. So, when we do have time, it’s like, “Let’s make a film together – and we have today to make this”.

WG: If it’s an idea that I can think about for long enough without hating it, and it makes me laugh as I’m thinking of it, that’s usually a good go-ahead to commit to it.

Leon Chrimes as agoraphobic protagonist Aaron Sharons

Mojatu: So you make the films that you’d want to watch?

LC: For me, it’s to make the films I’d have fun making. Most of the creative element comes from Wes – he’s usually the one directing and editing, and I’m just having fun being there.

WG: It’s not necessarily the ones I’d want to see – it’s the ones I’d otherwise never see. That drives me.

Mojatu: What made you decide to include a mental health theme in your latest film?

LC: I found something on YouTube called Puff the Magic Dragon, and I thought it’d be funny to do a spoof of that. How can we get a magical character to interact with a “little boy” character, even though I’m a grown man? So we needed a character that needed help.

WG: The “boys don’t talk” moment was something I pulled out of a hat at the last minute. It’s such a key part of society now that, if you’re making a film, those undertones are going to work their way into it.

Mojatu: There’s a scene where you’re performing a musical number on the bus. Was the driver in on it?

LC: Not at all. Wes, dressed as the wizard, just got on that bus and sang. You got quite a few funny looks, right?

Wesley Gee as the mysterious figure known simply as ‘The Wizard’

WG: I actually got treated better while I was dressed as the wizard – some guy said, “Good luck, whatever you’re doing”. We got a lot of positive reinforcement.

Mojatu: Where did you shoot the film?

LC: It was filmed in Creswell, where Wes hails from. 

WG: It’s a small village, about forty minutes from Derby. It’s a relatively quiet place where you can dress as a wizard without much backlash. The final scene is filmed at an archaeological dig site, Creswell Crags, where I work.

Mojatu: Do you feel like this project has been a success?

LC: This film feels like it’s taken off more than previous ones, and it’s been really nice to have a wider circle of people engage with what we’re making. I hope from here on out, people are more invested in our work.

WG: For me, this film is evidence that you can make a film purely for fun, and other people will watch it and enjoy it just as much. I don’t know if it’ll get any bigger from here, but no matter what happens, it’s symbolic that we’re getting better at it.

Aaron and The Wizard is available to watch on YouTube

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