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GUAP Interviews: Directors of Tribeca nominated LGBTQ+ Arthouse Silent Film “His Hands” [@dariusshu] & [@ActorArronBlake]

GUAP Interviews: Directors of Tribeca nominated LGBTQ+ Arthouse Silent Film “His Hands” [@dariusshu] & [@ActorArronBlake]

His Hands

Officially selected for the Tribeca Film Festival 2019. “His Hands” is about two men, totally different in both age and outlook, have the strangest encounter of their lives. A caring friend? Calculating enemy? Who’s intentions are honourable? Whose is corrupt? Is the relationship compatible or incompatible? Sick or ultimately indefensible? The decision is yours. Directed by Arron Blake & Darius Shu. Starring Arron BlakePhilip Brisebois. Check out the trailer below! Available to watch on Amazon Prime.

Tell us a little about yourself?

Arron: I was born on the Isle of Wight and growing up there I had a huge feeling of being cut off from the rest of the world, so I would create stories in my head and my imagination was really stimulated. It was also the home of Academy Award Winning Director Anthony Minghella so it must be in the island air. I feel grateful to the Islands magical powers it had over me growing up as a kid. 

Darius: I started off my career as a photographer shooting portraits and fashion and I found this love for visual storytelling and filmmaking through moving imagery. I transitioned to become a cinematographer and to date, I have shot three award-winning films that have premiered in international film festivals in the US, UK, Australia, and Asia. 

What is “His Hands” about?

Arron: His Hands is about starring your fears straight in the eyes, face to face, but being prepared for possible consequences that may arise whether you see them or not. The fear of ageing, loneliness, isolation, and giving into temptation.

Darius: It’s a silent psychological thriller about two men of different age meeting for the strangest encounter of their lives. The unique aspect of the film is that it features zero dialogue throughout as we only use the power of sound, music, performances, and cinematography to tell the story. The film is open to the viewer’s interpretation for them to build their own narrative.  

What was the significance of making “His Hands” a silent film?

Arron: We wanted to create a film that spoke to an audience with a visual language. Making the watcher feel they had just witnessed a conversation when in fact they hadn’t. 


Darius: It’s all about pushing the boundaries of filmmaking and being creative with visual storytelling. We find it refreshing to create a modern silent film. 

What are your thoughts on LGBTQ representation in cinema & TV?

Arron: It’s very important. More so than ever. I used to be scared to address such issues surrounding the LQBTQ+ in film and my career, stupidly. We matter, We are not invisible and we never will be.  If I can open people’s minds with film and shine a light on a new world I’m going to do that and do that I will. 


Darius: We are incredibly lucky to live in an age where LGBTQ+ representation has seen a significant improvement and having their stories told in films and TV compared to many years ago. Even though we do see many films and TV having this representation in their stories, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t fight for more as we should always keep championing these stories and incorporating different cultures and ethnics…. using art to be the voice of it. It all just means we will have more exciting stories to tell and to also ensure the next generation of young people don’t have to shy away from being who they are and being closeted from society. 

Why did you decide to make a film with only a £400 budget and how did you manage it?

Arron: We wanted to challenge ourselves, can it be done etc? I’m pleased to say it can if you have the imagination and someone else who gets you. That’s all you need … oh and a camera. 


Darius: We only have £400 in our pockets to work with, so we asked ourselves, how can we still make something visually beautiful? It’s always a plus point that Arron and I work on the very same vision and wavelength on how we would like the direction of the film to be. We were only a team of three. I had my own camera and I was doing three things at once such as framing, moving, and focusing the camera as well as co-directing it on set, and Arron would also double up on doing the production design, co-directing and acting in the film. It was majorly filmed with natural light. There is even a shot of an aerial skyline view of London and The Shard that was shot on an iPhone 6! It’s great how we were able to pull it off at the end with our incredible teamwork and collaboration and making use of everything that we have at the palm of our hands!


How do you think the Covid:19 pandemic will affect the future of film?

Arron: I believe once we get back on our feet it will be stronger than ever. People always want stories, they need them to understand and make sense of it all. They need that escape. They always will. 

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Darius: Covid-19 has certainly caused lots of disruptions in productions. In a way moving forward, I think we will have to find new ways to work on set and embracing this new normality… as they say, the show must go on! This could be a time where support for independent films is crucial. And with the rise of streaming platforms, I also hope there will be more opportunities for these streaming platforms to take notice of independent films and take them on.. it all gives indie filmmakers the opportunity to showcase their films to a wider audience. We must keep finding creative solutions to keep the film industry going!

Are you still creating in self-isolation?

Arron: Yes. Since the lockdown, we haven’t stopped. It’s in our blood to keep creating. I’ve been writing a play and also we are very excited to announce we’ve been working on our first feature. Meeting over Zoom and FaceTime. No excuses to not keep going. Ha! 


Darius: Yes, being creative helps me a lot in isolation. I’m always thinking of the next project and what is the next big thing that we could do. We are working on our debut feature with projects currently in development under my independent arthouse production company, Silverprince Pictures. 

What would be your advice to young filmmakers who want to make a small budget film that is as high in quality and impactful as yours?

Arron: Just do it. 


Darius: With resources available today within the reach of our hands, there’s no excuse not to do something!

His Hands

Check out the GUAP Arts & Culture section, to discover new art, film, and creative individuals. 

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