Jason Flemyng: Ten Thousand Hours – Professional Perspectives

On Thursday 18th May, Central Film School had the pleasure and privilege of hosting a guest lecture and Q&A session with renowned screen actor Jason Flemyng. Jason has worked in over a hundred and fifty films and television shows, including notable roles in Boiling Point, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Snatch and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. In discussion with our tutors Devon and Robyn, Jason spoke about his decades of experience in the industry, on both the independent and studio scale, focusing on how he has managed to remain versatile as an actor and how our emerging filmmakers can communicate with and get the best performances possible from their cast. As an actor, he truly has earnt his ten thousand hours of mastery.

There were several humorous anecdotes about the complexities of make-up and practical effects (which look great on screen but can reportedly be a nightmare to work in), as well as a director’s unique process to create a final film. Jason also spent time speaking about his experiences voice-acting (a recent episode of Love, Death and Robots, directed by David Fincher, comes to mind). Jason has seen it all in the industry, and the experiences he recounted set many of our students minds and hearts buzzing with delight.

He additionally spoke about his own experiences as a director, having helmed the 2017 vampire action-comedy Eat Locals, and what he’d learnt from working with great modern directors, including David Fincher, Matthew Vaughn, the Hughes brothers and Guy Ritchie. He took care to remind everyone that filmmaking is above all a collaborative process, and that the very best directors trust their creative team and actors to bring their A-game, knowing when to take their feet off the pedal and let them deliver what they can. A great piece of practical advice from Jason; if an actor you’re directing is struggling to deliver what you want, get them to do something they’re good at. If they can’t cry but they can laugh, make them laugh, because at least the performance will be real.

The Central Film School is incredibly thankful to Jason for giving his time and proud to say that our doors will always be open to him. We look forward to having him back again as soon as possible.