Whisper Loudly - Hush's Director Speaks

21 July 2008 by Rob Daniel

Hush 06Mark Tonderai, in the zone on location with HushYou may not know Mark Tonderai yet, but you will do if his movie debut is anything to go on.  A great road movie in the tradition of Duel and Breakdown, Hush transforms the rainswept lanes of the M1 into a hellish road to oblivion in which nothing is what it seems.

We caught up with former Radio 1 DJ Mark for a quicky, cheeky yabber about his nifty little shocker.

To read our review of the movie, click here.

Sky Movies:  Hush is your first film and you wrote a script with night shoots, rain, and action.  Would you do anything differently if you could do it again?

Mark Tonderai:  Not really…I did what I could with the limitations I had…your first film is a very expensive calling card and it really announced me to the world.Hush 08Star William Ash has the fright of his life

SM:  You’ve said the night shoots were killers.  As a director, how did you keep the cast and crew focussed and buoyant?

MK:  Everyone was too tired to be buoyant and a professional crew is just that. Professional. We had our fair share of snippers and insidoius folk but you get them everywhere…just make a note not to work with them again! To be fair because we had done so much prep we always had the boards to fall back on.

SM:  You’re also working with special FX (back projection, CGI) – how was this?

MK:  Sean Whelan at Filmgate is a genius who saved my film by doing work at cost and by doing lots of it at a deadline and always with a smile on his face. Special guy.

SM:  You’ve acted in the past, so how did you find directing the actors? 

Hush 01Hush keeps on truckin'MK:  Good actors you don't direct. You just tell 'em when they're going wrong. Good actors just are…as my whole troupe were.

SM:  William Ash has to carry the entire movie – what do you think he brought to his character?

MK:  Will is one of the finest actors we have in the UK. A brilliant conduit of the truth. (So is Chrissie by the way.) This film would be nothing without eitehr of them. I will always be indebted to them.

SM:  Did you shoot on film or HD?  What influenced this decision?

HD. It was part of the low budget scheme. Tape meant long takes. A good thing for me.

SM:  The film is in the same tradition as Duel, Breakdown, and Road Kill.  What new elements do you think you’ve brought to Hush?

Hush 05Hush co-star Christine BottomleyMK:  The world of toilet postering!

SM:  Finally, what advice would you give to aspiring writers / directors?
MK:  Know what you want to say. And if you belive it enough…never give up. Ever.

Hush is out now on DVD & Blu-ray.