David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

YOUNG DIRECTOR HENRY BUSBY STRENGTHENS RATTLING STICK'S OFFER.

Rattling Stick have added US-based Henry Busby to their roster, and they have high hopes for the young director.

DAVID caught up with Busby a few days ago and found him in good form despite a debilitating cold and a busy schedule. He's an intriguing character whose disarming modesty is belied by the rapidity of his ascent.

The first thing you notice about him is his accent or, to be strictly accurate, the absence of it. He's from Alabama but there's remarkably little twang when he speaks. Intriguingly, he says he and his sister, both artistically-inclined, sound like they are strangers in their home state, while his two brothers, unburdened by any muse, sport strong accents.

He wonders if it's something to do with the way he and his sister perceive their surroundings, with the disinterested eye of an observer.


Completing those two projects was my film school... as a young director, you need to get your ass kicked a lot, and get in big trouble.

 ”

Dad was 'a military guy' and his mother 'a school librarian'. Both have an artistic side - his father has turned his attention to sculpture since he left the service and Henry describes him as "one of the best story tellers I've ever met... really, really funny. He has a great way of just pulling you into whatever he's talking about."



Mom is a natural storyteller too and he says there are a lot of teachers in his extended family and that they're "all interesting people to be around" which had a big impact on him as he was growing up.

The move to New York City a few years ago has reframed Henry Busby's relationship with his home state and it now has a different hold on him: "It's always going to be a big part of my life but I don't really feel like I fit there any more, but every time I'm back there, I just feel really intensely that there's some kind of connection I'm never gonna escape."



Busby admits - with a degree of embarrassment which suggests it's a familiar confession - that he really isn't much of a film buff. There was no driving desire to direct films in his youth when he largely expressed himself through painting. But after a bit of zigging and zagging in New York City, he decided that he'd like to give film-making a go.


Every time I'm back there, I just feel really intensely that there's some kind of connection I'm never gonna escape.

 ”

When he says that it wasn't as easy as he hoped, it sounds as though he's admitting he still had a lot to learn but actually he's referring to the dearth of opportunities for a completely unknown, untested director. Go figure!



He says there were two key opportunities which provided him with the chance to prove himself... the first of which, he readily admits, came his way long before he was ready for it. A friend who worked at NBC Sport told him about a plan to make a documentary about a heavyweight boxing champion who happened to come from Busby's hometown. Despite his lack of experience, he landed the gig.

It was a trial by fire as Busby had to learn an unfamiliar camera while he was shooting with it. Two weeks later, he was back in New York and figuring out how to edit a thirty minute film using software he didn't know how to operate because he'd only just bought it.

It's clear from the way he describes this 'flying by the seat of his pants' experience that it was exhilarating and terrifying in equal measure.



The success of the NBC Sport film led to a small documentary for Dick's Sporting Goods, and suddenly he was up and running: "Completing those two projects was my film school... as a young director, you just really need to get your ass kicked a lot, and get in big trouble."

How does he feel about becoming 'the sports guy'? "I grew up playing sports, I still keep up with sports. If you had asked me when I was 22, that would have been like the absolutely dream. And it still is a dream, I just don't like being boxed in.

"I just want to see good scripts. I think what I can do in the sports space is bring something a little bit different to that world... and it's something I can do in the commercial space as well."

For more on Henry Busby, contact Josie Juneau on 020 7851 2000 or via email using josie@rattlingstick.com.

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David Reviews - Lovely Lenzie Ltd, Woodbourne House, Seven Sisters, Lenzie, G66 3AW. Telephone: +44 141 776 7766. Editor: Jason Stone.