Director Dexter Fletcher on acting, creative storytelling and nostalgia

    Author Zoe Aresti

Director Dexter Fletcher joined Digital Cinema Media’s Head of Film, Tom Linay, at Advertising Week Europe to discuss the success of Eddie The Eagle, his career as a filmmaker, the need for creative storytelling and our love for nostalgic stories. 

Check out photos from the session.

2015 saw three of the biggest films released in the UK - Jurassic World, SPECTRE and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. What do they have in common? Apart from huge box office numbers, they play on our sense of nostalgia. 

One of the best films of 2016 to date is Eddie The Eagle, a film that recalls very vividly and expertly a time that Digital Cinema Media’s Head of Film, Tom Linay, is very fond of, the period leading up to the 1988 Olympics. Director Dexter Fletcher joined Tom at DCM’s Advertising Week Europe 2016 session to discuss the success of Eddie The Eagle, his career as a filmmaker and our love for nostalgic stories. 

Dexter told a packed session how proud he was to make Eddie The Eagle

“Making a film is a huge endeavour. It’s my third film but what’s particularly gratifying about Eddie The Eagle is that it’s the first of my films that has reached a wider audience, it’s gone around the world,” he said. 

“Lots of people remember the time fondly and there’s a whole a generation of people who I suppose don’t know anything about it, so it’s one of the rare occasions where the adults can say to the kids “I know something about this” and gives the older generation some currency.”

Fletcher explained that to make entertaining films, he always aims to tell a human story. Small reminders of an era are shorthand for memory and the more you delve into the period you’re representing, the more fun you can have with the nostalgia element and detail. 

People are desperate to connect, to feel experiences in this age where we’re constantly bombarded with information on what’s happening, and connecting with the past resonates strongly with us. 

Fletcher further recounted how his career transformed from the age of six when he started acting to the more natural environment of directing after years of experience:

“I think have a broad view of what everyone does on the set and how that operates together as a piece of machinery to deliver the end result. […] I get on well with actors and like to create a safe environment for them to feel like they can take risks and do their best work. 

“When people get nervous it kills creativity, and creativity is absolutely essential in mounting any kind of endeavour.”

With Eddie The Eagle on track to becoming the biggest British film to date, Fletcher and Tom discussed why the cinema is still a special place to go to watch films. Quite simply, there’s always going to be a need for a universal space where people come together and enjoy a joint experience. 

For Fletcher, cinemas are our modern day arenas, and at DCM, we couldn’t agree more. 

Watch the full session here

Watch the trailer for Eddie The Eagle here: