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Spotlight On

Rob Luke, Bruce 2012 - Independent Film Maker and Vlog Editor

Britiain's Youngest Feature Film Maker

I’m a London based filmmaker, mostly working on web-based content for corporate and commercial clients, alongside getting my debut feature film out to numerous film festivals around the world.

On leaving Gordonstoun in 2012 I went straight to university in London, where I studied Digital Film Production at Ravensbourne. I didn’t even consider taking a year out, as I was so determined on going to Ravensbourne and being the next Tarantino or Danny Boyle! Looking back now it was the students who had tried to work in the industry and travelled a bit who took the uni work a lot more seriously - I didn’t really know what was going on so figured I’d just try and make a full length movie while I was still at college!  

It's a wrap!   Sasquatch DVD cover

During my second year I started to produce the movie: a zero budget comedy called Sasquatch. It’s about two young men stranded in the Lake District, who decide to trick the locals into believing in Bigfoot, by dressing up in a costume and scaring people deep in a local forest. This resulted in the village committee hiring a hunter to kill the so-called ‘Bigfoot’. I produced the film with my Gordonstoun drama classmate/Sinai service project buddy, Bernie Paget, and with my flat mate Max Boulton completing the trio. By producing Sasquatch and premiering it in January 2016 we became Britain’s youngest feature film makers, which I suppose counts for very little if the film is rubbish, but still we’ll take that title. The London premiere followed in July at the Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square, which went down far better than we could have ever hoped, selling out the venue, with two screens playing simultaneously. Throughout the process from the initial concept to the most recent screening there’s been a heavy Gordonstoun influence. It was in Los Angeles where Bernie and I came up with the idea for the film, while on holiday visiting our classmate Tom Williams and his family, including our drama teacher Mr Wills. The soundtrack was provided by Hunter & The Bear (a band setup by two OGs), who I’d never actually crossed paths with until they agreed to give us their music, they even called by the Lake District to film a cameo. A large chunk of our crowd-funded budget of £8,500 was thanks to many Gordonstoun parents and even recent leavers’ generosity. When we eventually had the world premiere in the Lake District, at a 200-seater venue in Kendal, on a cold January evening, the number of OGs traveling from all corners of the UK to be there was really something that stood out for Bernie and I.

Opening night in London

When I started at Gordonstoun for Sixth Form in 2010, my sole purpose for joining was to be part of the infamous drama department. I’d seen shows at the Edinburgh Fringe of which Nigel Williams had produced, and was then at a school planning to discontinue it’s Theatre Studies programme. It would have been very easy for me to stay there and do the occasional school play, but the lure of being part of such quality shows at Gordonstoun was too much to ignore.

Q&A session

I was also a very keen rugby player and had made friends on the scholarship weekend with a few of that year's team, though during the summer before starting I foolishly broke my ankle playing tennis! I’d figured that perhaps for the first term’s activity I would take it steady on my ankle and choose swimming, before easing my way back onto the rugby pitch. However the Gordonstoun spirit was soon made very clear when I met my tutor, and 1st XV coach, Mr Brown. When over a cup of tea and shortbread in the Bruce house common room he asked,

‘I hear you’re a rugby player?’

‘I am yes, not done much in a while after a tennis-‘

‘Great! You have a game this Saturday, away at Orkney.’

And that was that. It was this exchange on my first day that made me realise I wasn’t there just for the drama productions, that would have been a huge waste of what Gordonstoun had to offer, there was absolutely everything to have a go at and I should make sure I’d tried it all before Sixth Form was over. Four days later I was on an island with, what appeared to be, a man-bear of an Orcadian running at me, it was brilliant!

A big thanks must go to my teachers and staff, as I had never made a film until Gordonstoun and now I do it everyday!

To read more Alumni articles, follow this link.


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