INTERVIEW

Layan Nourouz is Co-Producer of HORIZON.

Layan Nourouz – Answer our questions!

What is your background and how did you get in to your profession/role?
My first degree was in Film and theatre studies 11 years ago. At the time film courses were primitive compared to what they are today, it wasn't a very common choice, so I struggled to find the opportunity to break into the industry. I did a second degree in adult nursing then had an unexpected opportunity to go back to my film origins with a script written by Brit actress Ayesha Antoine. This resulted in the formation of Nutty Squirrel Films. Our first short Frayed went on to be a huge success, screening at festivals around the world and it was even picked up by a distribution company. After that I was offered more work and Nutty Squirrel snowballed into the company it is today, after just two years. My original interest was actually in being a negative cutter believe it or not, but now I am principally a producer and have even begun doing some hair and make up work to keep my projects varied. I actually did a little bit of this for Horizon!

How did your involvement with Horizon come about?
I first met Paul Dudbridge on a previous short film we worked on called 'The Levels', on which he was the operator and DP, this project is currently in post and was actually co-directed by Anthony O'Callaghan who makes an appearance in the show. Paul approached me to co-produce Horizon, covering for his usual producer who was unfortunately unavailable. I knew many of the people involved already from past projects so was very excited to rejoin the team, as well as do a web series which was a first for me.

What is your process? How do you approach each episode?
I approached each episode one step at a time. It is very easy to become overwhelmed if you look at such a challenging and demanding project as a whole, so I broke each one into segments and listed easy tasks, difficult but attainable tasks, and finally unattainable tasks (be this due to cost, practicality etc...) The point of my method is to trouble shoot and if something just was not going to work or would push us over budget, I would substitute. Organisation is crucial to keep the production running smoothly. There are bumps in every film shoot, especially one that is so fast-paced, but staying calm, delegating and enjoying the process keeps the production going.

What have you learnt during the time working on the show? Working on Horizon has been an incredible education for me. Working with such a hard working and efficient team, I learnt how to manage my time to be efficient while also remaining flexible and prepared for any last minute changes or challenges. Horizon was also the first production I've worked on that used this many extras and stunt sequences, so it was fascinating to be able to watch these scenes get put together and see how that all worked.

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