I am often asked why I chose the career of a filmmaker. I regularly ponder over this question, as it’s a legitimate one. Through my mental ramblings trying to come up with an answer to impress the person asking, the real reason is simply related to my favourite film, Reservoir Dogs.
Surprisingly it wasn’t the film itself that first captured my innocent six-year-old mind, but the now iconic Reservoir Dogs poster on the VHS box. All of my older cousins and brothers were spending the weekend together – a real ‘boys night’ – and with that age old tradition came adult rated films, junk food and cigarettes. They were all older then me (but still younger than 18) and had meticulously planned this evening of adolescent debauchery.
All they needed was a fake I.D and a flat cap for disguise, (apparently this was what you needed to make you look older) and we all waited until their parents had fallen asleep. The envoy crept out and walked ten miles to the petrol station, returning stealthily with their goods. The gang smoked their cheap cigarettes, coughing and sputtering, and my older cousins winked at me and unveiled the prize of their mission: Reservoir Dogs.
I was allowed to hold the VHS and I examined it in all its glory. The imagery on the cover had an instant impression on me, and I uttered the word ‘cool,’ not really knowing what it meant, but knowing that it felt right to describe the object in my small hands. I closed my eyes, imagining what the men in the sharp black suits would be doing, and I felt a tug as the VHS box was snapped out from my hands. I was pushed out the room just as quick. Dazed, I looked at them in anger as the door closed in my face, hearing echoes of, “piss off to bed, it’s not for little kids.”
Dejected, I muttered the few obscenities I knew as I walked to my temporary bedroom. I lay awake that night wondering about the film and why I wasn’t allowed to watch it, and I cursed myself for being a kid and wondered which of my cousins I would beat up first when I became a big strong adult. By the morning I had completely forgotten all about my first encounter with Reservoir Dogs and I got busy going on mindless adventures for the rest of the summer.
Many years later, I stumbled across Reservoir Dogs sandwiched in a mountain of DVD’s in a bargain box at a supermarket, and the same imagery that I remembered as a child caught my eye. Knowing full well that no one could stop me from watching it this time, I purchased the film. Studying the cover as I waited in line to pay for it triggered childhood memories from the weekend I stayed with my cousins. Arseholes! Excitedly I arrived home and wacked it into the DVD player, little realising that I would become so engrossed that I would miss my favourite dinner, okra curry with white boiled rice. What a film! The dialogue, the acting and the flow of the story back and forth really gripped me, and it was the first time that I wondered about the people behind the camera.
Searching for answers, I read the blurb and came across Quentin Tarantino. Who the hell was this Tarantino guy, who had produced this perfect piece of entertainment? In a moment of clarity I knew that I didn’t want to be the next Tarantino, I wanted to be Hugh Mann Adamson: Producer, Writer and Director. I wasn’t even quite sure what a director did, but I knew I was destined to be one. I wanted to produce a film that kept audiences captivated and constantly guessing. More then anything, I wanted my films to have a conscious impact on people, encouraging them to question life, and lastly to be fucking entertained in the cinema, at home, on the bus or train or in the wild somewhere on their tablet.