Were you ever worried about nepotism?
Sacha: “Dad and I have always watched out for this whole nepotism thing, because I do think you should get somewhere on your merit, but equally it's quite strange, because before, if your dad was a fireman you might well go into being a fireman because that's what you knew really well.”
David: “I'm guilty, I'm the one to blame. When I started in the film industry, it was so nepotistic it was laughable. If you wanted to be a cinematographer and your uncle wasn't a cinematographer, you weren't going to be a cinematographer. It was awful. I became chairman of my section of the union, and tried to stop it. Then the film school came, I became governor of the trustees, and then became chairman, and I just felt the film school was there as the antidote to nepotism. That was another route in. I was very, very conscious of not being guilty of the same thing, I'd spent a lot of time [fighting].”
Sacha: “I think I spent a lot of my youth being unconfident. Mam and dad always instilled in us how unbelievably lucky we were in terms of health, in terms of what we were doing, and I think I interpreted that in terms of then we shouldn't stand up for anything as well. Only now have I just got comfortable enough to go I have enough right to say, we're going to do this like this.”
It must have been hard growing up in the shadow of such a successful man?
Sacha: “One of the things I do notice about dad, and the same would have been true of Alan Parker, Ridley, all of those people, is that they were maniacal. Thank god mum went along with it. I think at some point mum could have said, enough, we're going to have some family time and we're going to talk. But dad tells a good story, so I think we were all complete. But it was the same with Alan's family, the same with Ridley's family; I think you've all got to be on board.”
Has he mellowed lately?
Sacha: “Now Mum and I are always trying to pull dad out of politics, but he has thing that he has to give back to the country. He got into politics very young. When mum and dad first came out, they were really, really poor, so it was a way of making sure that every avenue was covered by turning up to Labour meetings and just being involved all the time. Mum was brilliant because she didn't mind him being out there all the time. Now he's very, very lovely to her. She rules the roost.”
David: “I work here with the government. One of the problems I've increasingly found is the minute you're critical, I promise you, all defensive backs go up, oh there's not enough money, there's always a reason. It's not good enough, and you know why we will fail in competition with places like Singapore, because we have lost the language of self-criticism. We can flail ourselves, in newspaper headlines, but we do not have the ability to constructively criticise what we're doing and change it. So what we do is we default to well, it's not that bad so we'll stick with what we've got. I encounter it every single day there, every day.”
David, you don't seem like someone who will back down, you'll always find a way to get what you want?
David: “I was built in advertising to find workarounds, don't back down. I was very lucky that I worked at an agency that if what the client was asking for wasn't honestly what we thought was best, we were able to tell them so. That was very unusual at the time.”
Sacha: “It's important that honesty, that's why the relationships are so important. You've got to have someone who can say to you, and actually have the choice, to come back and say, yes, it's like this.”
So in the interests of honesty, was there a piece you were most daunted by on the CD?
Sacha: “I really took liberties with Vangelis, thank god when I played it to him, he was delighted. I wanted to make a Chariots of Fire for the person who comes last. It's still got that passion and feeling for competing, but it's about remembering. I kept watching the Derek Redmond video of his dad coming down the stairs.”
David: “Eric's Theme is the best for me. I always think it's the best piece in Chariots of Fire. The fact that the theme music front and back is what people remember, but Eric's Theme is completely wonderful, and if ever tried to convince anyone it;s a good movie I'd take that sequence, were he's running in the Scottish hills, and as he comes round the corner, the music comes in.”
One final question, David, do you think crowd funding through websites like Kickstarter will revolutionise film production?
David: “I don't know that much about crowdfunding, but the sheer volume of content and the platforms for content is greater than it has ever been. Netflix just announced $3.5 billion production budget over the next two years; Amazon are going to spend $2 billion. Well, £5.5 billion is as much as all the American majors are going to spend put togethern. Two things well happen: firstly, inflation will happen, but it will be spread unevenly, it will probably just mean Brad Pitt is paid twice as much; secondly, in the UK today, if you've got a story you've got to, got to tell, you've got to be a bit of an arse not to find a way to tell it. The problem is people give up too easily.”