It’s time for my favorite segment of the Aero Blog: Get to know that director! Today’s lucky winner is Peter Lydon!
Peter Lydon's passport photo.
Peter Lydon shoots funny commercials!! But you knew that, and while on your 4 minute lunch break, in between checking Facebook, making doctor appointments and taking the latest Buzzfeed quiz, you don’t want to watch commercials. No matter how FREAKING GREAT they are. (And they are…)
Peter, clearly directing, with Joanna Lumley.
Peter with Al Pacino on the set for Sky in LA.
Of all of Peter's work—from his start in documentaries to his TV shows (Secret Diary of a Call Girl, Teachers, Shameless….) his short film work is my favorite. They are incredibly clever and pack a tricky little story into less than 10 minutes. These also really tell you the most about him and his sensibilities as a director. Not that a commercial touting high speed internet doesn’t, but… well, you’ll see.
Dumping Elaine is his first short, funded by the BBC for their film series, “Ways to Leave Your Lover.” It was shot over a weekend on 35mm film. (Film!!!) It was well received on the festival circuit, being chosen at Aspen, Edinburgh, LA and Dresden. It won Best Short at the York Film Festival (I’m sure Lady Grantham voted for it…), and a Soho Shorts finalist.
BBC loved that one so much that they came back for more. This time with the theme, “Getting Even.” For this, Peter created The Silent Treatment. I don’t even know where to start. This is just brilliant. The dialogue… the lack of dialogue… the expressions… the way the actors and the camera move through the space… It won Manhattan Short Film Festival Best Screenplay… And… Just watch it, please.
… did you watch? Amiright or amiright?
Clever nuanced real performances are what makes Peter a great director and writer, and intimidating to interview without sounding like a dope. So, I looked to my interviewing muse, James Lipton, and let the interview ensue…
What is your favorite word?
What is your least favorite word?
What turns you on?
Where to start!
What turns you off?
Where to stop!
What sound or noise do you love?
What sound or noise do you hate?
Neighbours (the “u” because, English. Adorable.)
What is your favorite curse word?
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
What profession would you not like to do?
If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive
at the pearly gates?
What can I get you Pete?