Q&A with writer and director Geoff Harmer

Geoff Harmer

Geoff Harmer

First published in News

GEOFF Harmer is a Basingstoke writer and director, and the founder of Fraught Productions.

The work of the dad-of-three, a former student of John Hunt of Everest and Queen Mary’s College, includes a feature film, Addict, and covers many genres, including horror, sci-fi and comedy.

His films, such as Overtime, Room 4 and 8 Ball, have been screened at festivals around the globe, winning countless awards along the way.

His most recent short, Karen’s Room, been screened at five festivals in the past few months, winning major awards at two of them.

1. Who was your childhood hero and why? Oddly enough it was Jeff Bridges in Tron. That film had me spellbound! I used to draw Flynn and Tron pictures all the time.

2. What is your most precious possession, and why is it important to you? My photos. If my house was burning and everyone was safe, I’d only go back in for my photos.

3. What was the first record/CD you bought? The first album I bought was the soundtrack to Gremlins. I can still remember going in to Our Price and buying it. My first single was Paranoimia by The Art of Noise featuring Max Headroom.

4. What is the radio/television show you hate to miss? I don’t really have one. But if they ever decided to do a new series of Spaced, I wouldn’t miss that for the world!

5. What is your favourite film? Aliens. Has been since I saw it in 1986. I snuck into the cinema with a mate to watch it (as I was under age). The film was so tense, that when it finished I couldn’t move!

6. What is your pet hate? I have many, but at the moment I would say parents who don’t follow the BBFC guidelines. I often hear of parents letting their young children play video games like Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto. I just see it as irresponsible.

7. What are you reading at the moment? I recently finished With Nails by Richard E Grant, and I’ve just started to read Dust of Life: Children of the Saigon Streets by Liz Thomas.

8. If you were choosing a last meal, what would it be? East End pie and mash. My family are from Bethnal Green, in London, and the pie and mash shops are to die for!

9. If you could meet anyone from history, who would it be? Vincent Price. I just wish I had the honour of working with him on a film.

10. If you had a time machine where would it take you? Back to my parents’ house in 1991. I would tell my younger self to not quit education! I was too impatient and wanted to earn a living in the film industry, when I should have continued my studies.

11. If you were stranded on a desert island, what luxury would you choose to have with you? An Internet connection.

12. What sports team do you support? I’m not a huge sports fan to be honest. I guess from a football perspective, I would always favour Arsenal, as it’s my family’s team.

13. What was your first job? I used to be a cleaner in the AA’s Fanum House when I was 13/14. It funded my cinema trips.

14. If you could take over someone’s job for the day, whose job would you choose? Whoever runs Alton Towers. I’d open it to my family for the day and go on all the rides without waiting!

15. What worries you the most? Failing.

16. What is your proudest moment? The birth of my children.

17. What would you like your epitaph to be? He made people laugh and gave it a go.

18. What’s your guilty pleasure? Mini Eggs.

19. What one thing could change society for the better? Make businesses share their profits equally among all their staff.

20. What three words best describe you? Patient, amusing, laid-back.

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