9 May 2022

Industry Spotlight

By Lewis Rose - Unihill Productions


What would you do if your father’s last wish was a little bit out there? For siblings Roz and Elli, it becomes a battleground for who will determine their pop’s final journey. Starring Samantha Spiro (Games of Thrones, Sex Education) and Nigel Lindsay (Victoria, Safe, Four Lions), Pops is a Jewish comedy drama about family, religion and how we choose to honour a life well-lived.

Idea for the film:

The genesis came from my uncle, who had an eccentric last request after he passed away. Though in real life it didn’t cause any family rifts, I thought it was an interesting jumping off point to see how two siblings with different views might react to the situation. It felt inherently dramatic, and brought to light interesting questions about death, religion and assimilation. I was particularly interested in looking at the relationship between tradition and self-expression, and how people’s views and choices might change throughout their lifetime.

How long did it take to film? Was it plain sailing?

Our main shoot was five days, which is a healthy amount of time for a short film, but we had a lot of locations and a couple of big set pieces. The shoot itself was fairly plain sailing, though the prep certainly wasn’t. We were shooting in October 2020, during the height of Covid when testing wasn’t readily available. We lost multiple crew members and locations in the run up to the shoot. It was definitely a lesson having to live with uncertainty! Thankfully the actual filming went off without a hitch and we live to fight another day.

What’s next? 

I’m currently working on a feature which is loosely based on this short, featuring the same lead characters within a different narrative. I’m developing it with producer Chris Hees, who also produced Pops. We’re also working on another short together as features can take a while to get off the ground, so it’s always good to keep a hand in the game in the meantime.

Back to Behind the Scenes: Issue Six

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