Night cap with Norteños
Can you explain the title? What do you mean by “Norteños” or “Northerners”? Who are you specifically referring to?
We (Grandmas) both come from Manchester, in the north of England, a country that has a fairly visible North/South divide, each half having its own separate identity. The characters in Norteños all speak in a very thick North-West English dialect. We wanted to contrast this against the Spanish themes in the film e.g. the bull, the flamenco. In the end though, we just thought it was a cool title.
Can you shed some light on the references to Grandmas and Knackered Dad?
Grandmas is the name of our directing team. We named ourselves after our grandmas. Whom we love.
Are the social club and the characters based on real locations and people?
Growing up working class in the North of England we remember run-down social clubs and pubs being a fairly common fixture. There would be lots of old men drinking pints and smoking, there was something a bit unsettling and kind of melancholy about it. Now that a lot of the pubs and social clubs seem to be dying out in the areas in which we grew up, we feel a bit of nostalgia towards them. That, mixed with the anachronistic look of these places that haven’t been regenerated since the 70s, makes them a great place to set a film. The characters in the film are a kind of parody of what British people think of when they think of people from northern England. The stereotype is we’re dimwitted and slow. We wanted to play of this and exaggerate it because we find it funny. And also because it’s true.
What are you keen to explore as a filmmaker in the future?
In the near future we’re interested in making more shorts. Our history has been mainly in music videos, this was our first venture into short film. Further ahead we’d like to make a move into features and TV drama/comedy.
Would you say that the short film format has given you any particular freedom?
Most of our past stuff has been music videos, which can tend to be a bit more free form and less regimented than short films. So if anything there were more restrictions with this short than we are used to. But we think restriction can be as useful as freedom sometimes. It made us really carefully plan ahead meticulously as we had so little time, and shooting dialogue always takes more time than just following someone around with a camera when you don’t have to worry about recording sound.