small time obsession

RICHARD BANKS (John) with OLIVER YOUNG (Steve)
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SMALL TIME OBSESSION was shot over five weeks at locations in and around South London from South Kensington to Balham to Catford to Woolwich. "I wanted to shoot the London I knew as a little boy," explains Piotr. "I love London because it is so diverse. I've lived here all my life and there are still loads of places I haven't seen."
"I wanted to tell a small story in a big way, similar to the way Francis Coppola did with THE OUTSIDERS. Truly cinematic films create worlds that are larger than life regardless of the subject matter and I wanted to do that with the world I grew up in."


SMALL TIME OBSESSION is a violent film but there is no choreographed gun-play or action scenes in that sense. Piotr deliberately avoided the use of guns to make it more realistic. "The UK doesn't have a gun culture in the way the US does and London gangsters don't generally go around shooting each other, they don't need to. They sort things out with their own muscle and when you get hit with a baseball bat - you don't get up".


SMALL TIME OBSESSION features an ensemble cast of an experienced but largely unknown actors and writer/director Piotr Szkopiak believes this works to the film's advantage. "This is a film about a group of friends who have known each other since childhood in a community that most people are not familiar with," he explains. "As a result, I think the lack of any easily recognisable actors helps to make those relationships more believable."


The only time Piotr really wanted to use a known actor was for the character of Mr Page and was fortunate enough to cast Andrew Tiernan, who had recently played the villain in FACE, opposite Robert Carlyle and Ray Winstone. "I always saw SMALL TIME OBSESSION as playing in parallel to films like THE LONG GOOD FRIDAY but only overlapping during the scenes with Mr Page," Piotr explains. "I thought that by using a known actor, this would help contrast the world he inhabited with that of Michael and his friends."

He continues, "To me, SMALL TIME OBSESSION is about naivete in the face of reality, with one aspect being that a lot of people like to play the gangster and think they will never get hurt. I wanted to show just how easily things can get out of hand."

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