Reggie Yates on film making with his directorial debut Pirates | Ents & Arts News

As an actor, presenter and documentary maker, Reggie Yates has been a fixture on our TV screens from a young age.

Now 38, the Londoner is making his debut as a filmmaker, having written and directed his latest project, Pirates – a coming-of-age tale about three friends trying to have an unforgettable night, in the Millennium Eve background.

The story is relatively new to Yates, but he told Sky News he always wanted to make a movie, “from the time I got on set at age eight.”

Yates, best known as a TV presenter and documentary maker, says he hopes to make more films. Photo: Charlotte Croft

“As an actor I loved the idea of ​​creating and directing my own set, but I never really had the confidence to believe I could do it,” he said. “It wasn’t until I started writing quite quietly and privately that my confidence started to take shape.

“But this idea is precisely a new idea, it’s a recent idea, it’s not something I’ve been sitting on forever, but the elements in it – the London version that we see at the screen is something I’ve always wanted to see on the big screen. “

As an actor, Yates appeared on shows such as The Bill, Grange Hill, and Doctor Who, but rose to fame as a radio presenter and host of TV shows such as Top Of The Pops and The Voice.

While he recognizes the benefits of already having a presence in the industry, he said it took more than his reputation to create Pirates.

“I would be incredibly naive to say that it didn’t influence me to be involved in this project and push it through, but the truth is if the script sucked they wouldn’t have let it. to happen, and I work really hard, which is why I had a three-decade career, ”he said.

“I’ve pivoted in my career a few times because I’m what I’m passionate about and I’m incredibly passionate about filmmaking and finding the right team to collaborate with and find the budget to make this thing happen through this passion.

“It happened because of the hard work and it happened because of the story I ultimately wanted to tell.”

Reda Elazouar, Jordan Peters and Elliot Edusah in Reggie Yates's Pirates.  Photo: Charlotte Croft
Reda Elazouar, Jordan Peters and Elliot Edusah star in Pirates. Photo: Charlotte Croft

While all beginning filmmakers can expect to face a whole host of challenges, those working when the pandemic hit faced unprecedented challenges.

“We had 10 days left to shoot, then COVID hit and we went from a 25-day shoot to a hiatus of some 220 days, and then we finally got back on set,” he said.

“So COVID – Aunt Rona, as we know her affectionately – has definitely kept hackers from being a smooth process, but I’m really happy that this has happened in a number of ways because I’ve found myself in a position unique that wasn’t first It’s taking a break to watch what I’ve done and edit everything I’ve shot up to that point and rewrite some things, add new pieces. And because of that, I think the movie was better. “

Reggie Yates at The Harder They Fall premiere in London in October 2021. Photo: Vianney Le Caer / Invision / AP
Reggie Yates says he’s always wanted to add cinema to his resume. Photo: Vianney Le Caer / Invision / AP

The Pirates may have just hit theaters, but Yates says his next movie is already written and he hopes to do so next year. He also hopes to work again with his three young main actors – Elliot Edusah, Jordan Peters and Reda Elazouar -.

“I think I learned a lot about the collaboration and also the importance of investing in your casting,” he said. “I spent a lot of time with these boys, they’re my little brothers now, we talk pretty much every day.

“I learned the hard way that you can’t really do that in documentaries because I would take with me everyone that I would do a documentary on. Then, like, 40 documentaries, that’s a lot of people to transport. , especially people who were carrying pretty difficult stuff because at the heart of all these documentaries, there was a problem. “

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While it’s too early to look into the box office success, Pirates has already proven itself in the industry, earning three nominations at this year’s British Independent Film Awards, including the Best First Writer award for Yates. .

But he doesn’t feel like talking about his own accomplishments – instead, the nods validate the team effort behind the film.

“It’s a huge thing to get these three nominations for the movie and I feel really proud because it’s a corporate effort, you know. I started in the theater and the company is something. that I love, this idea of ​​people coming together to make things work, this idea of ​​a team, this idea of ​​people really coming together and that’s definitely what happened on this movie.

“It means so much, and even if we don’t win the night I think for all of us we’re going to party anyway because this movie is tiny, we don’t have any money – they got me. paid in custards! For us, getting nominations is huge. “

Pirates is now in theaters

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