Francis Lee never thought God's Own Country would be an international success
- Bang Showbiz
- 14 February 2018
Francis Lee never thought his directorial debut 'God's Own Country' would become an international success and resonate around the world
Francis Lee never thought 'God's Own Country' would resonate around the world.
The filmmaker made his directorial debut with the LGBT coming-of-age movie, which has been nominated for Best British Film at this year's BAFTA awards, but Lee knew he was making something special when he watched his leading men - Josh O'Connor and Alec Secareanu - in action.
He explained to Deadline: "I knew what those boys were doing was incredible work because what they both were doing on screen - and what I was seeing - felt incredibly truthful and raw and difficult, but also really satisfying.
"I knew that what we were shooting was looking great. I knew that I had worked really super hard on the script and it was all there, and I was lucky enough to shoot the entire script and [had only] dropped [one] scene.
"I had a brilliant time with the editor Chris Wyatt, and that felt very organic and natural and not problematic."
Lee explained that while the film turned out as he had hoped, he was still shocked by its success.
He continued: "I remember - again, because I'd not made a film before - that everybody kept telling me, 'when you go into the edit, you have to watch for this thing called The Editor's Assembly. It's the whole film put together, and you'll just cry. You'll feel you hadn't got the film and you're a huge failure.'
"Now, I hadn't watched any of the rushes or anything. I'd just tried to stay in the shooting mode rather than looking at what we were shooting, and I remember saying to Chris, 'Oh, gosh, tomorrow we're going to watch assembly. I'm going to bring a bottle of gin.'
"And he was like, 'oh, OK. It's not that bad. Come on over.' So I went over, and we watched it, and we both looked at each other and went, 'that isn't bad!'
"It worked, and the emotion behind it worked, and it was the film I wanted to make. I knew all of those things, but I did not have a clue that it would become a huge, massive, resonating film around the world."