Mark-John Ford Q&A Half Time and Down

We interviewed Football Comedy Half Time and Down Director Mark-John Ford all about his hilarious short, enjoy!


How did Half Time and Down come about?

I was an Associate Producer on a feature film called the Guvnors and because I was on set everyday for nearly a month you end up talking to everyone at some point and an actor Charley Palmer Rothwell who was playing one of the leads asked me if I would ever do a short film…I had written 3 short comedies but never done anything with them and they were just gathering dust so when he showed a bit of interest in the football one ‘Half Time and Down’ I started to put it about on set and got alot of interest from there, Tony Denham, Michael Suluk and Tommy McDonnell were pals of mine from when we all did a film called St.Georges Day together and Brady Powell, Dorian Simpson, Jumayn Hunter, Christian Ambrose, Staurt Budd, Ronnie Malyon and Victoria Codd were also friends of mine in the industry.

The main person who I needed for it to work was Tom Davis as its 75 percent all Tom’s character (Bob) so he was the key really and I had wrote it with him in mind and as we have been good mates for years I used that to talk him into doing it and I was lucky as he was really busy at the time but he pulled through for me like the class act he is, same deal with Harley sylvester (Rizzle Kicks) he had alot of work on but gave up his time for it also.

I have to say as well that North West Kent college have given me so much support, I had a young editor Thomas Bell do the edit with me there and Deborah Tobin who runs the motion graphics and animation department did so much for the project with her students all doing bits, we even had our set in the Miskin Theatre which is part of the college and also Producer’s Danny Potts and Joe Moore got involved and the project was a go.

Half Time and Down

What made you want to make a football comedy short?

A lot of people do a short film and they try and jam a feature film plot into it and it just does not work…I thought that the 15 minutes in a half time team talk could be done in real time.

How did famous football hooligan Cass Pennant join the cast?

Cass was a producer on the Guvnors film and we became friends and kept in touch…I thought it would be funny to have him as a ref as its sort of the opposite end of the spectrum as far as his past goes, I was not sure if he would do it but he was great and could see the funny side of him doing the role.

How many outtakes did it take to record each segment? The short looked like a lot of fun to make

There were a few and that’s why we used 10 mins of outtakes at the end of the film, it’s a laugh out loud comedy so if the outtakes make you laugh then why not show them…it’s paid for footage.

What football team do you support and did this have any influence on the making of the short?

Arsenal and I don’t think we are in as much trouble as the Stanley Beavers FC….but some would say we are going that way.

If you were managing a team of outcasts and untalented individuals what would your on field tactics be?

I would probably just walk away as I would not want the stress.

How long did shooting last for?

2 x twelve hour day’s…we really did the impossible with the shooting schedule.

What projects are you looking forward to working on in the future?

Birds and Dogs goes into pre-production early next year, I’m lucky again to have a great little cast with Tony Discipline who played Tyler moon in Eastenders, Rachel De-Lahay, Dorian Simpson, Frankie Fairbrass, Kirsty J Curtis and Leanne Verey to name a few.

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