Big Chimp

Henry Burrows

Crew:Writer / Director / Editor


1.Where are you from?
I'm originally from Brighton but I currently live in Winchester, which is just up the road from Marwell Zoo which has many primates including lemurs, tamarins, macaques, black-and-white colobuses, siamangs, marmosets, and other monkeys. It's also not far from Monkey World which is basically themed around monkeys of all descriptions. So you could say I'm surrounded by a lot of inspiration for this film

2.How did you get involved in Big Chimp?
I wrote the original draft! I think it was Howell who originally suggested the idea of the film and I was looking for a new project to work on at the time, so it all began from there.

3.What filmmaking experience did you have before making Big Chimp?
I made the feature film Foiled, as well as a number of short films including The Jedi Who Loved Me, Fluffy The English Vampire Slayer, Sunday Night Zombies, UFO Spotters and the popular Dr Hall series of short films.

4.What was the most difficult thing about filming Big Chimp?
One of the biggest challenges was that there was no script, so we just turned up at a location with a rough idea of how the scene would play out and then filmed what happened. As most scenes needed to be filmed from multiple angles, this created a problem in that most people varied their lines for each take. Also, of course, we were filming in Manchester which is well known as being a very rainy place and almost the entire film is set outdoors and we only had the one weekend to film it all in...

5.What's your favourite film featuring an ape / monkey / gorilla / chimpanzee / orangutan, and why?
2001: A Space Odyssey is probably my favourite film to feature apes, because I'm a huge Kubrick fan.

6.Tell us a fascinating fact about yourself.
I got engaged in the Jigokudani Yaen-koen park (Hell Valley Wild Monkey Park) in Japan in front of a pool of Japanese Macaques (snow monkeys)!

7.What have you been up to since filming Big Chimp in 2006?
Mostly editing it, doing the special effects and waiting for Mike to complete the soundtrack. I also managed to fit in getting married, moving house twice and having two children, who both enjoy watching Big Chimp.

8.Any plans for the future?
I'm sure there will be another film along at some point, possibly even the sequel to Sunday Night Zombies, Monday Morning Zombies, which we filmed before Big Chimp.

9.What's your favourite memory from the Big Chimp shoot?
While we were filming the boat scenes, in particular the bit where Carl Denim films a scene from his film on the boat where Anne and Jack have to start getting close, a load of fishermen on a nearby bank started shouting "wahay!" and wolf whistling. I think they thought we were making an entirely different sort of film.

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