I was able to have a quick conversation with director Mark Murphy about his newly released non-romantic comedy….

The script walks a very fine line between the audience's sympathies for the main characters…

 Yeah…I think if it had been a straight forward, "this is the character you're meant to be rooting for", the story would have been very flat, and there would be no character development. There would be no real journey for the characters, and if there's no journey then there's nothing for the audience….there's no "ride" as it were.

 I don't want to go into too much detail and give away spoilers, but while we have an empathy and support for out main character Mark, we also wanted to show why Connie was the way that she was.

 We didn't want Mark to come across as a bully and as you say, its such a fine line. We want the audience to understand why he is actually doing this - is it just to punish Connie? Or is he doing it because in a funny kind of sense he doesn't want to let her go. And he's trying to justify it to himself that if she's being punished then its okay for me to still be with her, even though the whole thing is completely contrived. And, of course, at the end of the day he's just hurting himself as much as he's hurting her. But we didn't want to push it too far, to make Mark look like a bully and for the film to end up looking like it was victimizing someone.

mark murphy.jpg

 What was the actual genesis of the script? Is it based on any true anecdotes?

 It does have it's origins in a somewhat true event. I'd been working on a project many years ago and got totally screwed over by the producer on it. Things were terrible, so I decided to exorcise my demons by  writing about it in a script. But I decided not to make it about business, but instead a relationship and lighten the mood a bit. And as the drafts went on, it became less about what had happened but kept the original premise someone who understands, or comes to realise that the person with whom he had this honest relationship with….it was just a lie.


Whereabouts did you shoot the film?


It was mostly shot inside London, for four weeks, and then the final week we shot up in the Rickmansworth area. We got kicked off our last location, which was the camping site, because Ridley Scott came along wanting to film some pick-up scenes for ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD. So, there  was an old garage, in the village, between our unit base and the location for the camping scene, and Ridley was shooting the scene between Mark Wahlberg and Michell Williams, making a phone call… so they basically closed the whole village down. So we had to scramble to find another film site, so thanks Ridley!


 Was it costly, shooting in London?

 Time-wise it was, yes. In fact a couple of things happened. Firstly, we found the flat we were going to use as Mark's place, which would be the principle location and we'd build the shoot around that. And we {found this amazing flat in {xxxx} road, with this great big terraced balcony looking out over the rooftops, and it was fantastic. But then, two days later, the terrible tragedy of the Grenfell Tower happened. At the time I had no idea where Grenfell was but as I watched the news footage I was like, "oh my God, that's our flat in the background, shot from a Sky News helicopter!".  So we realised we couldn't film there because the Tower was going to be in the background. So we had to quickly move on and find somewhere else, while already halfway through pre-production. The other issue we had was….while you can find some great locations around London, obtaining somewhere to use a  unit base was the tough part because at the moment there are less and less of them. So when you do find one, it costs a lot more than it used to and its nowhere near your shooting location, so we lost a lot of time going backwards and forwards between the two. Trying to rally a film crew the size of a small army is not easy in central London.

 Were there any other obstacles you had to overcome during the shoot?

 Well, those were the biggest…trying to fit the whole shoot into 23 days was pretty tough. We almost lost the dog, DUCKY (?). We were shooting the car scenes on the motorway and for whatever reason the dog didn't turn up on set - apparently the hander's car had broken down and his phone wasn't working. So we were stuck, its not as if we could just "mock up" a dog on set….it was a bit of a hair moment. But overall, barring Ridley Scott, we had a pretty smooth shoot.

 How did the cast react to the script?

 Very positively. On previous films I've worked on, it's taken a lot longer to put the cast together but on this one, we managed to get our cast pretty quickly. Something I like to do is to take about three days, sitting around a table with the cast and go over the script, over and over and over. It's one thing to write the script but it has to be comfortable for all the people playing the roles. And, you know, siting around and the cast start breathing life into the characters, you start to find more hunour, more opportunities, you're bouncing ideas and finding more jokes to put in.

Many thanks to mark for his time.

for love or money is now available to stream and download from all good sites ON 8th July. You can find our review of the film right here