About Neil Oseman

Neil Oseman


Neil is currently in post-production on a short fantasy-drama, Stop/Eject, starring Georgina Sherrington (The Worst Witch). Along with writer Tommy Draper, Neil is in the very early stages of developing a feature-length version of this film. It’s the magical and moving story of a suddenly-widowed young woman who discovers a mysterious old tape recorder in the back of a charity shop that can stop and rewind time – but can she save her husband? Visit stopejectmovie.com to watch the trailer for the short.

The Dark Side of the Earth is another feature Neil currently has in development, set in an alternate 1908 in which the world has stopped spinning, leaving one side of the planet in constant daylight and the other in perpetual night. A shy young woman from the light side stows away on an airship bound for the dark side to find Old Father Time and start the world turning again. In 2008 Neil shot a 35mm pilot for The Dark Side of the Earth, with Benedict Cumberbatch, Kate Burdette (The Duchess) and the voice of Mark Heap (Spaced, Green Wing). Neil and producer Carl Schoenfeld (My Brother Tom, Sarajevo Diary) are currently looking to attach a writer to polish the screenplay and then intend to apply for development finance. Visit darksideoftheearth.com for more information and extensive behind-the-scenes videos.

The Dark Side of the Earth

Neil directed his first feature-length film at the age of fifteen and secured his first paying directing job at just nineteen.  At 21 he completed another feature, The Beacon, before moving on to co-write, direct, produce, photograph and edit Soul Searcher, which The Guardian described as “a fantasy action movie in the grand style”, dubbing Neil “The Spielberg of Hereford”.

In spite of its microbudget, Soul Searcher includes over 250 effects shots, martial arts and a chase between a ’73 Ford Mustang and an express train to Hell, and was shot entirely at night.  Press reviews called it “ground breaking” and “a remarkable achievement”, and Neil was named a winner of the Channel 4 Ideas Factory’s Creative Class in 2005.

Soul Searcher was released on DVD in several territories around the world in 2006-2007. It’s now available to view in full for free at neiloseman.com/soulsearcher and the feature-length behind-the-scenes documentary, selected by Raindance as one of the six best docs about filmmaking ever, can be viewed on the same site.

The director’s short film credits include Ghost-trainspotting, The Picnic, Traction, Cow Trek and Possibilities.  He works regularly as a director, DoP and editor on a wide range of corporates, shorts, documentaries, training and educational films, community videos and internet TV. As DoP he has seven feature films to his name including two shot in New York, and he often lectures and give talks on visual effects and filmmaking in general.

Neil is passionate about sharing his experiences to inform and inspire other filmmakers. His YouTube channel youtube.com/hair2 has over sixty “how to” and behind-the-scenes videos and you can read his blog at neiloseman.com

Website: neiloseman.com
Twitter: @neiloseman

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Puppet Film

My brand new short, a 2 minute puppet odyssey about an old fisherman who catches more than he bargained for, is now online to watch: http://www.virginmediashorts.co.uk/film/4869/the-one-that-got-away#.Ue1bi5WAdGB It’s an entry to Virgin Media Shorts, and you can help us make the shortlist by using the tweet button under the video. The film with the most tweets between now and Sunday (28th) gets a guaranteed place on the shortlist, meaning it will be shown nationally in cinemas … Continue reading

Producer Wanted

I’m looking for a producer for my next short film and I was wondering whether any of you FilmWorks lot might be interested? It’s an ambitious 10 minute period fantasy based on the conceit that Stephenson’s Rocket wasn’t a steam locomotive but an actual spacecraft. I’m looking to make something with really high production values, shot on film with a name actor in the lead, to make the maximum impact on the festival circuit. Contact … Continue reading

Crowd-funding Tips

I’m evaluating the two crowd-funding campaigns we ran for Stop/Eject, over on my main blog at neiloseman.com. Even though the amount we raised was relatively small (£2,100 and £1,500 from the two campaigns respectively), many of the lessons I learnt will apply to larger projects too. I’m trying to share all the decisions we made, the reasons behind them, and how they panned out. There are also some charts breaking down which rewards were most popular, … Continue reading

Editing Stop/Eject

Last week Miguel Ferros and I locked the edit of my short fantasy-drama Stop/Eject. This project represents the first time in seventeen years of filmmaking that I’ve worked with an editor, rather than doing it myself. I found it an extremely positive experience and I wonder why I’ve never done it before. Miguel’s cut makes the story clearer, the characters more consistent and the emotions more real. Not to mention the fact that it’s paced … Continue reading

Director of Photography

When I’m not directing I DP, and I’ve just updated my reel. Watch here. (Please select 1080P for the best picture quality.) I have 13 years’ professional experience as a DP including 7 micro-budget features and numerous shorts. Please get in touch if you need a cinematographer for your fiction project.

Piracy (Arrrrr!)

In this week’s FilmWorks masterclass one of the speakers mentioned a filmmaker whose work was the subject of repeated YouTube mash-ups. She was faced with a choice: invoke her rights and request YouTube take them down, or embrace these creative responses and re-interpretations of her work. She chose the latter, engaging with the mashers(?) and nurturing her fan community. Following the DVD release of my 2005 feature film Soul Searcher, I became aware of numerous pirate copies … Continue reading

Stop, Collaborate and Listen

It’s getting hard for us all to keep up with each others’ blogs, so I’ll keep this brief and if you want to read a longer version you can do so on my website. This week’s session, “How to Succeed at Not Doing Everything”, really chimed with me. On my 2002 action movie The Beacon I was writer, director, producer, director of photography, camera operator, focus puller, editor, visual effects artist, sound designer, sound mixer and colourist. Since then … Continue reading

Feature Film Budget Breakdown

I just wanted to let you fellow Filmworkers(?) know about some things I’m up to at the moment which may be useful to some of you. Many of you will know that I’m currently crowd-funding post-production of my short film Stop/Eject. One of the perks/rewards is that for a £10 donation you can get a download of a 20 minute video called “How to Make a Fantasy Action Movie for £28,000”. This is a detailed … Continue reading


At last night’s masterclass, Chris Hainsworth (managing director of AV Pictures) and Christopher Simon (producer of The Sweeney) talked about all the things you can do when developing a film project to attract pre-sales and financing. I must confess I found this a bit depressing, because they were all things I’d done with one of my feature projects, The Dark Side of the Earth, and I still haven’t been able to get it off the … Continue reading

Mood Reel

A few days ago I re-read the homework instructions and noticed the hitherto-unnoticed word “edit” lurking after the phrase “mood reel”. Cue mad dash around the DVD shops of Hereford, frantic googling for software that will rip region 1 discs and even filming YouTube videos off my computer screen. I fear the technical aspect of the exercise may have overshadowed the creative one, but anyway here it is. It’s probably the most random thing I’ve … Continue reading