One to Watch: Will Hall – Smith

By Sam Evans

Former Brighton College student Will Hall – Smith is destined for sitcom stardom after a pilot episode of his new comedy series, Gradulthood amassed thousands of views on you tube.

The short episode follows a group of unemployed university graduates as they struggle to find work in London, an idea which came to Will whilst looking for a job after he graduated from University.

“I remember thinking I didn’t want to spend my life in an office. I knew that I liked making films and decided then that that’s what I wanted to do with my life”, he recalls.

Will first started creating films when he was 11-years old where his interest grew over the years and started filming whenever he could. “They were all terrible to start with of course, but I learnt a huge amount very quickly by making so many mistakes”, he says.

It is obvious that Will has learnt a huge amount over a short amount of time. Several of his films have been played internationally and last year he co-produced a film starring Russell Tovey ( Of Doctor Who and Being Human fame ) at the age of just 22.

American shows such as Friends, How I Met Your Mother and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia all influenced Will when deciding to write a comedy as he says that the group of core characters in the series means that there lots of options for conflict between them.

The mini episode of Gradulthood was entirely self-funded £1,000, and he says that favours from friends and affordable equipment proved to be crucial.

The bulk of the pilot was shot at Will’s flat, something that he said was “challenging”, but concurred that they somehow made it work. “It’s actually a two bedroom flat so Tom and Ralph technically don’t have bedrooms…that could be a headache if we make episode two”, he adds.

In one particular scene, audience members see a character ‘black up’ in order to further his opportunity at a job interview. When asked if there was a possibility of an audience backlash, Will replies:

“I think that anything can be funny as long as what happens is justified by the characters and there is a strong sense of irony”.

” In this case I think it’s pretty clear that the character of Ralph isn’t racist – he’s just stupid and desperately wants to fit in with what he thinks Tom and Owen expect of him”.

With many touting Gradulthood as ‘the next big thing’, I feel it is only right to ask Will where he seems himself in the next five years.

“I’d like to think I’ll do an Edgar Wright and make a smash-hit sitcom and go on to direct features. Whether that’s realistic or not, I don’t know.

“All I do know is that I’ll still be making films and loving every minute”

You can view the pilot episode of Gradulthood by clicking this link – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-cdSzn0Nrw

m Evans

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