Entertainment Views Interviews: Thomas Meadmore Chats about ‘The Outsider’

A STRANGER THAN FICTION FEATURE DOCUMENTARY THAT GIVE OCEANS 11 A RUN FOR ITS MONEY PREMIERES AT EAST END FILM FESTIVAL AND LIMITED THEATRICAL RELEASE

A legendary figure in the industry, could shipping magnate Nobu Su be the one to bring down the banking world? In a stranger than fiction tale that gives Oceans 11 a run for its money, brand new feature documentary The Outsider is a story of a man who didn’t fit in, taking on one of the biggest corporations in the world.

Filled with financial rackets, conspiracy theories and a story of a multi-millionaire businessman and his mighty fall from grace, The Outsider, from Thomas Meadmore, award-winning editor (The Guv’nor) and director (How to Lose Jobs and Alienate Girlfriends), has its world premiere at the East End Film Festival, on 20 April 2018. This will be followed by a limited theatrical release as well as an iTunes and DVD release, full details to follow.

Taiwanese shipping magnate Nobu Su rose through the ranks of his family business and built it into one of the largest shipping companies in the world. Powerful, revered and described as a ‘visionary and revolutionary’,  he was one of the most respected people in the shipping world, the world’s biggest transportation business. It’s an industry that accounts for the movement of some 90 per cent of everything we consume in Western Society, but a business that has very little scrutiny.

When the 2008 financial crash happened, Nobu Su lost everything. And everything for him meant several billion dollars.. He felt cheated, believing that rivals were out to get revenge on perceived business slights, leaving him to sink like the rusting hulk of an old ship. And much more disturbing, he genuinely believes that The Royal Bank of Scotland hijacked his account and swindled him out of billions of pounds.

Since 2008 he has been on a one man crusade to understand what went wrong and who was to blame; himself, the banks, his rival ship owners or the system?

Featuring interviews with the man himself, renowned shipping experts, some of the world’s most respected shipping analysts and those close to Nobu Su, The Outsider gives a tantalising look at how the  little known world of  global shipping operates, told from the point of view of the greatest maverick the shipping world has ever known.

Running time: 100 mins approx.                                            Language: English  

Entertainment Views grabbed an exclusive interview with Thomas Meadmore

Thanks for talking to Entertainment Views, tell me about the Outsider and your inspiration for the film

My pleasure – thanks for your interest in the movie!

The Outsider is a character study of a man on a mission against the biggest institutions during the global financial crisis. Without judging his actions, it illustrates the life and fall out from an obsession to prove oneself. This is all wrapped up in an entertaining ‘oceans eleven on the high seas’ heist story and banking scandal. It’s great fun.

And of course the inspiration came from the man himself, Nobu Su – an incredibly charismatic man who’s passion bowls you over. How could I not want to tell his story!

What elements do you look for when choosing a subject to centre a film around?

There are a few things. Who is the person, what are they like? Will they be good speakers and open up about their lives and go deep into their emotions? Importantly, is their story compelling? It always comes down to story and the ability to tell the story in a dramatic way. With Nobu Su, I was certain that we could do that.

What were the challenges with this film?

Ironically – the biggest challenge was understanding this story!! It’s a complex financial story – so I had to understand it before I could explain it in a film to an audience. This difficulty was compounded by a fundamental secrecy which our main character, Nobu Su, likes to shroud all of his activity within. No one really knows the full story with him – and this was the case from go to woe with me! We got there in the end. The other biggest challenge was just trying to control him. Impossible. One minute we would be ready to film, microphone on and suddenly… he was gone. Run off somewhere for twenty minutes. Hilarious. We just had to roll with it.

What were the highlights of making the film?

Beyond the stress of the above, it created a tremendous excitement – and making the chaos part of the story allowed for a very smooth filming process. It became quite exciting – we didn’t know where we would end up next, who we would be with or what we would be doing. One day we were in Taiwan, the next we were on an enormous ship in Dubai! Also working with the man himself, Nobu, is fun. He has an enthusiastic energy which syncs with mine and as a result we had a terrific rapport.

What can the audience expect from it?

You’re going to enter the world of a billionaire (or a once upon a time billionaire), you’re going to see how he made his money, and you’re going to witness the phenomenal so-called heist/scandal that brought him to his knees. It’s fun, it’s funny, it’s eye opening and it’s a world (the world of shipping & shipping finance) I am sure you have never seen before. With one of the most enigmatic characters right at the centre of the whole she-bang.

Strap in.

What do you hope the audience will take away from it?

I hope the audience will take home insight into the sacrifices people make when they are trying to fire-fight their own problems, to their own detriment… the cost on family life and personal sanity. Is it worth it? And I hope people will get a fresh perspective on the impact of the de-regulation of banks – how one individual can be taken advantage of for the benefit of a bank. Because it’s wrapped in a fun, entertaining character study you, hopefully, won’t glaze over when we start showing you the money (so to speak).

Any advice for budding film makers?

Today the advice would be make sure you get good sound!

The Outsider arrives on iTunes on 4 June and screens at Bertha DocHouse from 25 Mayhttp://dochouse.org/cinema/screenings/outsider

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