Superhuman Tom Tagholm takes a leap into a clear blue sky with his new short film The Parachutist

Alice Jones' Arts Diary

The “Meet the Superhumans” campaign for Channel 4’s coverage of the Paralympics is widely held to be the best of 2012 and has a cabinet full of prizes – including Campaign of the Year, and a clutch of British Television Advertising and Arrow Awards  to prove it.

Now its creator Tom Tagholm is moving into movies. Tagholm, 40, left his job as Network Creative Director, overseeing all of Channel 4’s advertising, after 11 years last summer. His new short, The Parachutist, screened at a Film4 showcase last week and is already touring the film festivals.

A quirky time-travel romance, it follows a German pilot who leaps from his plane in the Second World War and lands in an English suburban back garden in 2012.

“I was on a train, travelling back from my brother’s wedding in Cornwall, and saw a parachutist in a clear blue sky and no plane in sight. It struck me as a really good image so I kind of started with the poster and built out from there. It’s not really the way you’re supposed to do it if you’re a proper film-maker, but my background is advertising.”

The film, produced by Film4, the BFI and Various Films, stars the German actor Oliver Bigalke and Michael Smiley (Utopia) and was shot over 8 days in England and the suburbs of Berlin. “I didn’t want to make a sci-fi film, I wanted to make it deadpan, slightly flat. A tiny suburban story with a big conceit”.

Tagholm’s last short, A Bout de Truffe (2007), about the worst truffle hunter in France, won prizes at TCM Classic Shorts and Raindance festivals and was Bifa-nominated. He is now working on two feature films, one in LA and one in London.

A decade in TV advertising prepared him well for the world of film, he says. “At Channel 4, I was shooting a lot and working on big ideas. You stay match fit and you’re sharpening your vision all the time. We worked a lot with celebrities, or sportspeople who don’t have much time so you get used to being ready to get what you need in a matter of minutes.”

On both The Parachutist and A Bout de Truffe, he worked with 4Creative editor Tim Hardy, aka the man who came up with the idea of setting the Paralympics advert to Public Enemy’s “Harder than you think”.

“He sent me that track and we knew the search was over”, says Tagholm. “I’m still stunned by the reaction to the campaign. It was exactly what we wanted. We want to make something that would make people feel.” Public Enemy also approved.

“They got in touch and invited us to see them play in London. We went backstage and I was talking about raising kids with Chuck D and film-making with Flavor Flav. It was surreal”, adds Tagholm.

Also in the arts diary:

Being John Malkovich just got releases line of gentlemen's beachwear

Two comedians get into a car...Peter Kay's sitcom Car Share follows previous comedy vehicles


Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
The Great British Bake Off contestants line-up behind Sue and Mel in the Bake Off tent

Arts and Entertainment
Mitch Winehouse is releasing a new album

Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Beast would strip to his underpants and take to the stage with a slogan scrawled on his bare chest whilst fans shouted “you fat bastard” at him

Arts and Entertainment
On set of the Secret Cinema's Back to the Future event

Arts and Entertainment
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman

Arts and Entertainment
Pedro Pascal gives a weird look at the camera in the blooper reel

Arts and Entertainment
Public vote: Art Everywhere poster in a bus shelter featuring John Hoyland
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode

Arts and Entertainment
Judd Apatow’s make-it-up-as-you-go-along approach is ideal for comedies about stoners and slackers slouching towards adulthood
filmWith comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
Arts and Entertainment
booksForget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Arts and Entertainment
Off set: Bab El Hara
tvTV series are being filmed outside the country, but the influence of the regime is still being felt
Arts and Entertainment
Red Bastard: Where self-realisation is delivered through monstrous clowning and audience interaction
Arts and Entertainment
O'Shaughnessy pictured at the Unicorn Theatre in London
tvFiona O'Shaughnessy explains where she ends and her strange and wonderful character begins
Arts and Entertainment
The new characters were announced yesterday at San Diego Comic Con

Arts and Entertainment
Rhino Doodle by Jim Carter (Downton Abbey)

Arts and Entertainment
No Devotion's Geoff Rickly and Stuart Richardson
musicReview: No Devotion, O2 Academy Islington, London
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film

Arts and Entertainment
Comedian 'Weird Al' Yankovic

Is the comedy album making a comeback?

Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
    Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

    How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

    As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
    We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

    We will remember them

    Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
    Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

    Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

    Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
    Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

    Acting in video games gets a makeover

    David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
    Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

    Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

    Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
    Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

    Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

    Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
    Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

    Spanx launches range of jeans

    The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
    10 best over-ear headphones

    Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

    Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
    Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

    Commonwealth Games

    David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
    UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

    UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

    Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
    Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

    Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
    Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star