Mr. Richard Francis

When Mr. Richard Francis tries to beat the system, the system beats him.

Creative team

Writer: Mike Scully
Director: Tom Hackett
Producers: Tom Hackett, Paul McGillion

Filmmaker’s statement

Mr. Richard Francis was an exercise in filming a very unsympathetic character and watching as he gets his comeuppance.

As writer Mike Scully often said “If I steal a purse, I’ll go to jail. When a rich person steals millions of dollars, they get grounded.” We wanted to show the ridiculousness of white privilege while still making a satire of the events that our social system has constructed.

This surreal comedy capitalizes on what society dictates as the norm and then splits off into a different direction so that we can enjoy the system beating the villain instead of the villain beating the system.

We struggled to find a balance between what the character deserved and how to make him likeable, or at least watchable. Luckily, through some amazing cast members, we believe we found that middle ground where our lead character is portrayed with charm and likeability with just enough scoundrel that you are cheering to see what happens next.

The talented cast and amazing crew all worked for free on this independent passion project. We filmed for three days in the middle of winter and were still lucky enough to have the film look like it was shot during a spring day (at least a soggy, Vancouver spring day).

I’m still amazed at the hard work and dedication of everyone involved who gave up three days of their lives to help put this film together. Long live independent film!

About Tom Hackett

Tom Hackett

Tom Hackett is a filmmaker who has been doing performance art since he was in high school. A recent graduate of the bachelor of performance arts and motion picture arts programs at Capilano University, Tom has had films premiere at TIFF, Beverly Hills Film Fest and various festivals around the world.  Working as a director, writer and producer is a challenge that he seeks out and thoroughly enjoys.

As an NSI alumni for winning a STORYHIVE grant to film Goons, Tom is incredibly grateful to be a part of the NSI Online Short Film Festival and to have Mr. Richard Francis selected as part of the festival lineup.

As a comedic director, Tom’s love for comedy was developed through the famed Second City Theatre in Toronto as well as various acting coaches and schools in Vancouver. Studying comedy through acting and improv provides an inner view of the comedic world that helps guide Tom into the storytelling world of filmmaking.

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