Watch: Scrapper director and cast discuss the British indie film:
Scrapper director Charlotte Regan tells Yahoo UK that she feels her film's teen lead Lola Campbell could be the next Steven Spielberg thanks to her aptitude for working on a film set.
The indie film follows Campbell's 12-year-old character Georgie, a young girl who recently lost her mother and is now living alone after convincing authorities that she is being cared for by a responsible adult, however her plan to live life on her own terms is thwarted when her estranged father Jason (Harris Dickinson) comes into the picture.
As well as her acting skills, Regan hails the young actor for her confidence in making changes to the script and suggesting the best way to line up a shot, as well as her "unique" and "magical" character which she noticed most when she left Campbell and Dickinson to improvise their scenes.
"You're employing actors and they can act much better than you can so improv just gives them the chance to create and take ownership over the role," Regan says whilst playing with a Rubik's Cube in one hand.
"And Lola in particular is incredible at improv, all the best dialogue I would credit to her in the film.
"She would change other people's lines and they would be better than my written lines. I'm hoping she's going to be like Steven Spielberg in 20 years because she is a much better than filmmaker than me, she'd tell me shots were bad, she'd get involved, it was great."
Campbell, for her part, enjoyed the freedom to improvise scenes throughout the film, though she'd often defer to Regan's writing when navigating her character's struggle with grief.
"It wasn't too bad because a lot of it was improvisation," Campbell admits. "The bits I struggled with I would just rely on the script."
Her co-star Dickinson also felt it was a benefit to be able to improvise so much of the narrative, saying: "Charlotte allowed us to move away from the script whenever we felt like it, go with the flow so it makes it easier because we didn't feel pressured.
"We just did what we wanted sometimes, sometimes [Lola would] end up going on tangents and [she'd] be somewhere completely random but often those were the good takes as well."
He adds: "She really wanted everyone to feel comfortable and I think in turn that meant everyone was able to go to a place within their own work that felt like we were all pushing it, when you're comfortable you go further, I think, so that's really important."
But, as well as the film's light-hearted nature, it also explores the depths of the grief that both Lola and Jason feel after the death of her mother, and they experience the loss in different ways.
For Jason he struggles with the fact that he was absent for the first 12 years of Lola's life and is keen to make amends, which was something that Dickinson found an interesting challenge to balance.
The King's Man actor reflected: "I guess [the biggest challenge was] finding the balance between care and neglect, because he's not a total dirtbag he's just someone who hasn't been able to step into that role.
"He's been very absent and has never let go of his own adolescence, so to try and come on and be a father is worlds away from where he's at mentally and intellectually, so it was difficult to find that balance... finding that honesty within him was quite tough."
Dickinson goes on: "I feel like Charlotte wanted to deal with grief with humour as well as drama, because that's equally important in terms of processing things."
Regan was interested in exploring how children handle grief in her film because "their magical outlook" and ability to be "present with how they are feeling" felt like an important thing to highlight onscreen.
"It was something big that we spoke about a lot, [but] not so much to Lola because we weren't keen to put that kind of emotional pressure on her to make the scene look better," she explains.
While the filmmaker was keen to have her actors improvise she didn't want them to draw on their own experiences, though, as she said: "Particularly with Lola, we were always keen to be like this is fiction and we don't want you to feel the way the character feels, this is very separate from real life."
But even with its serious subject matter the film is hopeful, as Georgie and Jason grow closer despite the tragic circumstances that thrust them together which is especially noticeable in scenes that show the father and daughter going metal detecting and learning dance moves together.
The scenes were some of the last to be filmed for Scrapper and were also the ones that Dickinson and Campbell enjoyed improvising the most.
Dickinson says, "We had a take where we just got left to it for 15 minutes and that was the last shot of the film... we were dancing and then we wrapped and I think we knew we were finishing as well so there was an element of relief, there was no pressure."
It's evident from the way Regan speaks of her approach to filming that she is an easygoing director, she says she made the film so she could "spend the summer with [her] friends making something fun" and that the emphasis was on making something "joyful".
"We were looking to make a film that was a bit happy and a bit funny," Regan reflects.
"And, beyond that, whatever people take from it is their own interpretation and probably not something that I thought about. If someone wants to come up with an arty explanation I am happy to take credit!"
Scrapper will be released in UK cinemas on Friday, 25 August.
Watch the trailer for Scrapper: