Harrogate actor turning award winning short film director

4 August 2016

Velton J Lishke is an interesting man. We arranged to meet him to chat about his recently released short film and two hours later there was still a good deal more we could have talked about.

From his home in Harrogate, Velton, aged 43-years-old, has been an actor for 14-years, having had parts on Coronation Street, Emmerdale and even acting opposite Ray Winston.

Now moving into film directing, he has just released a short film, titled the “Happiness of Larry”.

The film has been made on a shoestring budget of just £42 with most of the actors and technical support being given for free.

Originally it was released to just the film festivals circuit, but after critical acclaim, the decision was made to release the film online to the public more generally.

Velton said:

For me this feels like a natural development of my work, being able to take control of more of the creative process, as director and lead actor. I wanted to be able to create and develop my own roles.

I started with a script from John McGimpsey that I liked a  great deal of but, I wanted to develop the story just that bit more.

From deciding to make the film in January this year, the script was reworked and film produced by the end of March.

The film was shot on various locations in Harrogate, including the Shepherds Dog  and the Harlow Stores on Otley road.

It received critical acclaim at the Kino film festival during May 2016, receiving Audience Choice Best Short Film, Best Male Actor and Best Script for Velton and John McGimpsey.

Happiness of Larry – on location

In film-terms it was developed with virtually zero budget and over two days. Film and TV production can be notoriously slow and expensive – that wasn’t something that was going to enable this film to reach the screens.

Velton said:

Most of the film was done on favours and free support, probably the biggest cost was the catering. The glasses that I wear in the film are my mothers and a shop at asda gave us a key props.

I do want to thank the other actors and technical staff that gave their time, it really couldn’t have happened without them,


But what about the film ?

It’s just under 20-minutes long and takes you through a paradigm shift. It develops the character of Larry, living alone in Harrogate at a time when 4 young children have gone missing. To explain more would be more than spoiler for you watching it, but do watch it. At times it is challenging and not really suitable for a younger audience though.

Velton added:

I am really pleased with the film and have literally put blood, sweat and tears into it. A film will never be universally liked and that will true of a film like this, it is at times challenging to watch.

It also is open to interpretation at times.


Velton as Larry on location in the Shepherds Dog
Velton in character as Larry on location in the Shepherds Dog

There are more films in the pipeline, including a Horror Comedy that is part-way through filming, a very current short on fracking before moving onto a harder hitting film with a twist. His intention is to take a step back from being a lead actor and director.

Velton said:

Being both lead actor and director really took it out of me over a short time. In my next film I am looking at just taking a small part in the film, before killing myself off!

That will allow me to really concentrate on the directing and developing that as I want to.


Happiness of Larry poster

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