Noel Clarke on Storage 24′s claustrophobic chaos
From the current issue of Clash. Photo by Cameron Alexander.
“My wife used to go to a famous storage facility with yellow doors for work,” says Noel Clarke as an introduction to his new film Storage 24. “She’d be doing her thing and I just wandered around. I’d turn a corridor, think, ‘Where is she?’ and then realise I was in the wrong corridor. I started thinking that the place was freaky and that’s how I got the original idea.”
The story sees Charlie (Clarke) and Shelley (Antonia Campbell-Hughes) dividing up their possessions at a storage unit after a break-up, unaware of the chaos that has engulfed the rest of London. When the power goes, they’re lost in a maze of dark corridors and soon realise that they’re being pursued. How do you escape from a place designed to keep things in?
“At first I was going to have a serial killer in there,” continues Clarke, who also wrote and produced the film. “Then I thought, ‘Idiot! Have a fuckin’ alien. That would be much cooler.’”
Storage 24 melds primal and otherworldly fears, both of which are emphasised by the lack of connectivity to communications caused by the depth of the storage unit: “You know when you go away somewhere and you’ve got no service? You complain for a bit then forget all about it. Because I wanted to try to have the events outside the storage facility be big, they had to be disconnected from it, so your imagination runs wild.”
Acknowledging a slight influence from the Aliens series, Clarke half-jokingly cites a less obvious influence: “It’s like Jaws. Everybody loved the beach before that. Maybe we can do for storage facilities what Jaws did for the beach.”
Another Noel Clarke script will hit the screen on June 15th when Fast Girls is released. The story of the rivalries in a female sprint relay team, Clarke finally committed to the idea when he heard that the Olympics were coming to the UK. Noel plays the team’s coach rather than the physio who becomes the object of the girls’ affections. “I’m now the older guy, so there’s always a younger guy that the girls fall in love with,” he sighs.
Next year will also see the release of a new Star Trek film in which Clarke has a currently secretive role. “A director like J.J. Abrams you can only ever learn from,” he affirms. “So that’s what I did – I went in, did my work and watched and learned.”