1. What movie inspired you to be a Director?
There wasn’t a specific film or light bulb style moment. Growing up, it took me quite a long time to realise that directing could be a career. My Dad was a writer and my Mum an artist, so I grew up in a creative environment and directing was just a good outlet for me. I’ve always been very particular and precise and used to spend hours, we’re talking a couple of days at a time, just setting up scenes with my toys before actually playing with them. It’s only retrospectively that I realised that I really enjoyed designing and telling stories from a young age. I think it’s innate in every kid, only some choose to explore it more (i.e. never grow up!).
I don’t know if it can be considered inspiration per se but I distinctly remember watching the making of John Landis’ Thriller video and wondering why the images of the ‘making of’ looked so different to the finished film. I could see the film being shot from behind the scenes but the look and texture of the images was so different. I was intrigued and the filmmaking process was kind of fascinating to me from that point.
2. What other mediums do you draw inspiration from? (e.g. paintings, photographers, writers, etc)
The same clichéd places that everyone else does… Art, literature, photography, design, life experience. Music is a particularly big one for me. Sound too. I’m a massive David Lynch fan and subscribe very much to one of his theories of inspiration… That being that it can be drawn from anything at anytime. Not just the traditional mediums in art.
I can be quite obsessive and often things can start from a single image or an abstraction of an idea and develop from there.
3. Who is your favourite Cinematographer?
Can’t single out one. It’s like trying to pick a favourite song.
I really admire cinematographers whose work has very distinct identity, people like Harris Savides, Adam Arkapaw, Benoit Debie and in particular Robbie Ryan, the man is a genius at imbuing everyday objects with a charge somehow. I love Daniel Landin’s work too. And obviously it’s obligatory to mention Roger Deakins.
4. Are you interested in making long form?
Absolutely. I’m tipping away at long form but won’t just rush into it because it’s cheap enough to make a feature now. I was mentored by Peter Strickland on the Guiding Lights scheme, which was ace and gave real first hand insight into the process.
I’m working with a fellow Guiding Lighter on a script which I think stands a good chance of life.
5. What piece of advice do you have for aspiring filmmakers?
Just make stuff. It’s never been easier to do it. Practice, make mistakes. Nothing will happen for you, you’ve got to put yourself and your work out there. Never stop hustling.
6. Do you still prefer to shoot on film?
Haven’t shot on film since university. I have great respect for the process and appreciate the romance and discipline associated with it but I think unless there’s a specific motivation for using it, it can be a bit frivolous. Digital is at a point now where it’s no compromise at all.
7. How would you best like to showcase your work?
Depends on the type of project. Obviously for drama, nothing beats the cinema. I’ve had shorts in some big international festivals, which have opened doors to other things and carry the associated prestige within the film industry. But then Vimeo, and specifically a Staff Pick, can give you a bonkers amount of exposure, particularly for commercial work.