How do you find new people to work with?
My way of finding new people to work with is by using Facebook groups. I also find new people via Instagram too. I am in a few groups for North East Creatives so I often go there in search of collaborations. When I do work with people I usually find people that have the same motives as me so we can have a great experience creating something.
What has been your favourite project so far?
My favourite project so far has been my current project called The Lockdown Log. The idea for it sprung into my head a few weeks into lockdown whilst I was a bit bored. The Lockdown Log is a short documentary series where I video call various people to interview them about how lockdown has affected their lives. My aim for it is to encourage others to stay connected with their friends and family members via video chats and phone calls. I know a lot of people will be struggling in various ways during lockdown and a phone call can really boost someone’s day. I love creating documentaries and this is a way I can stay creative whilst being at home.
Which filmmakers inspire you?
A lot of filmmakers inspire me. My favourite directors are Wes Anderson, Greta Gerwig and the bigger directors, Steven Spielberg and Christopher Nolan. I am also inspired by filmmakers I mainly watch on YouTube such as Jack and Dean (Jack Howard and Dean Dobbs), Bertie Gilbert and Ashley aka BestDressed. If I ever lack creativity I always watch a film or video by them to get inspired.
Do you think there has been a gender imbalance in the film industry? If so, what can we do to reduce that imbalance?
There is certainly still a gender imbalance in the film industry. In 2017, the year I was leaving high school I got interviewed by a man because he wanted to know what I was going to do after school as I wasn’t staying on to do A Levels. I told him I was going to study creative media production and technology at college. His response to me was that more males tend to go into the media industry than women as if it was odd that I wanted to study that subject. At the time there was only myself and one other girl studying media production in my year group at school, I was taught by a female teacher but I did often question why more girls didn’t want to study creative media. I felt quite agitated about what the man said but when I started college there ended up being more young women on my course than young men. I think we can do a lot of things to reduce the gender imbalance such as by encouraging young women to learn about the film industry and by advertising films created by women. Award shows could also do a lot better at promoting films made by other genders because it seems to be predominately male. There is an actor and actress category, why not have films made by men and films made by women category?
Do you have any stand out experiences in the film industry?
I am still only getting my foot in the door of the film industry as well as learning more about the art of filmmaking. However I directed/produced a short documentary about freerunning called ‘Motus’ through Tyneside Cinema’s Documentary Academy. I developed my filmmaking skills a lot during the academy and I also met some other amazing filmmakers which I hope to collaborate with in the future. The overall experience was great and we had a premiere at the end in Tyneside Cinema to screen my documentary along with the other three documentaries that were created. Our friends, family and participants of the documentary were invited to come along which was great.
My other stand out experiences are that Motus was selected for Sunderland Shorts Film Festival and my film Don’t Take Detours placed 10th in the student category of the 15 Second Horror Film Challenge.
Where’s your favourite place to film in the North East?
There are lots of locations to film in Newcastle upon Tyne whether that is on top of a car park with the view of Newcastle or down at the Quayside. I am based in Northumberland where there is beautiful scenery, but I love the atmosphere of Newcastle and there is always something going on. Newcastle is also full of creatives such as artists, photographers, dancers, and other filmmakers so the city often inspires me to keep creating.
Are there any local creatives (musicians/artists/filmmakers) you urge us to check out?
I urge you to check out the filmmaker Lewis Dodds aka Doddsy. He has created some brilliant documentaries and his editing style is amazing.
How would you describe your work in 5 words?
Creative, experimental, inspired, colourful and motivated.
Questions by Emily Duff