Was there a specific moment you realised that you wanted to start creating films? Was it something that you were interested in from an early age?
I grew up around cameras, which gave me an unfair advantage in the realm of creating. My dad was a photographer, I'd help him out on shoots, then started making behind the scenes videos for clients. So I've been playing with cameras and editing since I was about 14, I mostly viewed it as a random hobby, as I got more positive feedback I started to explore more. I started to experiment, dragging my friends into random videos like Mono (https://vimeo.com/108480736) and this is where my interest started to grow. I loved making videos with no purpose at all, just shooting and editing for fun to music I loved. I pretty much fell into creating from there.
When you have an initial idea for a video, what is your creative process? How do you start to put your ideas into motion?
My creative process consists of the people I collaborate with. If I have a random spark of an idea, my first port of call is ringing my co-director/producer/confidante and all-around inspiring person Akinna Aquino (https://the-dots.com/users/akinna-aquino-228790). We hold each other to the ideas we have, develop them together, make sure we're progressing, and making it the best it can be. I think that's the key to all creative work, finding people you can collaborate with really well, people that bring something different to your mindset, who aren't afraid to call you out, challenge your perspective, and those that believe in the work just as much as you do.
I’ve noticed that your short films often explore the almost dystopian relationship between technology and humans, ‘Sci-Fi’ and ‘Eden’ are particularly visually striking. In ‘Eden’, the contrast between the office environment and the vibrant natural world is unsettling and beautiful. Can you tell me what inspired these films and why this theme is interesting to you?
Something that I've always loved, is when I watch a film or see a piece of creative work that confuses me, makes me uncomfortable in some way, or fucks with my preconceptions of how things should be. Eden and Sci-fi were both results of this but at a very nascent stage. I wanted to explore glitch-art in both of these projects and thought backward, what would work well with glitch art? A Jungle setting with a bunch of animals? maybe! Maybe bringing in the digital element to link the scenes together? The majority of the time, I have no idea what I'm doing, whether it will work, whether it will come together in the end, but that's something I love about experimenting. There's no pressure to fit a brief, or goal, it's just making whatever feels right. I think these are the pieces that inspire me to keep working and develop my creativity.
I’ve seen you’ve been creating videos for brands in recent years, including your work for ‘Coloro’ and ‘Cannes Lions Festival’, how have you adapted to producing and directing animation and motion graphics? How does the process differ?
When I'm exploring animation or motion graphics or animation myself, it's a lot of experimental work. Trying out new styles and collaborating with brands and my colleagues to assess how it's working. How we can develop it further. I love to edit, and the fun of motion graphics is how interchangeable it can all be. If you don't like where a project is going, you can mix it up much easier than with a lot of traditional methods of film-making. I rarely work on projects now where I don't add in a motion graphics element. I think there is a lot of beauty in minimalism, but I'm drawn to what a lot of people would consider over-doing it. Animation and motion graphics have proven themselves as very valuable techniques for me to get as extra as I please on any project. See: Coloro- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrPG6d9xz-I&t=6s
What kind of filmmakers are you drawn to? Are there any in particular that have influenced your work and career?
I've always been a big fan of Nick Knight and his experimental work. SHOWstudio is a brilliant channel to follow, and I get a lot of inspiration from videos I'll come across on Nowness. More recently, with everyone having access to distributing their own creative work, I look to Instagram for my inspiration, especially profiles that focus on different formats to film-making @pablo.rochat @gfx_prints @visanstefan @visual.fodder @steoville
I find these channels to be particularly inspiring, looking at multiple platforms and executions can open my mind to how I can integrate ideas to video. I love how fast-paced social platforms are, how many ideas I can come across in a day, these are what keep me excited about creative work, and motivate me to keep learning and creating.
What are your hopes, creatively, for the coming decade?
My main aim for my future work is to collaborate on projects that have a positive impact. It could be working on HUGE topics, inciting change, or simply just making a viewer shed a little smile. I'm currently working on a project with Akinna and a range of female collaborators focussing on consent, in hopefully, a way we've not traditionally seen it approached before, I've got big hopes for this particular project, so if you're interested to see the outcome I'll be posting all of the work on The Dots in the coming months.
Finally, do you have any advice for young people starting out their career in filmmaking?
I'm very much still starting my career, so I don't have much in the way of advice apart from what I work to follow myself. The main thing I struggle with, along with a lot of other (especially female) creatives, is having belief in my ideas. I often undermine my work and undervalue my skills. So it's something I have to keep teaching myself every day. To trust my instincts, choices, and keep developing. To listen to others, but make sure to respect my own opinion just as much. And mainly, not stressing out about it. I genuinely believe none of us are truthfully certain of what we're doing, some people are just better at convincing the rest of us that they are. So just keep creating whatever feels right, could be a random TikTok or a script you've been working on for a year. Just keep making and make sure you're collaborating, especially with other undervalued voices.
I think that's the key to all creative work, finding people you can collaborate with really well, people that bring something different to your mindset, who aren't afraid to call you out, challenge your perspective, and those that believe in the work just as much as you do.