You are involved in all the steps of the filmmaking process, how do you approach each step?
Each step naturally transcends into the next but there’s definitely a balance of preparation, capturing the action and storytelling that’s important to be conscious of. Throughout the stages of filmmaking I’ve always got a notebook filled with scribbles, keeping in mind the themes, story arc, important messages, psychology and visual impact. I love every part of the process and approach each step with a plan while being open to anything. The amazing thing about documentary filmmaking is the unexpected turns projects can take and how to move with these curveballs and let the film naturally develop. It’s all part of the fun. Yeah it can keep you on the edge but the unexpected angles can help pull the idea apart and develop the vision into something more beautiful than imagined. Editing is a rad part because you get to see the possibilities of what you can make from material you shot and build the story.
One of the biggest difficulties as an aspiring director is financing films so I’ve developed a do it myself attitude to create films and make my ideas happen without a budget. It’s a rewarding approach and you definitely learn a lot, but I’m ready to take my filmmaking to the next level and collaborate with more people and work with a crew. My short documentary ‘Rebirth’ just got selected for the Portuguese Surf Film Festival and it feels incredible as it’s something I made on my own, alongside a friend to do the in-water filming. I’m stoked!
Surfing is a strong theme in your videos. Is surfing a passion of your own, or a culture you appreciate for its ability to tell a visually appealing story?
Surfing is a passion of mine. I love it. It’s an important part of my life and inspires me massively, so naturally somehow my life has gravitated towards being close to the ocean. Surfing is a powerful, expressive tool that unites nature with elements of psychology. It’s a form of therapy and freedom that builds on a connection to the world and is very humbling. I think the determination and the mindful and physical skill it takes to read the ocean and ride waves is awesome, so I’m stoked on telling stories based on something I’m passionate about.
Travel and exploration are prevalent in your work, is your travelling experience what inspired you to immerse yourself in filmmaking?
Travelling was always a big part of my life but wasn’t actually what got me into filmmaking, but they do go hand in hand! When I was studying my main interest was shock advertising. I believed (and still do) that if you’re going to use your platform as a voice and put money into a campaign, do it with purpose, be bold and make a statement. I started working in the advertising industry and discovered it wasn’t for me. I was craving work with more purpose and creative expression. Working on commercial sets opened my eyes up to the film industry and I immersed myself in the world of directors and films on a similar vibe to me. Film is a creative collaboration of everything rad - ideas, culture, filming, editing, music, sound, locations, people. Being able to put all these elements together into a film is wild. Once I realised that I was hooked.
Your work with director Sasha Rainbow shows incredible relationships and livelihoods that come from cultures far removed from westernised society, has this altered your own perceptions of the world and what sort of films you want to create in the future?
Yeah woah what a whirlwind!! It was an amazing experience working on projects with Sasha. She’s a big inspiration to me and it was an honour working alongside her and to be a part of the films we worked on. Documentary based work does alter your perception of the world. Immersing yourself in people and stories from cultures far removed from westernised society opens your eyes up to what’s really going on outside of our bubble. It makes you realise how lucky we are and the prevalence of issues in the world. During the Kamali documentary we discovered that Kamali’s mother Suganthi had never been three streets away from her house and she was ostracised from the community because she divorced her abusive husband, and here we are jet setting around the globe with the capability of leading the life we desire. It’s wild. I want to create films about people who push the boundaries for something they’re passionate about and what they believe in, personal stories that go against the grain, the reality of vulnerabilities and the everyday heroes. I want to create films about diverse stories and radical culture.
Many of the films you have worked on bear powerful and uplifting messages, such as ’some heroes create real change’ and ’start your impossible’ What do you consider to be the role films have in bringing about change in the world?
I believe films have a massively positive effect on instilling change in the world. Films enable space for diverse voices and have the power to influence all walks of life. The industry started for entertainment purposes but as it developed there are more people shining a light on impactful stories that drive curiosity, and let hidden stories be heard. It’s a platform for expression and truth. Film has the ability to turn what’s considered to be the norm on its head, pull it apart, turn it upside down and change perspectives. The industry highlights how we all have the power to change the world.