08 Dec Collaboration
I often work alone. There is a certain safety that comes with orchestrating and executing each part of a film project myself. I don’t need to rely on anyone, the only person I will be let down by is me and I find that less irritating than being let down by someone else. I also feel a sense of pride when I sit down to watch it and I know its all mine, I made it from start to finish. ALL MIIIINE. Perhaps that’s another greedy and self-indulgent part of working in a creative domain.
With every project my filmmaking improves, I learn something new, do something subtle that I haven’t done before. However, it is easy to float along doing similar things because you know they work. Sometimes you need another ingredient to make something sing, come face to face with someone else’s creative process to kick you out of comfortable routine.
I have been working with Simon at the college for a couple of years now and we make a good team. I also respect him greatly as a filmmaker and award winning writer (I will read your book one day Si), but we have never worked together on a film. We bagged a commission from the Lakes Comic Art Festival and decided to pool our respective skills and collaborate. I took first leg on the filming side and he took second on the edit.
As soon as we sat down with a pint of cold beer in the Castle I knew that we could come up with 10, 20, 30 great ideas for this film. We could have made it differently 5 times over and each would have been as good or better than the last. I realised how powerful and enriching it could be to work together with someone instead of plowing through it all on your own.
The filming of the journey itself was pretty tough. I was navigating, flying a drone, shooting on two DSLR’s and operating a steadicam next to very busy roads for nearly 10 days straight, but it’s nothing I haven’t done before. The film came alive when Si tried something new and turned his hand to motion graphics and paralax, creating the brilliant archive sequences that illustrate the story. It would be infinately more boring if I had done it all!
Of course it isn’t just me and Si that made the film what it is. As the project bumped along it was shaped and influenced by the people who commissioned it, Aileen McEvoy and Julie Tait. It has an incredible score composed by the very talented Ben Metsers. Huge personality, a context, a narrative and some brilliant pieces of artwork from Oli East. Some more personality from Lorenzo Lawrence and Simon Von Seals………..and it has a flippin elephant. What more could you ask for.