"Ideas from the sky": Curious Film directors reflect on their industry

  • Production
  • April 4, 2019
  • StopPress Team
"Ideas from the sky": Curious Film directors reflect on their industry

As part of StopPress' Production Month, seven directors from Curious Film answer questions about inspiration, career highlights and the format of film. 

HYUN LEE

Why is film such an incredible format to work with?

Because you get to work with so many different people! I can't think of many other mediums which involve as much collaboration and creative coordination. 

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Books and documentaries.

Career highlight so far?

Having a short film screened at SXSW was wild.

W.A.M. BLEAKLEY

Why is film such an incredible format to work with?

The combination of sound and video captures emotion better than any other format. It’s the medium of dreams. If you want someone to feel a certain way, it’s the fastest and most potent way to do this. 

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Childhood.

Career highlight so far?

Our film screening at Museum of Modern Art in New York earlier this year was pretty wild. 

LUCY KNOX

Why is film such an incredible format to work with?

It’s such an all-encompassing medium. You can transport yourself as the viewer to another world, and see the world through another characters lens. Roger Ebert called film the empathy machine; that’s what I love so much about the form.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

People watching.

Career highlight so far?

An Act of Love, a short film I wrote and directed, was acquired by the Criterion Collection in 2018. That was special to me.

SASHA RAINBOW

Why is film such an incredible format to work with?

The idea of focusing on one trade or skillset has always left me restless; when I stumbled into the world of film it was so exciting to find I could occupy a role that had endless possibilities to learn, develop and create. Film is also an incredible medium because of its scope; what other art forms can connect and touch the hearts of such a wide mass of people?

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Inspiration for me is about constantly feeding the brain with new information, ideas and experiences. Like cooking, you kind of throw a bunch of ingredients into the brain, let it stew for a while and then wait for an idea to present itself. I think also learning about your core ideals and what you are trying to say as an artist can really help guide your creativity. I love going to Academic lectures at universities and having conversations with strangers, as well as the obvious immersion in art and music. I also think it's important to give the brain a break, that's when the best ideas can come.

Career highlight so far?

Working with Paralympic athlete's such as swimmer Ernie Agat Gawilan for the 2018 Toyota 'Start Your Impossible' campaign was incredibly inspiring. It felt great to know we were having an important conversation about disability and I loved being able to represent the ideas around this subject in a new way. Making my first documentaries, (Kamali and Kofi and Lartey, which are currently on the festival circuit) was incredibly challenging and gratifying.

FLORIAN HABICHT

Why is film such an incredible format to work with?

I love film because you get to mix and play with so many art forms. Photography, music, storytelling, performance, dance... I love shooting love scenes. I love film because its collaborative and it’s an excuse to engage with people who you might otherwise never get to know. Film brings people together. I love documentary just as much as fiction, and I love mixing the two. I love going to the cinema, sitting in a dark space with friends and strangers, and having a collective dream together.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

From looking out of the windows of trains and buses. From Asian supermarkets. From good coffee (!)  I love listening to music, while I’m shooting, script writing, or doing the dishes. I'm two meters tall, so I can grab many ideas from the sky before anyone else catches them.

Career highlights so far?

Winning the best decorated bicycle contest at Primary school when I was ten years old. Making a music film about Jarvis Cocker and Pulp - one of my favourite bands! 'Pulp: about Life, Death & Supermarkets.'  My NYC Romance 'Love Story' opening the New Zealand Film Festival in 2011. 

ROMA D’ARRIETTA

Why is film such an incredible format to work with?

Film is such a multifaceted medium. I love the way that everything is such a collaborative process. The fact that you can't do any of it alone means that it shifts and changes in ways you cannot plan or foresee leaving you with something that's born through a collective process.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I find inspiration from anything and everything. From memories to images one picks up along the way. I think so much of inspiration is very much subconscious.

Career highlight so far?

I think definitely a career highlight was making my short film 'Beverly' with such an incredible creative team. The generosity of everyone in making it happen has been really amazing. Directing such clever young actors was a real pleasure and you really can't go past working with Australian powerhouse Susie Porter. Watching her work and seeing how she could just go there was magic.

JAMES K. LOWE

Why is film such an incredible format to work with?

The medium is so over saturated with content these days, yet a new piece can always come along and really make you stop. I have several of these saved, ranging from YT content, scenes of from TV and feature films. I've always been interested in creating scenes with my stills work as opposed to capturing the moment, so I think with film you can selectively guide the audience to interpreting what's happening in scene as opposed to the single frame. From a visual standpoint, I think there's a natural progression to wanting to get more out of a single frame.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

This is quite funny, when I work on stills I look at film. I try to sum up the essence of the shot within a single frame, however when it comes to film I’m constantly looking at still frames thinking about how they might work as just one piece of the frame.

Career highlight so far?

Eigh years ago I was lucky enough to represent New Zealand at the Musee du Quai Branly in Paris. A series of works were publicly exhibited outside the Museum and also up the Eiffel Tower. I don't think anything has topped that, yet.

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