As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a
Okay, that's not strictly true (it came after fireman, Power Ranger, archaeologist, Pokemon Master, professional wrestler, footballer, rockstar, and journalist on the career choices list), but I’ve wanted to create. From drawing my own comic books, to making characters in video games, to teaching myself graphic design, the need to express myself through making has always been there. Running parallel to this has been my interest in film, which probably borders on obsession. I'd rewatch films again and again as a toddler, regularly wearing out VHS tapes (I went through at least three copies of The Rescuers) and my dad tells the story of taking me to the cinema for the first time to see The Jungle Book; while every other kid in the theatre was screaming and raising hell, I sat there completely rapt by the big screen. It's basically been the same ever since.
When I was around 12 or 13, my dad made it a weekly thing to improve my "film education" by showing me the "classics"; the first two Godfather films, Forrest Gump, Shawshank Redemption, The Shining, Once Upon A Time In America, Jaws, Young Frankenstein, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest etc. Even now, film forms a cornerstone of our relationship; I’m not much of a conversationalist, but my dad knows he can always ask me what I’ve watched this week and I can rattle off half a dozen things.
You can probably see why "filmperson" is an appropriate tagline for me as a creative.
It was thanks to this education that my eyes were increasingly open to the possibilities of the medium, beyond Disney cartoons and the likes of Dunston Checks In. I realised filmmaking was an actual thing people do, a career I could potentially have. Taking Media Studies in sixth form and a combined Film Studies/Media Production course at college helped broaden my experience and fuel my desire for a filmmaking career. This has all led to me finding myself at LIPA.
As far as influences on my own work go, it's hard not to list the majority of films I've seen. Pretentious as it sounds, I often find inspiration in most things I watch, even if it's how not to do something rather than the opposite. There’s no particular genre or theme or style I want to focus on. Instead I’m more like a kid in a sweet shop at all the potential things I could help make. Being part of the world of cinema is what I want to do, helping to make films which are entertaining but also have something between the ears, so to speak. If I had to state one major influence, it would have to be the New Hollywood movement of the 1960s and 1970s. So many of the films from that movement make up the western canon, rightfully being considered classics, and being exposed to them at an early age through my dad's weekly "film club" was no doubt formative to my cinematic tastes. As I’ve grown older and explored further into the movement, beyond that initial group of films, my appreciation for it has only deepened and I see it as probably the last time the power balance in western filmmaking really lay with those actually making the films, rather than in an boardroom somewhere in LA.
It’s only until fairly recently, I feel, that the power pendulum has swung back in the direction of the directors with the advent of streaming services and their voracious need for content. Studios are increasingly looking to auteurs, young and old, to fill up their virtual vaults; Scorsese couldn't have made The Irishman the way he wanted without Netflix stumping up the budget, whilst Ava Duvernay’s 13th would never have had the reach it did without Netflix’s platform. And it’s not just established names being given such opportunities; directors such as Radha Blank (The 40-Year-Old Version), Sergio Pablos (Klaus), Andrew Patterson (The Vast Of Night), Alan Yang (Tigertail), and Max Barbakow (Palm Springs) have all been able to release their debut features through streaming services over the last year or two. So, for filmmakers who are less precious about the cinematic experience, there are still opportunities to reach an incredibly wide audience without having to sacrifice artistic vision, which is heartening for someone starting out like myself.
Away from film-based education, my interests include graphic design, photography (which might explain the lack of behind-the-scenes photos of me on here, as I'm usually holding the camera), gaming, football, and other things which make this sound vaguely like a dating profile.