Inspired to Film
We caught up with our guest copywriter, Audrey Barnes who dived into what inspires us a filmmakers.
“If you think that you can hide what your interests are, what your prurient interests are, what your noble interests are, what your fascinations are, if you think you can hide that in your work as a film director, you're nuts.”
Behind the work of every creative is a journey. A journey filled with experiences, which both inspire the content of their creations and processes, and influence their choice of medium. In the run up to the first anniversary of their company, co-founders of High Tide Media, Alex and Eathan, sat down for a chat about what this creative journey has been like for them, and what drew them to the medium of film and video.
So what was it that attracted you to the film-making professions?
Alex: I’ve always wanted to have an impact in some way. Eventually I want to do this through narrative filmmaking. For now, I am learning the skills required to move into narrative and live action production, whilst having a positive impact on the clients and creatives that I work with. More recently, I have become to realise how important the role of a producer is for creative people - you provide support, and facilitate their ability to their job to a high creative standard, without worrying about audience, budgets, planning… or simply who is getting lunch!
Eathan: I think I became attracted to this profession as it allows me to express myself in a variety of ways. There is a wide range of specialisms that I can choose from and each of these helps to provide one’s work with a unique style.
Who have you looked at for inspiration, or as role models for the work that you do?
Alex: From a producing point of view, I really like the work of Mark Herbert, who produced This is England, Submarine, Four Lions, and was executive producer on ‘71. These films all give the audience an insight into a very vivid world of the characters, and have a strong influence on audience members, as well as encouraging debate. They are also highly creative works, and I think it shows true collaboration across all departments.
Eathan: Cinematographers that I personally find inspiring are Roger Deakins, Hoyte Van Hoytema, Emmanuel Lubezki, and Rob Hardy. I also like to use art as inspiration for aspects such as composition, lighting, colour and tone. Artists such as Edward Hopper, Caravaggio and Albert Bierstadt are all great inspirations.
What experiences have helped you the most in your creative and professional development?
Alex: Eathan and I met and worked at Creative Scotland aged 17. We had a wonderful line manager who supported us all the way through. We left with a great network of people who helped us get our first few jobs, and gave us advice when we needed it. Although we’ve worked very hard since to get other clients, working with CS really set us up at a very young age.
Eathan: Starting at an early age has definitely allowed me to develop my skills sooner, and has put me in a good position. Working in the corporate sector allowed me to develop my basic understanding of filmmaking. From there I was able to experiment with certain styles etc on more creative projects.
When was the last time you saw a piece of creative work, of any medium, that really changed the way you view your own work, or how you approach it? What was it?
Alex: Probably This is England 88’. I don’t think a film/show has had that much influence over me to date, as it had such a big impact on how we view people. I recognised this character driven work is something I want to do, and something I am developing in my own work.
After that, I am currently reading The Lean Startup, which really takes the approach of “fail fast” - which I have been familiar with during involvement in Design Thinking projects in the past. It’s started to make me think of things we should do to “just try” and see, rather than being overly worried about protecting our reputation. There is a line though!
Eathan: Oddly enough it was two music videos, one for the Jack U song ‘Mind’ and the other for ‘Kamikaze’ by Mo. Seeing these video for the first time really cemented my goal in wanting to create music videos. I personally would find it really fun to create great visuals and travel around the world doing it. Also mixing it up in our work with the more serious approach of creating and telling ‘strong and impactful’ stories, adding the creation of some light-hearted, purely visual content.
As creative individuals who naturally pursue continuous creative and professional development, what activities and/or resources have been the most impactful for you?
Alex: Having a professional and creative network is so valuable. I would say this to anyone who has just started college or university, or entered the “real world” – try and build one from day one. There’s nothing more valuable than a word of mouth recommendation. This leads on to picking other people’s brains and learning from their lessons. There’s been a few times recently, where I think maybe I shouldn’t go to an event, because the talk is covering business theory and I did something similar in my MSc in business. But I have found (when I do drag myself!) that even if it is something I have covered before, hearing how someone else approached the subject or task is usually very inspiring, and there’s often something other than the theory to take away.
Eathan: I definitely think that looking at other cinematographers / filmmakers is important in developing ideas. For me I like to watch a lot of music videos and films for ideas. I even like to look at certain video games to broaden my opinions on what type of work I could be involved in. One game trailer I like to reference is the ‘Witcher 3 Cinematic trailer’ as this is a very impactful short all on its own.
What environment works best for your creative process?
Alex: For me, it just can’t be the same on a regular basis. Sometimes it’s CodeBase, sometimes it’s at home. I also really like there to be music and a bit of buzz – I struggle to work alone and in silence. On a regular basis, it’s about talking to others too. I usually try and go to at least one event per week, as talking to others can be a really informative process for our work.
Eathan: When filming I would say the hectic environment of a festival or gig give me a sense of excitement and spontaneity that I don’t find as much on a controlled set. For editing, a nice quiet, darkened room with some tunes normally provides the best environment when editing or colouring/grading.
As most creative individuals tend to find out, the journey of developing creative vision is one of constant evolution and development. New and exciting resources come onto your horizon with every passing day - and the team at High Tide Media team know that all to well. So, to keep up with their work, and tap into their world of inspirations, head on over to their social media pages and give them a follow - and don’t forget to get in touch with all of your own ideas and questions!
To see more of Audrey’s writing visit her blog here.