Commissioned at the start of 2020 and produced throughout lockdown, Inside Out Shorts is a series of films exploring the relationship between our inner lives and creativity, produced in collaboration with The Smalls.
Can you introduce your film?
Every Dark Wave is a film about mindfulness and balance. The narrative unfolds as a guided meditation with a warm voice-over and visuals that take you on a journey. It's about learning to guide your focus and accepting both positive and negative thoughts that pass through your mind. How can we find comfort in challenging spaces? How can we learn to ride these dark waves rather than let them drag us under?
The commission was originally part of Inside Out, a season exploring our inner lives and creativity and how art can help us better understand ourselves and empathise with others’ experience of the world. How did your film respond to these ideas?
I was really interested in the theme of Inside Out and I wanted to draw parallels between the practice of meditation and creativity. I wanted this film to be uplifting and evoke a sense of calm and healing.
No one really teaches us how to delve into our 'inner world' and manage our own thoughts and feelings, but it's a skill we can develop through practice. Learning to guide our focus is key to both meditation and creativity. You are working towards a moment of clarity, and through that process you become increasingly more aware of yourself and others. I think when we allow ourselves to acknowledge both sides of our inner world (the light as well as the dark), we are better prepared to overcome the things that hold us back. We can create the space we need to move ahead confidently, without being too attached to our desires or fears.
No one really teaches us how to delve into our 'inner world' and manage our own thoughts and feelings
Can you explain the process behind the making of your film?
This was a really interesting project to work on and I love the mood and atmosphere we managed to create in the film. I wanted to keep a level of authenticity so it was important that I collaborate with real practitioners whose work involves the mind and body (yoga practitioners, hypnotherapists etc). I had actually joined many of Aleksei and Pamela's classes to learn more about their practice and develop the concept further before filming with them. We wanted to shoot the project far away from the city and found an incredible rustic house surrounded by nature! During post-production I worked closely with Jamie Ross who composed a beautiful music track and Melissa Re whose magnetic voice narrates the film.
What impact did Covid-19 have on production? What was your experience creating a film in these strange conditions?
This was the first project I filmed after the lockdown. The initial concept had to be changed in order to facilitate filming within COVID-19 guidelines - we had to cut out some characters, eliminate all contact and interactions between cast and keep things flexible with a very small crew. From a creative point of view, it was difficult as I had to keep reworking my ideas but still try and maintain the core concept. But it was also a huge opportunity to learn how to develop my craft under these new strange circumstances.
There was a lot of uncertainty about whether we could achieve it or not and we had to be prepared to adapt to last-minute changes (i.e someone got sick etc). In the end, everything came together though, we managed to drive up for one day and film everything - it was also a very fun day!
What impact do you think Covid-19 will have on cinema in the near future – for audiences and filmmakers?
I think we will see a wave of new ideas & stories that will be a direct result of what we have experienced this year. Filmmakers are tenacious, they will adapt to new conditions and will find new ways to tell their stories - we have already seen projects that were filmed in isolation or directors working via Zoom! We are all still processing the changes that Covid-19 brought and I think there is a lot of fertile ground for creativity and new ideas to grow! I also hope the lockdown has made people realise that creativity is not restricted to industry professionals - making and creating art is part of the human condition, it's what humans do!
Filmmakers are tenacious, they will adapt to new conditions and will find new ways to tell their stories