Sim directed and edited our rather lovely new short film, The Edgeland, in the Algarve with us at the end of last year. We caught up with him to get to know him a little better and share some of the inspiration that goes into his work.
Where’s home for you?
Brighton, gotta be by the coast!
How did you get into filmmaking?
Rollerblading introduced me to filmmaking. I had an old handy cam when I was about 12 years old (22 years ago!) and I just used to mess about, filming tricks with friends and then we used to watch the footage back and try to see what we did wrong, see how we could improve. I used this as a tool to practise. I remember when I discovered a fisheye lens and how it made tricks look even faster and higher than real life. I had made a skate DVD called The Same Difference, mastered 1000 copies and sold these through out the skate shops in the UK and Europe and it was one of these DVD’s that I used to show a producer from a local production company what I could do. He seemed impressed and saw potential and immediately after offered me a salary as some kind of corporate video trainee. It was the first step on that ladder.
Who or what inspires you?
That’s a tricky one because inspiration comes to me in so many ways. I used to be inspired by professional people. Had posters of skaters on my walls etc. I did watch a Ryan Giggs football tricks DVD quite a bit too, but I was inspired by their results more than anything else. I guess through filmmaking it helped me look a little beyond that and I became more interested in someones story, their ethics & values. Interesting characters and their intimate and micro rituals inspire me to make films or perhaps change little things about myself. After every shoot I do with Millican for example, I come back feeling inspired by the people I meet. I might be something like, how they hold down a career and maintain a passion, how they parent or how they see the world. I totally steal a little bit from them and add it to my being each time.
Besides this I’m inspired mostly by nature and learning more about natural cycles and how it all works. I find nature creeping into my work all the time but recently I discovered this inspiration comes to me subconsciously. I’m not actively out in nature every day, hunting or chasing it because I don’t live that life. I live in a bungalow near a big city but it’s like a reciprocated understanding that the more time I put in the more it gives back. It’s hard to measure but you feel it!
Is there such thing as a 'typical day' for you at work? What does it look like?
Typical day, definitely not - the only thing I can guarantee is that my son will wake us up around 5:30am . After this every day is totally different and I like that!
Lasting memory from your trip with us to Portugal?
Shooting underwater with clothes pegs to seal the housing - that’s one to remember. Oh and getting my first tattoo 3 days before setting off on a shoot that involved lots of salt water and 30 degree sun exposure (apparently a big no no for fresh tats!).
And finally...what does soul mean to you?
Soul to me is embodiment.
It’s the feeling I try to retain in my films. I like to think I’m adding Soul into my films and that’s the thing that drives me with every film I make. I hope The Edgeland carries with it a Soul that people will tune into and appreciate.
Watch Sim's beautiful short film, The Edgeland, here.
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