Chorleywood’s second annual Film Festival takes place this month and there’s great excitement that leading film director David Yates, (last Harry Potter films and ‘Fantastic Beasts), will be at the Saturday morning session talking about his career, film-making and answering audience questions.
David, who is donating a prize for the Young Film-makers Competition, is passionate about his work and especially keen to encourage budding film-makers.
Chorleywood Magazine spoke to him ahead of the event
David Yates’s fascination for movies was sparked off by regular visits to the cinema at the age of 13, but especially seeing the film Jaws.
“I grew up in the north of England and we would go to the cinema every week. So many films excited me but I just fell in love with Jaws, not only the adventure but seeing how the audience reacted and were drawn in, how they responded… when they jumped. Being at the cinema was a riveting experience.. just like being at church, 300 people, all transported by the same thing.”
Yates started making his own movies in his early teens
“ I was a shy kid and film was a way of expressing myself. My mum bought me a Super 8 camera and I stated making films with my younger brother, shooting anything that caught my imagination. I carried on filming right through my time at Uni and made first proper film after uni. I had few resources then and had to be as inventive and resourceful. I cast from a local community drama group whse members had the desire or aptitude for acting and were great . It was a 20 min short and my first proper film and won a few awards round the world, the BBC bought and it got me onto film school, it was a very valuable project!”
Anything that encourages young people to get involved with film from technology to festivals is wonderful, says Yates
“Film making is no longer about kit – expense was always a barrier in the past. Technology exists now for everybody to tap into – you can make a film on an iPhone. It’s all wonderful and will have a profound impact. There will be a generation of story tellers coming out because they have had easy access to resources.
You don’t have to be privileged to have a career in film today , you can prove yourself convincingly as a story teller in other ways.”
How would you advise young people who want to improve their film making skills?
“One, find a story you believe important to tell. It always starts with the story. It’s a collaborative process, you need to find people you enjoy working with – like painting and poetry film making is a true art form in that what you all create together so choose your partners carefully, they need to be kindred spirits and you need to bring out the best in each other. Qualities of people are important because you rely on them so much. You have to be able to work at every level – people who succeed in this industry are clever and generally are the nicer people. Thirdly, you have to be really committed to follow this path – it’s a marathon rather than a sprint, you’re in it for the long haul. Don’t give up. I started at 13, made my first proper film at 27 and broke through and directed my first film in my late 20s. Allow yourself to grow, It’s a slow burn, don’t be in a rush…
Every film I do feels like the first time and that you have to prove yourself again and again. You never stop learning
So what are the qualities of a good director ?
“Every single director is different but the best ones have a keen sense of ambition, are persistent and determined – you have to be in this game. There are so many obstacles and challenges and you need to reflect the world as you would like to see it or as it should be
Surround yourself with right people who will help you achieve what you need to achieve. Diplomacy is a useful skill and it can help you get your own way!
Also you need a sense of fun – you have to enjoy and appreciate the opportunity – telling stories that will be seen all over world is a big responsibility and privilege so retaining a sense of gratitude is important – Every week we say to each other once how grateful we are for our job.”
Some people have a narrative instinct but it’s something you can develop. The key to storytelling is having empathy for human experience.. and to want to understand and be curious , you need imagination.
Really interesting filmmakers have their own musicality – rhythm grows out of instinct and personality and in no way is bounded by convention.”
FILM FESTIVAL PROGRAMME
THURSDAY 22nd FEB
Film Quiz Night Quizmaster, Gillian Hill. ( HEN there is a Logo for this with pics)
Loving Vincent (12A) Visually stunning animated feature bringing Vincent Van Gogh’s extraordinary painting style to life, taking us through the artist’s last days and exploring the mystery of his death.
Morning Young Film-Makers session with special guest David Yates
Afternoon Paper Planes (U). Light-hearted, funny Australian children’s drama – A tale of a young boy with a passion for everything that flies and his challenge to compete in the World Paper Plane Championships in Japan.
Plus Paper Plane Flying Competition for audience
Evening Lars and the Real Girl (12A) – comedy drama withgreat central performance from Ryan Gosling as a sweet but socially inept young man living in a tightly knit community who develops a romantic, non-sexual relationship with a life size doll.
Afternoon Victoria & Abdul (PG)
Based on Queen Victoria’s controversial relationship with a young Indian clerk who joined the Royal Household in the latter years of her reign. Directed by Stephen Frears and starring Judi Dench.
CW Film Festival is sponsored by Ultimate Destinations, with marketing support by Hetheringtons
All events at CW Memorial Hall. Tickets: CW Bookshop. Full details and online booking at www.cwfilmclub.org