#BonfireStories — Introducing Filmmaker and writer Haley Anderson
Q:When it comes to storytelling, where do you get your inspiration from?
Right now, I’m inspired by true stories, real events: my childhood, the people I grew up around, the people I love, the people I meet when I travel, the places I have gotten stranded in; overheard conversations. I try to read a lot of nonfiction and news stories from different parts of the world. I especially try to understand certain experiences or issues through the lens of my own life. I find that lately if it’s not true to my own emotional experience, I can’t tell that story. But that’s how I feel in this exact moment. I think my approach will change and I look forward to changing and discovering. Also, music, poetry and photography drives a lot of what I do.
Q: In your movie pillars, Why did you choose to tell a story that navigates intimacy and the church?
Having spent part of my early childhood in a few churches, I was interested in capturing what it feels like to be a small, unseen, yet curious person in a space that’s so influential and important to the older people around you. I started with images from my past and the spaces where I would go to escape authority, like the bathroom stall. I wanted to explore the tension between the emotions of self- revelation and a certain brand of religion: the feelings are indefinable when everything else is being defined for you. I ultimately wanted to reconcile these things to the other experience of encountering an entity that’s also indefinable — the discovery of something ever-present and not hostile. I didn’t want to do that in a big way. I wanted to explore it in one image.
Q:Pillars just debuted at the Sundance film festival. How important is this to you personally, and to your career?
I think Sundance was a great experience in gaining more visibility. I was very happy with how our short was received and was extremely grateful to have been selected. It was pretty amazing. Meeting other filmmakers, though, was the highlight. It’s always wonderful to meet people who love to do the exact same thing from the other side of the world, country, or even in the same neighborhood — it makes you feel connected in a way that’s incredibly motivating and comforting…