- When it comes to storytelling, where do you get your inspiration from?
To start off with, my own life. A lot of my films are personal or have personal elements buried within the writing. I think it’s important that writers tell stories that matter to them and compel them the most. It’s easy to get lost in politics and trends, especially when the herd are creating the same kind of stories. Just have to stay true to who you are and what kind of people you want to connect with. Buried in each of my films is a diary entry of hardship from my life and it’s something only I can see, but I think that’s the secret ingredient to any great work. Create work to heal yourself first; roll up your sleeves, show the world your scars and let others going through the same problems know that they’re not alone. You resonate with more people by showing them you have battle wounds and you’re still trying to heal.
2. What is the toughest challenge you’ve faced so far?
There hasn’t been one singular moment I can recall, but if anything, I’d have to say trying to balance my health and work. It’s hard enough trying to make films but when you have a chronic health problem, it makes it near to impossible. But every day I wake up and thank God that this is my life because I realize how privileged I am to be able to make a film and upload it for the world to see. Everyone is going through something, and sometimes people struggle in silence so I just want to inspire someone to continue fighting for their dream.
3. What kind of world do you want to see now that your film “Grounding” is made? (For clarification) We know that there is a message you as a filmmaker are conveying to your audience, what is that message?
I think Grounding is important in many aspects. Essentially, the story is about how a relationship can change when one person is bottling up their inner battles. Kane (played by Stefan Boateng) suffers with anxiety and his girlfriend Yasmin (played by Sarah Isabella) is trying to be there for him as much as possible. It’s a dynamic that transforms almost into a patient and care assistant relationship and we showcase how love can be the anchor in the storm. I think exploring the minds of young black men with PTSD and anxiety is one of the most crucial discussions we need to be having. This film ultimately shows that even though you’re going through something alone, you’re never too far from some company. Something as small as spending time, going for a walk or watching a movie, can make the difference. I’d like to think that this film can promote community and a sense of togetherness as we often don’t talk about how alone we feel.
4. As a filmmaker, what are some key lessons learned so far?
Patience. I’ve had to be a DIY filmmaker because I don’t have access to crew, so I’m always wearing multiple hats on production. It forces a sense of perfectionism in your work. And when you’re just starting out, you rush things and compensate in different areas. Another key lesson would be letting go of entitlement. Something you aspire for when you start off is either awards or recognition and then when you get there, you realize how little it means. The work is the most important part of what we do. The features, awards ceremonies and platform recognition will not fulfill you. You get so caught up in social media sometimes that maybe it comes down to death by comparison. I realized I just had to keep my head down and carry on telling my stories.
5. What do you know today that you wish you knew when you began your journey as a filmmaker?
I wish I had educated myself more. I feel like I started learning how to write and direct a lot later in my film career. I was literally just doing everything by trial and error and maybe that’s changed me into this meticulous and calculated type of person now. I think it’s a lesson to everyone starting out, study your craft as much as possible. Even if you’ve already made 5 films, you can always learn more. I’m constantly doing classes and learning more about how to be a better filmmaker.
6. What would you say is your unique responsibility as a filmmaker?
Barry Jenkins said that all art is political and even when you intend for it not to be, that in itself is a political act. Or something like that. I believe that film has the potential and precedence to reach millions of people around the world. When you have such a platform, you need to say something that can affect change. You have the potential to be a trailblazer, to be a symbol, an icon. Filmmaking is a tool we should be using to heal the world and bring about synergy to help each other.
How can others reach out to you and/or stay informed about your upcoming projects?
I’m always active on social media, @rmmosesuk (Twitter and Instagram) that’s where I post everything first, i.e. casting calls, film screenings etc.