A Series of Passionate Interviews

Every couple of weeks I spend an hour or so talking to a stranger and I film it.

I met Gilda in Venice in September

I aim to tell a story about a single person. An individual engaged in following their passion.

It’s not a documentary

It is not my intention with the films in this series to provide the viewer with a lot of facts about the interviewee — often that information is already available elsewhere — instead I want to give an idea of what this person is like, told in their own words. To fill the void between what can be found in written articles and what it’s like to meet someone in the flesh.

I aim for realism and atmosphere above anything else. My edits are rough and so, if I’m honest, is my camera work, but that doesn’t matter to me. All that matters is making a connection with someone, hearing them talk about their passions and then distilling it into a 5 minute edit.

I will usually have around an hour of footage from which to make a 5 minute film. I try to choose clips that tell the interviewee’s story and at the same time show the environment that this person operates in.

It’s not about me

Whilst I’m filming I encourage the other person to talk and I deliberately hold the camera out of the way so that there is still a clear connection between them and me — I want people to talk candidly after all.

Later, I remove myself from the interviews as much as possible during the editing process. It’s important to me that although the viewer sees the interviewee through my perspective, I don’t want them to think about my personality when they’re watching. It’s not about me.

His passion in his words.

Telling a story

The camera is a tool for capturing the moment, it’s not the purpose of the film to show off:

“Content trumps equipment every time” — Casey Neistat

There are no complex scene transitions or fancy graphics in my films because I don’t want to draw attention away from the interviewee. I’m not trying to showcase my editing skill or employ a wide range of technical equipment. I’m telling a story. That’s all.

In many types of traditional filmmaking, editing has to follow a script and footage will be predefined before shooting, but for me I never know in advance what I’m going to get. This makes the edit process longer, but also pretty exciting.

What makes an entrepreneur?

The sort of people that I choose to interview are all to a certain extent entrepreneurs. They are all working on projects that they are passionate about and from which they need to earn money to live. They are often struggling with some new concept or idea that they need to communicate to the world.

By putting these interviews together in a series I’m trying to discover whether there is something in the character of certain people that makes them want to put themselves through the pain and trouble of creating a company, being self-employed and struggling against uncertainty? Or does being so passionate about something that you can’t ever imagine doing anything else make you want to follow that dream with no thought for the hardship?

What’s it like starting up a company all alone?

Entrepreneurship is a global phenomenon

I try to find people to interview wherever I go. I want this interview series to have a global scope and to describe the experiences of people from as many different backgrounds as possible.

For me, entrepreneurship is about more than running a software company, it’s about undertaking something difficult and drawing on your passion for the subject to keep you going when it gets hard. This is happening all over the world in a huge number of different industries. If my series of passionate interviews can capture just a bit of that global energy I’ll be very happy.

If you or someone you know would make a good subject for an interview in this series, get in touch via twitter @jerseysam