A Continuous Shape shows 3 weeks we spent working alongside Anna Rubincam a contemporary stone carver working in London as she carved a portrait from start to finish.
The film follows Anna's carving process as she first draws, measures, models in clay and finally carves the portrait of a girl.
Anna's interview serve as a commentary for explaining the process but also describes her personal thoughts regarding her passion, why she became a stone carver and why it is a worthwhile profession even in the contemporary world.
5 questions with A Continuous Shape directors, Tommaso Di Paola and Jack Webber at the half-way mark.
Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017
1Hi Tommaso! Thanks for being a part of our festival. First, how did you come to meet Anna Rubicam and what was it about her that made you want to make a film about her work? Tommaso: Hi! And thank you for showing our film.
We met Anna through a common friend. They are both part of a theatre company in London, we went to one of their shows she told us what she did and we thought it could be a great subject for a documentary. When we went to her studio I was really impressed by her work and the way she spoke about it, which I related to instantly.
Jack: I met Anna through a mutual Friend & reached out to her as we'd previously made films around people with passions. We were invited to her south London studio, she had a striking forethoughtfulness which was instantly attractive to us as filmmakers.
2Anna's insights and motivations behind her creative process are fascinating to watch and listen to and I think there's many things she's said that can be applied to any creative field. What was the most inspiring you took away from working with Anna? T:Before working on this film, I was used to doing things quickly and I had always the opportunity to come back to the mistakes I made. In Anna's work that is not possible. The precision, dedication and patience with how she approaches stone carving is something I found inspiring.
J :The most inspiring thing i took from the filmmaking process was Anna's commitment to her craft. The amount of time she spends on personal projects was inspiring for me as a filmmaker & motivates me to get out and shoot more personal work!
3You also co-directed this film with Jack Webber and you guys go under the name Eyes & Ears. Can you explain a bit how you met, and why you chose to create your own production company together? T: Jack and I met on set. We were both working as assistants for a photographer and we ended up chatting a bit and realised we had similar interests and taste in things. We worked on several different commercial projects together always with the idea of doing something for ourselves . After 1 year we had a long phone conversation and came up with our first documentary, Afterglow, and when we realised that people responded to our work, we simply kept going.
J:Eyes & Ears started as a way of establishing our own voice. Working as gun for hire in the film world it becomes quite easy to forget why i started out in this industry. My ideas quite often get diluted in commercial work so Eyes & Ears stands as a way to offset this.
4What are your thoughts on people working on outdated professions in the contemporary world? What attracted you to that subject matter? T: I think we have to be careful to not lose touch with our humanity. Anna and other kinds of craftsmen are there also to champion and inspire us as human beings. I hope that our generation and future ones will be able to see that and keep on supporting it.
Like with all the documentaries we made, I didn't know much about the subject beforehand. The first ting that I usually look for in a subject is an image or a scene that grabs me or I would like to see on video. I then try and understand if there is a personality that sparks my interest or a story I would like to tell. Both of that I found in Anna.
J: For me personally growing up in Rural Hampshire has influenced the subject matter that I'm drawn too. I think it's important to champion old trades, certainly my father did in his photography and I'll continue to do so In my cinematography.
5What's next? T: After having done 3 portrait documentaries I feel I want to stay in the documentary realm but make something a little bit different. Me and Jack are back on the drawing board so hopefully we'll have something ready soon.
J:I have been working on commercial projects which hasn't given me a great deal of time to work on the next Eyes & Ears film. All i can say is we do have an interesting idea in pre-production so watch this space!
About the Interviewer: Ben Hicks
Ben Hicks is a writer/director and co-founder of Fandependent Films. Ben is currently working on making Fandependent Films awesome and is finishing up his first feature film entitled Kids Go Free to Fun Fun Time which was selected for the 2017 IFP Narrative Lab.
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