5 questions with Blackbird director, Daniela Pasquini at the half-way mark.
Wednesday, August 9th, 2017
1Hi Daniela! Thanks for being a part of our festival! First, what was the initial seed that inspired you to make this film? I was working as a temp in retail, attempting to sell shiny things to rich people. Much like a middle man for Magpies, I helped them collect stuff they didn’t need in exchange for huge wads of cash - although it’s since been proven that the Magpie bird doesn’t collect shiny things, and that this is just a stupid english myth…you get my drift. Often I’d sell tights that cost more than a full week’s wage. I would then go upstairs to the staff canteen and eat soup for about 30p, maybe some bread too for 15p if I was feeling wild, so I was living the high life at this point. Mostly I felt like a glorified mannequin. I just stood there, trying to hide the ladders in my cheap Primark tights, whilst ironically up selling them as the brand’s own to the flock of wealthy bagged women. I would like to say that yes my conscience was in question at this point, however I’d like to blame that on the boogy. The image of shiny black heels in mud made me smile, or someone in a suit in the countryside, I think that’s what I felt like, entirely non-fitting to my surroundings. Blackbird was a mesh of all this. So I thank the wealthy establishment for that, I’ll call it Parrods…
2You did a great job as writer, director and actress in this film. How difficult was that for you to juggle all three roles and if you could only choose one of the three, which would you choose? I’m going to put myself out there and read between the lines and say yes, you’re probably right, I am fantastic, a bit of a multi-rolling wizard - not my words, although I equally can’t tell you the source (that would be telling…) *no source* I’m an actor, although mostly feel uncomfortable with the title as I often dislike many actors I meet…as for writer and director, I did direct it, and I did write it so they are true but again wouldn’t call myself them fully. I don’t think I’ve earnt them yet. I’m propelled to make things and to tell stories, I love a good image and hungry for a damn tasty narrative snack.
3The cinematography in this film is beautiful. What was it like working with Alex Pasquini and how did you two come up with all your lovely compositions? He’s crap, but he’s my brother so I had to give him something to do.… Poor thing. He’s had a good few awards for his work, but I always assumed they were mostly pity awards, so what’s a sister to do…(I jest - He’s very talented) I knew what I wanted image wise, I knew I wanted the map in the field, I wanted the long shot of the tree in the distance, I wanted the final shot of ….(you’ll have to watch it!) etc. so I had that in my head. Alex’s real skill is making all those things in my head look incredible. I’m also more than happy to hear his ideas of how to make everything better, or to catch the light a certain way etc, which is all his expertise and technical know how. Like some of the sky shots, which are simple and stunning. There’s a great shot where Alex, by chance, caught an actual Blackbird, and it’s beautiful. It was all rather natural really - an organic partnership. I really respect his skill and knowledge and I suppose he trusts that I can tell a story, so it works neatly.
4There seems to be a disturbing trend where you need to be more and more qualified for worse and worse jobs. I remember seeing a sign in Chicago for a restaurant that was looking for a dish washer and you needed to have 6 months dishwashing experience! Is this the type of thing you're noticing around you too and what are your thoughts on it? Yes the classic ‘you need experience to get the job but can’t get the experience without the job’, that’s probably the slogan for London right now. As a kid you’re taught how to write your CV/resume and understandably assume that all those things on that said cv/resume will be real…when you get older it dawns on you that the majority of your cv is made up. It’s the same as when you were a kid and you pretended to ‘get married’ in the playground, or when you listed to your friends all the amazing, incredible things that ‘happened’ over the weekend; like when that real dragon flew in your room, or when you met Eminem down the supermarket meat aisle. It’s all to beat your friends, it’s all competition, and that is your twenties, and that’s you trying to get a job today. That’s the root of Blackbird, and basically everything I make - We are still in the playground. In fact, that person who walked away from that restaurant because they didn’t think they had enough experience should remember themselves bullshitting in the playground, and trust that they can work out how to clean a plate.
5What's next? I’m working on another short, and a few bits, and as ever up for being in other people's films and collaborating on new projects. I'd like to meet some more filmmakers, and check out their work, so if you're interested get in touch! Find me here: www.danielapasquini.co.uk Twitter: @dppasquini
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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