Interview with Filmmaker & Director: David Blyth

1. Tell me about your latest project?

I have been working on a feature film project with writer Thomas Sainsbury

over the last couple of years. It’s not horror, more a continuing

interest/exploration of characters on the fringes of society.

 

2. Who is your greatest inspiration in film and why?

Luis Bunuel, a Surrealist film maker. Because his films reveal that the

unconscious plays a huge role in our conscious lives and his stories move

seamlessly between dream, fantasy and reality. Bunuel’s first film with

Salvador Dali, Un Chien Andalou, was an inspiration for my own first short

film Circadian Rhythms and the follow up feature film Angel Mine.

 

3. Is horror your preferred genre, as a filmmaker?

Horror is a genre that encompasses a wide range of approaches to telling

stories. I am interested in the psychological and supernatural/magical

elements of our consciousness and the horror genre best describes the

exploration of these areas.

 

4. What do you love about directing?

I love the process of working creatively with others to organically

manifest emotional atmospheres which audiences can engage and resonate

with. Creativity requires participation without fear, and directors role is

to enrol cast and crew into a shared vision that ultimately takes on its

own reality.

 

5. What lessons have you learnt as a prolific filmmaker?

Communication skills are very important at all stages of the film making

process. You have to give yourself permission to make films, if you wait

for “others” to bestow permission, you may be waiting a long time. Most

importantly don’t project your vision on the universe, rather see your

vision in what the universe is showing you.

 

6. Tell me about your most successful film?

Death Warmed Up, 1984, is likely the film that has travelled the world most

successfully and continues to be requested Internationally for relicensing.

Unfortunately this film has a backstory that is tragic. The original film

negative was burnt mistakenly by the Lab in Wellington. The 35mm Inter-

negative is lost in America. No complete 35mm prints exist, and over 32

cuts were made to one of the few one inch tape copies of Death Warmed Up to

survive. So Death Warmed Up has a very bitter sweet place in my life.

 

7. What is the most memorable film you have seen and why?

Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner would have to be the ground breaking film along

with Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead that fuelled certain elements of the vision

presented in Death Warmed Up.

 

8. Do you think the dvd is now redundant?

DVD’S will have an on-going role in private collections and specialised

lending institutions. Mass consumption is moving with the digital times

towards watching online and downloading. I am sorry to see the DVD lose its

position and predict there will be no DVD stores left within two years.

 

9. What makes a good story?

Anything that engages one emotionally that allows universal

truth/understanding to emerge, exploration of the microcosm allows

reflection on the macrocosm.

 

10. Lastly, any advice for emerging filmmakers?

Stick with your vision of the project. It’s a marathon not a sprint. You

need to pace yourself through the inevitable highs and lows. Time is the

micro budget film makers biggest supporter. Flexibility around cast and

crews life commitments, allow a window of opportunity, that ensure you get

the best from everybody whether they are being paid or not.

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