Robert Savage

Hello Robert, how are you feeling today? 
I'm very well, if completely exhausted - I'm a slave to coffee and
missed my fix this morning. It's an ugly sight.
Could you tell us a bit about your industry?
I am a midlands-based filmmaker who writes, directs and
intermittently shoots shorts, music videos and feature films. From my
fringe experience of the 'industry' I've learnt the importance of self
sufficiency, of finding a way to assert your own voice through the
racket of hopefuls. With digital technology so readily available, I've
found that there's no excuse not to attempt something big, ballsy and
legitimately insane in order to make a name for yourself. Of course
it's equally likely that I have no idea what I'm talking about - time
will tell.
What’s your latest project? 
I'm currently finalising the edit on my first feature film,
Strings, and prepping another feature that will hopefully shoot summer
2012. Strings is a dark relationship drama about a German exchange
student and a British boy's summer romance and the second feature is a
coming of age tale about dealing with loss (although not as morose as
that sounds).

What is the project you have done that you most enjoyed? 
Sit in Silence, hands down. It was wonderful, coming off a
comparatively massive project like Strings, to have just 48 hours to
shoot, edit and hand in a finished product. The competition provides
you with a title, a prop and a line of dialogue that you have to
include, so as to limit what can be prepared in advance - I loved that
so much was left up to chance. It was freeing in an odd way, although
I sincerely believe that, if we were dealt some of the bizarre
criteria some of the other teams had to adhere to, we wouldn't have
done as well as we did (the film came second overall, as well as
winning the BFI under 21's award) 

Which project do you feel that you have learnt the most from? 
Strings. I learnt everything from Strings and I still can't quite
fathom how we achieved what we did, entering into such a large project
with such little experience - it was everyone's first major film, so I
think there was a great energy to try different approaches, even if it
didn't always work. I shot 65 hours of raw footage for Strings and,
although I'm hugely proud of the finished film, there was one good
film in the footage and about a hundred interesting failures.

What/Who inspires you? 
Walking, music and walking with music. Shuffle has written more
films for me than anyone will ever know. Obviously I watch a lot of
films, good and bad, and I think being film literate helps you
interpret the world differently, albeit in a way that can often be
distancing/wanky/infuriating for those around you - it's a fine
balance and I'll find it one day.

What are your future aspirations? 
I consider myself a features director first and foremost, so the
aim is to establish myself as a writer/director and amass a body of
work that I can take pride in and that hopefully people will want to
see - not necessarily in that order.

Where would you like to be in five years time? 
All I can hope for is to be able to work doing the thing that I
love with the likeminded, so hopefully the above answer will also
apply. Even if I find myself still climbing the slippery ladder - when
are we not in this industry? - I hope I can bring/find something in
every project that I can latch onto, whether it be a commercial or a
feature film.

What advice would you give to students in creative industries? 
Try something that you will later consider insane, just because you
don't yet know that it's utterly impossible - chances are you'll
manage to do it based solely on blissful ignorance.

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