"I THINK DARING TO EXPLORE CURRENTLY UNDERREPRESENTED THEMES AND NARRATIVES IS WHAT MAKES COMPELLING CINEMA."

Connor Higgins
Can I Have A Word?
Screening Session: BLOCK 3  
3rd Papaya Rocks Film Festival Online
22-28 Feb 2021 | Tickets £5 / £10 Full 7-Day Pass: bit.ly/PRFF-Tickets
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Experimental Moving Image [Self-Portrait].

 

Themes of vulnerability, reflectiveness and mortality are prevalent as paternal ties and their effect on internal and external relationships are explored.

A graphic overlay of word association presents an equivocal but gripping narrative.

 

This is the first chapter of a three part project, created alone during the coronavirus lockdown for my final experimental university project.

 

Hi Connor thank you for talking to TNC, how are you holding up during these very strange times?

 

Hey, I’m doing great thank you - I’ve kept myself busy with various projects and have been working throughout so I’ve been coping pretty well.

 

Has this time offered you any creative inspiration?

 

Definitely, having the time to reflect and slow everything down allows us to focus on the many things we take for granted.

 

Throughout the pandemic people have felt a need to bridge these huge societal gaps and I find the global push for equality and community hugely inspirational.

 

Congratulations on having your film selected for the 3rd Papaya Rocks Film Festival, what does it mean to you to be part of such an amazing lineup of short films?

 

Thank you! I feel very privileged to be involved in such an amazing festival. The theme of ‘Strength & Resilience’ seems a perfect fit for the film and I’m honoured to be featured at an event so dedicated to promoting new and unique talent.

 

Can you tell me a little bit about Can I Have A Word?, how did this film come about?

 

This project was created for my final experimental film submission for university. I actually had the idea when listening to the song featured in the video (Biv - One Day You’ll Thank Me). 

 

I immediately saw these words, overlaid on a portrait shot, and knew I needed to make it happen. I’ve been reflecting a lot recently, and wanted to create something that I felt expressed my life so far and how I felt in that moment.

What were the biggest challenges you faced bringing your film to life?

 

As the lockdown restrictions were imposed during the planning process, the project had to be changed so that only I needed to be present. 

 

Luckily, filming myself went smoother than planned and most of the shots were one-takes - I think having such a clear final goal before I began made the process much easier.

Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently on this film?

 

In some ways I wish it was possible to have hired an actor and have more control over the location. However, I think the way the film turned out adds to its raw nature. 

 

Changing those elements would make it a different film entirely.

 

Where did your passion for filmmaking come from?

 

I was up very late one night as a child and had snuck downstairs to watch TV. Blade Runner was playing and I remember being absolutely glued to the screen - I had never been so horrified and mesmerised by a film. I’d say that is when I truly became enamoured with cinema, and creating my own.

 

What has been some of the best advice you’ve been given?

 

Never change your aesthetic, style or voice to please others or fit in with what’s already out there - make what’s true to you and it will be noticed.

"If you have an idea that you think will work, write it down, plan it out and make it happen."

Should filmmakers continue to push the boundaries of the films and stories they want to tell?

 

Absolutely. I think daring to explore currently underrepresented themes and narratives is what makes compelling cinema. Provocative works allow the breaking down of divisive walls, space for discussion and an opportunity to move forward.

 

If a film isn’t making us look at ourselves and others in a way that’s reflective and progressive, can it be called amazing? 

 

Do you have any tips or advice you would offer a fellow filmmaker?

 

Don’t procrastinate. If you have an idea that you think will work, write it down, plan it out and make it happen.

 

And finally, what do you hope people will take away from Can I Have A Word?

 

That life isn’t predetermined or predictable, and you can make a good one for yourself - no matter your circumstances.

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