Another addition to our female directors interview season, Daisy Moore speaks with us about her short film, Rituals, and her experiences in both acting and directing.
Interview by Sophie Duncan
WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO Get INTO FILMMAKING AND ACTING?
I rang up Spotlight when I was about 16 and asked if I could join, they said I needed an agent, being clueless I thought "ah well I tried". So I can't really pin point what it was, I just remember always playing pretend when I was a child and being obsessed with watching the behind the scenes on Pirates Of The Caribbean and High School Musical and just wanted to be there and be a part of that immersive creative world and the sense of family you get on set.
Rituals is a very personal film and you both directed and acted in it. Do you think stories very personal to the filmmakers themselves connect better with people?
Absolutely, if I am talking to someone and they tell me their own story instead of recounting another's, I will see that person, be more engaged and feel more sympathy for their story. It's all about connecting on a personal level and we are all human so personal stories are universal.
On a side note, one of my favourite films is Little Women (about women, written by a woman and directed by a woman) I watch it every year at Christmas and will never forget to lesson the professor gives to Jo, "always write what you know.”
Did you find that your previous acting experience helped when you directed Rituals?
Well, I was familiar with technical terms and the roles of crew and kind of knew my way around a set so it definitely helped me pretend to know what I was doing even a little! As for directing people (as they weren't actors) it helped me to be more articulate and sensitive with them to try get the natural reactions I wanted, although the whole thing was shot in my family's caravan park so it was all very comfortable!
What are the main inspirations for your work and why?
It's funny because I wouldn't say my main film inspirations are separate to my work and my inspiration film wise changes all the time. I've long been inspired by John Waters, Jean Paul Jeanet, Wong Kar Wai and Tetsuya Nakashima, oh and Sally Potter! But I wouldn't say their style relates to my work, Rituals in particular.
I feel like films are cathartic and help you get something out of your system. For Rituals the inspiration was undeniably The Little Mermaid, wanting to examine my obsession with mermaids and the association of that place in Friog. Since I've made Rituals I've barely thought about mermaids and haven't been back despite normally going every year, it's odd.
Other than that my main inspiration is my mum!
What type of roles do you find yourself drawn to when acting?
I mean, I want to be a princess mermaid, obviously and also roles that I get to wear fabulous period costumes. But otherwise roles that are based on a true story; I did a film, Starfish, with Joanne Froggatt last year and it was amazing when the woman I played contacted me on Twitter, but there is also something so meta about reenacting something that actually happened.
If you could make any type of film you wanted with anyone you wanted, what would it be and who with?
I was going to say this in the previous question but I'm attracted to roles that mean I will be able to work with amazing people and be involved in something great.
I would be in The Little Mermaid directed by Sofia Coppola or it's cliche but a Wes Anderson film.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON NEXT?
I'm currently developing a short called 7Bananas through the ShortFlix (SKY & Creative England) scheme! It's an awesome scheme!
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR WOMEN WHO ASPIRE TO GET INTO ACTING AND FILMMAKING?
Start as early as you can, don't do what I did at 16 and just because I was clueless and in Nottingham allowed myself to stay that way. Go down to London or wherever you need to go. Email everyone. Start young! I think people are really rooting for women in places like the BFI, Creative England etc. so take advantage of it! I made Rituals by writing a treatment and taking 3 Westminster graduates on holiday with my family, if it's your first project don't make it complicated, filmmaking can be easy and you can still get results.