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Ivan Sen on film and creative autonomy

By Sista Girl Productions, 2009 2:05 minutes

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Ivan Sen claims that the collaborative nature of filmmaking can be a hindrance to the filmmaker’s creativity. He is pleased about the developments in filmmaking technologies that give him the opportunity to move away from what he sees as the ego-driven process of film production. Negotiating the conventions of the film festival circuit is another difficulty for creative filmmakers, and Sen says that in this context Indigenous culture can act as a form of currency in the process of selection.

Collection Blak Wave

Discussion Points

Ivan Sen explains that for a filmmaker who is an artist with a very individual vision it can be very difficult to work with other people. He has also commented on the strength of the creative rapport that he shared with Beneath Clouds cinematographer, Allan Collins: “I don’t even need to speak; he knows what I am going to say”.

The relationship between director and cinematographer is integral to the success of a film, and it is critical that they share a vision for the film that is being made.

  • Explore the issue of collaboration by reading Allan Collins’ discussion of his creative relationship with cinematographer Torstein Dyrting during the making of Spirit Stones (Screen Education no. 57).

Ivan Sen observes that new media and filmmaking technologies give contemporary filmmakers the possibility of freeing themselves from the kind of compromises required by the conventional collaborative style of filmmaking, where people contribute their particular expertise to a final work.

For Sen film is a form of self-expression, so the other people on a shoot can potentially act as a barrier between him and his vision. Nevertheless, the films that Sen has made are highly personal and share a distinctive sensibility that is undoubtedly his own.