How has digitalisation affected the film industry? Has it made things easier, better or worse in your opinion?
Digitalisation has had a profound effect on the film industry in that all of a sudden it is far more affordable for more people to make their own films. The negative side of this democratisation has meant that there is a lot of product going on the market, but if the product is generally not up to scratch then it can devalue other films being made in a similar way, which may then not get the opportunities they deserve to be evaluated by distributors as they are being flooded with product.
What effect has the internet had on the film industry?
The internet has opened up an enormous amount of opportunities for budding film makers. If they can create the right kind of web presence and word of mouth for their film they can draw attention, and potentially further resources, to their project from inception to distribution. Of course if the web presence is mis-managed, the wrong kind of attention can be drawn, which could potentially be very damaging.
What's your take on the people who work in the IT industry, who develop it and work on it, do you think of them as geeks and nerds?
There's nothing wrong with geeks and nerds! They tend to be the more intelligent and creative among us, and are forging the way forward in terms of technology and increasing our ability to create all kinds of material for film. Without geeks and nerds I wouldn't have experienced most of the best entertainment in my life, or been able to create some of my very own.
What general project management advice could you pass on to our readers? Do you have any examples of projects (including film or corporate work) that you were involved in which were turned around, maybe by using a different technology?
Oddly project failure, in my experience, has nothing to do with technology. Sure you may experience slow down or other bugs by using software, but that is not what causes a project to come to a halt. The will to complete a project, no matter what, is what counts, and is what, ultimately, will ensure you finish it. Easier said than done... Of course it helps if you can also surround yourself with people that you can trust to support you. We have completed our projects mostly through dogged determination to finish them.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to work in the film industry particularly, let's say, in a technical capacity, for example, as an editor?
The main advice I can give is for you to just go out and do it, and to keep doing it. It's the only way you can learn and improve. Also, it is advisable to seek out someone in the profession you are interested in and see if you can get as much information out of them as possible.
Do you like gadgets and technology yourself as a person - do you like BlackBerrys, Smartphones, Playstations, things like that?
I tend to like the idea of gadgets more than the gadgets themselves. For example, I'd love to have a console like the PS3 or XBox 360 but I never have time to play the kind of games they release these days. They are amazingly well made and immersive, but that's the problem. I have maybe half an hour at a time to play a game every so often, so I really need something that I can just pick up and blast away with then put down. Also games are horrifically expensive these days. Walking past a shop and seeing that a game is 'only' £44.99 is deeply troubling.
I do love my PSP though as it makes train travel just disappear when watching converted movies, listening to tunes or playing the occasional game. I'm a big Mac man so I'd probably love an iPhone but I need to be on Orange or Vodafone for their network coverage. Maybe some time in the future...