FILM PANIC Q&A: ADAM SCOVELL

‘Weather Words’ by Adam Scovell, in collaboration with Colin Riley, Robert Macfarlane and Rosalind Jana

As a way of introducing you to some amazing people working in the fields of artist moving image, experimental film and alternative cinema, we have concocted a short questionnaire. Today we speak to writer and filmmaker Adam Scovell. 

1. Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Adam Scovell and I’m a writer. Sometimes I make films when time and money allows.

2. What was the first film you remember seeing as a child?

Really difficult to say though I think it may either be The Snowman, Mary Poppins or George Pal’s The Time Machine.

3. What was the last film you watched and what did you think of it?

The Remains of the Day by James Ivory. Loved the performances and the photography but also a little skeptical of Britain’s obsession with Period Dramas of this ilk. I mainly watched it as I’m writing a piece on James Fox.

4. How did you become interested in working with cinema/moving image?

It was something I’d always wanted to do. I initially wanted to work in special effects as I used to love magic and had obsessively read and reread a magazine feature on the effects artist Rob Bottin. It was only when learning about the use of music in avant-garde film in my undergraduate degree that I saw films that properly inspired me to pick up a camera. Maya Deren and Derek Jarman were major revelations.

5. Tell us about a film that has had a profound effect on you?

Stalker by Andrei Tarkovsky. It’s easily my favourite film but can’t quite bring myself to talk about it anymore. I’ve written about it many times in the past but have always failed to come close to describing it in any meaningful way. It’s certainly beyond words.

6. Favourite books about cinema/moving-image/filmmaking?

Gilles Deleuze’s Cinema 2, Paul Schrader’s Transcendental Style in Film and Andrei Tarkovsky’s Sculpting in Time.

7. What would be your dream double-bill, two films you’d love to see together on the big screen?

I’d quite like to see a marathon of the BBC Ghost Stories on the big screen to be honest, on Christmas Eve, with some nice mulled wine.

8. Which filmmaker/artist are you most obsessed with, the one whose work you return to again and again?

I’m generally more obsessed with writers than filmmakers currently but always return to a set number of directors: Bergman, Tarkovsky, Varda, Antonioni, Welles, Duras, Jarman.

9. What are you currently working on/what projects do you have coming up?

I’m currently up to my neck in work thankfully. I’m editing a second novel, trying to sell a third novel, researching a creative nonfiction book on Polaroids, and working on a short super-8 film adaptation with Robert Macfarlane and Stanley Donwood of their book Ness, about the Orford Ness in Suffolk.

Find out more about Adam Scovell here: http://www.celluloidwickerman.com

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