Meet the Jury - Naomi Seekings

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Introducing the ultra creative director, producer, and editor, Naomi Seekings. A professor in the IES Abroad London Program, Naomi is part of our jury judging submissions for the annual Study Abroad Film Festival. Read on to learn what inspires Naomi and benefit from her four pieces of expert advice.

Naomi Seekings

Director, Producer & Editor
IES Abroad London Faculty - Film Studies

IES Abroad: Which of your many film-related accomplishments do you feel the most proud of?

Naomi Seekings: I’m particularly happy with my film-related accomplishments that involved a creative working process using methods such as character work and improvisation to inform the end result. My background is in theatre and so the process is all-important.

Highlights, using this type of creative method, include Camouflage - a BAFTA-nominated short, This Is Your History – a documentary short that is part of the permanent London Sugar and Slavery gallery at the Museum of London in Docklands, film research and development in Brazil and New York with the Grassmarket Project and The One Element Diaries that I produced, directed and edited.

IES Abroad: What advice would you give to young filmmakers today?

NS: 1. Knowledge that comes directly from the experience of filmmaking is enduring and sustaining. Therefore, first and foremost, the best thing that young filmmakers should do is to get hold of a camera and some recording equipment and concentrate on the movie that they need to make – advisably a short one that is 10 minutes or under and delivers a thoughtful or even powerful message. The world just doesn’t need another movie!

2. Filmmaking requires courage – do not be afraid of anyone or anything.

3. Be decisive – if you are the director or producer or director/producer, your cast and crew want and need a bold decision-maker. Decision-making and problem solving are integral to the process of filmmaking. There is no time to be indecisive, or to worry about whether the decisions you’ve already made were right or wrong, good or bad. Approach problems or obstacles, from pre-production through to post production with a positive outlook and remain open-minded. Creative problem solving will enable you to improve and fine-tune your work. At the end of the process ask yourself, what was my best mistake?

4. Finally, I would advise young filmmakers to stay joyful and childlike in their everyday life and let that influence their work. Be inquisitive and interested in all aspects of life and art and listen to the stories of others. In short, absorb as much as possible and remember the vastness of creativity.

IES Abroad: What is your favorite documentary? And why?

NS: I would have to say the “Up” documentaries. It is an on-going project and is the work of British director Michael Apted who revisits a group of people every seven years whose lives he has been chronicling since they were children. It is an inspired use of the film medium and continues to provide profound insight into the unpredictable paths that life can take.

IES Abroad: How would you condense the spirit of study abroad into one word?

NS: Change 

Read the Film Festival jury bios, and keep an eye out for the next Meet the Jury feature!

Feeling inspired? Submit your film today.

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