Creative Thursday - Karen O'Hare
This week's creative Southsider is Karen O'Hare a Mount Florida dweller who works for Screen Academy Scotland and is a bit of a film all rounders; shooting, editing, writing, directing and producing (though not all at the same time). She is also part of the brains and DJ's behind one of the Southside's best club nights iBop. This week Karen tells us a little bit about her background and about the Southside Film Festival that she has organised taking place across the Southside this weekend (See our calander and the SFF website for more info.).
SSH: Where did the idea for the Festival come from?
Karen: I have lived on the Southside for 6 years now and it really does have its own identity. I have met lots of really interesting and creative people and I know that there are lots of filmmakers out there too so I thought it would be a good idea to bring everyone together to watch movies! This digital age is great in terms of the freedom that technology can bring but it leaves us less opportunity for social and cultural get togethers – which is why film festivals are still relevant I think. It is one way of bringing people together and the programme is deliberately eclectic in order to appeal to all ages and all Southsiders. Plus, of course, the Southside has no cinema and no regular film nights or clubs. I thought I would turn this into an opportunity to screen in unique and unusual venues such as artist's studios, clubs, gardens, a library, a school, the boat shed in Queens Park and a disused swimming pool (Govanhill Baths). You can also go for pasta or pizza before watching Opening Film American Cousins and not forgetting live Wurltizer Cinema Organ accompaniment to the silent gothic horror Nosferatu. I want audiences to feel they are having a special cinematic experience.
SSH: What else is happening?
Karen: People who are interested and curious about how to write, perform or direct can go along to two workshops on the Saturday - one with the Scottish Screenwriters and another with Write! Camera! Action! which is all about workshopping writing and ideas with actors and directors in a supportive and productive environment. There are introductions and Q&As with Screenwriter Sergio Cascio, actors Stephen McCole (Crying with Laughter) and Gary Lewis (short films Close & Fridge) and lots of opportunity to meet local filmmakers too at Film Headz, Starting Block and the Southside Filmmakers Screening. I'm also encouraging people to make a film and we might show it at the festival.
SSH: What film you are most excited about showing in the festival?
Karen: Do I have to pick one?! I'm really looking forward to seeing what both the Southside Studios and The Forest of Black have programmed for the festival as I haven't seen either yet! I'm also really looking to watching Seawards The Great Ships in the Boat Shed by the pond in Queens Park before heading over to Govan to watch Red Skirts on Clydeside!
SSH: Name a Southside filmaker whose work you admire?
Karen: He's the most famous Southside filmmaker but it has to be Peter Mullan. I remember watching the short film Fridge on TV late at night at my parents in Northern Ireland before I had even set foot in Govanhill and being completely blown away by it. The film has really stayed with me. I never thought that I would 'grow up' and put on a film festival that was screening Fridge with Gary Lewis. I'm hoping that Peter Mullan can make it along too!
SSH: What is your favourite film blog/ website/ source of inspiration?
Karen: I love that there are so many places to watch films online now. When I was younger I used to get on a 3 and a half hour bus from Belfast to Dublin just to go an independent video shop. Now, you can just go to sites like the National Film Board of Canada to watch great documentaries and animation or watch art house and independent stuff on Mubi or follow You Tube Channels or find stuff on Vimeo. I'm also a big fan of the Open Culture website.
SSH: Any advise for budding southside filmakers?
Karen: If you are passionate and determined to work in film then be focused in a particular area that you want to pursue and get yourself out there meeting people in that area that could help you get your first bit of work experience on set. The Southside Film Festival is a good place to start as it is small enough to get to meet the filmmakers but any film festival or industry networking is essential to attend when you are first starting off. Do your research and seek out places like GMAC and Diversity Films where you will be supported to make your own film work or seek out industry focused filmmaking courses (like those at Screen Academy Scotland).
SSH: Favourite place in the Southside?
Karen: My perfect Southside day would consist of a cycle through Pollok Park, then over to Queen's Park Farmers Market to buy some amazing curry from Mona's Jaldikatessen stall followed by some coffee and ginger crunch at Tapa. Then I might catch a film at my local independent cinema (I can dream!) and go home to have that curry!
SSH: Tell us one interesting fact about yourself.
Karen: The first film I saw in the cinema was E.T. when I was 8 years old.
Labels: Creative Thursday