Filmmakers from Sundance Film Festival share their advice for aspiring young creators

Roll out the red carpet; Adobe has a starring role in this years’ Sundance Film Festival: London 2021. Not only are we supporting Sundance London for the fourth year running, but this year, every film hand-selected to premier at the festival was made using Adobe Creative Cloud. While most of the filmmakers channelled their vision with Adobe Premiere Pro, others employed the use of everything from After Effects to InDesign. Film fans will be able to see the amazing results for themsleves up on the big screen at the West End Picturehouse Central, as well as 40 additional sites nationwide.

Sundance London is a celebration of independent film and creativity and we’re proud to support creative professionals and emerging talent. We caught up with the talented filmmakers behind First Date, The Blazing World, Together Together and Cryptozoo to get their advice for aspiring filmmakers and find out how Adobe has helped bring their stories to life.

Q: What advice would you give to young people trying to make their way into the film industry?

Carlson Young (Director - The Blazing World): Technology is on your side. I think just write your story and shoot it because you really do have the tools to be able to assemble it and bring your vision to life.

Jane Samborski (Animation Director - Cryptozoo): Just do it. Don’t wait for permission. You can sit around and wait forever for someone to give you money, but instead, you should use that time to make a short and put it on the internet. You are going to make a lot more progress a lot faster. It’s not as hard as it looks, it’s more accessible than you think.

Manuel Crosby (Director - First Date): For any young people looking to make their way into film, just pick up a camera and start doing it. Edit on whatever you have available and if it’s Adobe Premiere Pro, then even better. The key is to get started and keep doing it. Robert Rodriguez has always been a huge influence for me and those were his words of wisdom that got me going as well. You can really accomplish a lot if you just start with the basics, tell stories and keep growing from there as a creator.

Nikole Beckwith (Writer/Director - Together Together): Just keep going. I for one did not go to film school or college at all but just stuck with it. As it says in my bio, I was rejected from Juilliard four times, so anything can happen if you have a lot of dedication to what you’re doing and you’re passionate about the work. Don’t let a “no” deter you, there’s a lot of hoops to jump through. Watch as much as you possibly can, including things you like and don’t like, and figure out why you like and don’t like them.

Q: How did Adobe enable your creativity during the film making process?

Carlson Young (Director - The Blazing World): For us, it was the most user-friendly programme out there. It allows you to do so many things without leaving the application. It allowed my editor, James Crouch to work in the most efficient way possible so that I could worry about the story instead of focussing on the technical part of editing.

Jane Samborski (Animation Director - Cryptozoo): These programmes are so intensely powerful. Once you get into them and really start to speak their language, there’s excitement around how can I make this do this thing. When I was working with After Effects, I had this just unbelievably powerful programme in my tool belt. For me, it was a language I could speak, and it was responsive, did what I wanted, when I wanted, and it was a great creative tool for me.

Manuel Crosby (Director - First Date): During our creative process of making the film, Adobe really made it easy. I was editing while we were shooting the movie to get the first cut together and it made it really easy; I was able to do it on my laptop. The software ran smoothly. It’s intuitive and powerful. Even with Premiere Pro, I was able to do some temporary VFX compositions just to show what certain things would look like. The format of the editing part of the software was easy to use and understand.

Q: What does it mean to you to be premiering in the UK and why do you think the UK is such an important place for television production?

Manuel Crosby (Director - First Date): To be premiering our movie in the UK is amazing. It’s awesome to know that people overseas are going to get see and enjoy our movie on the big screen in person, especially after a challenging year. We hope it’s a good time to remind people why they love to go to the movies.

Nikole Beckwith (Writer/Director - Together Together): I think the UK just has a really great relationship with risk, in their writing, film and TV especially, everything is a little bit riskier and really intimate in the way the work is made; it’s not the same in the US with big writers’ rooms. It is very intimate, very much the way theatre is made, and I really appreciate that as an artist, a maker and as an audience member.

Dash Shaw (Director - Cryptozoo): We live in Richmond, Virginia, and we feel very removed from everything. Part of the fun when I think of Cryptozoo is that it is a giant globetrotting movie with all of these different cryptids from all these different cultures and as it’s travelled, I feel like it’s fulfilling the dream of the movie.

For information about how Adobe Premiere Pro can help you create your vision, click here.