Clare Sturges | Special Guest Judge at Cardiff Mini Film Festival
We were lucky to welcome Clare Sturges, as a special guest judge, to Cardiff Mini Film Festival. Clare Sturges is a freelance copywriter and award-winning independent filmmaker with a solid marketing background working in the creative industries in Wales, the South West and internationally.
With experience across corporate video, documentary, music video, studio production, film and scripting, she has worked with some of the UK’s best-known brands through creative agencies in Wales and the South West.
Clare’s first documentary ‘Sexwork & Me: Red Light Conversations’, produced by TCF Film, won Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography and an Award of Merit at the Women’s Independent Film Festival Los Angeles 2012. It was screened at Cannes Festival de Film 2012, where it was acquired and later broadcast by ABC2 (Australia) on September 2012.
How did it all start for you?
I work as a writer in the advertising industry and I was asked to do a script for a film called ‘A day in the life of an employee’. I did that and I really loved it, and decided that I wanted to diversify my business into film. I met a guy, who was an editor and got to learn how that worked with post-production, then I really wanted to do this script-writing course but I couldn’t get funded to do it. I phoned the director and pleaded for him to let me come to his house and learn from him, and fortunately he agreed. So I traveled to London, stayed in a student house and visited his home to learn as much as I could. It all went from there really.
What tips do you have for aspiring filmmakers?
It depends what level you go in at. For people who have prior experience in the workplace, it’s really important to make that clear with every project that you take on, and to bring the skills that you’ve learnt in another workplace like teamwork, understanding responsibility, customer service, how to make a budget, etc. Anything that you’ve learnt in other workplaces you have to bring that to bear on a film set as it does get noticed. If you’re straight from university, the normal advice is to be enthusiastic and show you can do anything, but I think it’s more important to notice how you can be of most value to the people you want to work with and then fit yourself into that niche and become indispensable. If you go with the idea that you don’t know anything but you can do everything I think you undervalue what your strengths might be. Once people know your value then they respect you.