Nadia Rasheed

The Filmmaker’s Road to Travel

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Javier Saavedra’s passion for film began at a young age. When he was younger he would watch his father edit videos with his own little machine – he was ‘always amazed.’ Eventually he had a camera of his own, which he would mess around with, taking pictures and making his own animations. It led him to where he is today.

Influenced by the likes of Spike Jonze and Michel Gondry (‘I love the way their films look’), Javier is interested in the difference between film and video and the way they interact with each other; how they ‘become one and the same and go back and forth.’ His favourite directors have worked on music videos and shorts as well as feature-length films and like them; he too hopes to dabble in both kinds of media.

I asked him about the piece of work he’s mot proud of and he was hesitant to answer: ‘I don’t feel like I’ve done my best work yet’ but he admits that his first short film will always stay with him. ‘I look back on it and I can see the mistakes I’ve made and the ways it looks a bit sketchy. But I remember when I did it and how fun it was.’ Currently he’s working on a music video that should be done by the end of the month. The process of working on one is interesting because it is a collaborative piece of work and Javier admits that this is one of the things he enjoys most: ‘I like working with artists and seeing what they want to do as well. It’s sharing because they’ve made a song already. I like riffing off of them.’ More specifically he prepares for working on music videos by ‘just listening to the song over and over again’ and feels that club and electronic music ‘make best the videos.’

Away from his hands-on work, Javier also runs a blog where he posts his ‘thoughts and breakdown of film, television and web media.’ It’s sad that such discussion is thought by some to be trivial when it is anything but. ‘Even though it is inherently trivial,’ he says, ‘it is important because it allows us to flex our muscles in understanding the world around us. If you don’t have the capacity to change it, at least understand it and be comfortable in living it. I just think ideas are quite special because no one can take them away. And no one can take knowledge away from you. Knowledge for knowledge sake is worth it. Unlike many other things.’ According to him, when it comes to popular culture, there are different levels of discussion. There is the base conglomerate of gifs that you see on websites like Buzzfeed and then there’s longer, more in-depth analysis – ‘it’s good to find the balance between the two.’

Javier’s advice for any aspiring filmmakers? ‘Just do it. Just get whatever camera is nearest to you – no matter what quality it is – make it work for you. I always felt like I couldn’t do something because I didn’t have the right equipment but its what you do with the equipment not the equipment itself that matters. I mean, I’ve seen amazing things on iPhones!’

In the future Javier hopes that he too will have made a feature film (he thinks he’s got quite a few under his belt) but admits that ‘the road is long to travel’ and he making good music videos for the rest of his life isn’t the worst thing that could happen. Hopefully the road ahead continues to be a good one.

Be sure to keep up with what Javier is doing by following him on twitter!

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