Eliot Michl's Q&A for Filmmaker Studio LIVE

The Manchester Film Festival in association with XS Manchester and The Manchester Studios presents Filmmaker Studio LIVE.

Taking place over four days of the festival at the prestigious Manchester Studios and presented by the Great Northern Film Lab the events took the form of a chat show and was hosted by BBC Manchester’s Film Critic Tom Percival.


Q: In under 2 minutes, please summarize your film and its message.

A: Lost Sock Collection is a poetry film competing in the Experimental Film cohort. With LSC my aim was to create a multi-sensory experience steeped in loss on every level and told through the lens of time.

Visually I wanted to take the audience on a journey with me, not to a specific place, but to a place where time is experienced as it is in your mind. The ability we have to recall certain events with clarity while others are unobtainable and obscured.

The layers of sounds in the piece are ones I've collected during my travels: bumblebees in middle America, waves crashing in Montenegro, a girl splashing in a shallow pool, hiking in Transylvania, the Prague Symphony warming up, a needle dropping on my father's favorite record. The highlight of the background audio—and from where the piece derives its name—is from a live performance art piece I performed in Malaysia entitled, 'Lost Sock.'

It doesn’t have an intended message, but rather what I hoped to explore were the themes of loss and grieving, and the ideas inextricably linked to bereavement and endings in general.

Q: What inspired you to make and or be involved in your particular film or project?

A: Loss takes so many forms when it collides with time. The loss of a loved one is grief, for example; the loss of an item or relationship is missing; the loss of childhood is aging and often results in nostalgia, and so on.

In a very short time I lost my father, my marriage, my job, my home, and my good friend–who died of metastatic breast cancer. This project was a way for me to try and make sense of some of those losses. I think you never really make sense of grief, but exploring loss helps loosen it from your bones and eventually, you have made new space for those sticky, complex emotions.

Q: What are you most proud of about your project?

A: This is my first longer poetry film. Lost Sock Collection comes in at around 14 minutes and to me it feels like such a triumph to share this love letter to loss that’s so very personal–so intimate even–with a wider audience.

It’s time to bring tiny, quiet films to the masses. People want art in their lives and it has the potential to be the salve that a lot of souls need right now. I’m also chuffed that it will have its World Premiere at MANIFF in Manchester, the hometown of one of my dearest friends.

Q: What would you change about your final production if you could and why?

A: I wouldn’t. This film is about letting go, and with art as much as with life, sometimes you have to be willing to marvel at the imperfections. Films, especially experimental films, don’t need a heavy starching in my opinion; films need to hang out on the line in full sun for all the neighbors to see.

Q: From just the trailer and or synopsis which film in the MANIFF19 official selection would you have liked to have made or be involved in apart from your own, and why?

A: I’m a big fan of Loving Vincent, so of course Flaneur looks so appealing to me. I think it would’ve been great to work with such a talented illustrator and artist.

Q: Why do you make or are involved in making films?

A: My poetry film work comes out of a desire to choreograph visuals to the verbal patterns and general themes found in a poem. While the themes are ever-present, the verbal patterns are truly released only when spoken aloud. I then add layers of both additional sound and imagery, enhancing the work and creating something greater than the sum of its parts. I work on all aspects of the film.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to make or be involved in making their first film?

Just start. If you wake up every day and you can’t keep yourself from making films, please make films. The world needs you and your art most desperately.

Full details can be found here:

The studios will feature directors, cast, producers and writers from the official selection discussing their films, the filmmaking process, film financing and everything in-between. Attendees will then be able to ask the guests questions in a more in-depth discussion than the post screening Q&A’s.

Highlights include the directors of world premiering films THE RUNAWAYS and FAR FROM THE APPLE TREE sitting down to talk feature filmmaking, the team behind documentary PUBLIC FIGURE including social media star Bonang Matheba will be discussing social media and documentary filmmaking. On the Wednesday panels of short filmmakers from around the world will be talking about their work and on Friday 8th the team behind powerful short SIDES OF A HORN, about South Africa’s poaching war, will be discussing the issues raised within the film. There will also be talks on film financing and horror screenwriting.

Following the studios audiences will be able to attend networking drinks at the MANIFF studio bar, getting a rare opportunity to meet filmmakers and enjoy the inclusive party atmosphere that MANIFF prides itself on.

Tickets cost £2 with all proceeds going to the Teenage Cancer Trust and can be purchased in advance at www.maniff/tickets or on the day.



Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Filmmaker Studio 4

Manchester, United Kingdom

A selection of cast and crew from MANIFF2019’s shorts will be talking short films and filmmaking.

Eliot Michl