Continuing my trend of speaking with indie filmmakers who make strides and get wonderful work done: meet Heather Taylor! I first met Heather after seeing her excellent short film Stitched, which is busily gaining well-deserved notice. Here are Heather’s thoughts on the “twisty, splintery” path to creating one’s own work, not waiting to ask permission, patience, and more.
I’m a writer and director working in narratives, docs and interactive projects. When I’m dreaming up a new project, I pick the medium that fits the story the best and I’m always looking for innovative ways to approach storytelling. If I had to pick something I loved the most, it’d be probably be in the world sci-fi/ fantasy/ horror and I mildly obsess about space.
2. #CreateYourOwnWork: what does that mean for you?
I’ve always been a big advocate for creating your own work. Since I was in elementary school I was always finding ways to write stories and make my friends act them out (Yes. I was bossy, and I’m proud of it!) That instinct help me create my own work when I moved to England and again when I moved to New York. Without that drive to create, I don’t think I’d be where I am today. It’s important to make your own path and these days the paths are getting more twisty and splintery and oh, so exciting!
3. What have you gained by creating your own work; on the flip side, what challenges have you faced?
By creating my own work, I’ve been able to get a lot of insight into what works and doesn’t work. I also never waited to get permission to do something. If I wanted to do it, I did. But it didn’t give me patience. Why wait for someone else when you can make something now. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it has scattered my attention at times.
4. What do you think is the most important skill for a creator building his/her career from scratch?
Can I say patience? I’d combine that with tenacity, a hard work ethic, boldness and really having no fear. At the top is self confidence. You get knocked back a lot so you have to continue to believe in yourself. Also learn what are good opportunities and which ones are time wasters. But your time and creative energy into things you really believe in and don’t look back.
5. Which project of yours are you proudest of?
That’s a hard one – it’s like asking to choose a favorite child out of a huge brood! But I think my choice of writing and directing my series Raptured in under two months in time for the predicted date of the rapture and hitting my deadline was amazing. It really made me realize that when you have a vision and put yourself out there, that you can make anything your imagination can dream up. It also got me a place on a panel at Comic Con talking about creating web series and new work for online audiences. I still can’t believe that happened. Yes. A dream come true.