Interview with Filmmaker Madeline Weir (ART AT THE EDGE)

ART AT THE EDGE was awarded BEST FILM at the September 2020 Documentary Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

From a young age, I thought people were only capable of being “good” at science and math if they abandoned their creative sides. I found that school subjects were siloed and couldn’t make sense of why things had to be so black and white. I have always been interested in exploring interdisciplinary collaborations, so when I heard about Arts at CERN I was completely inspired. When I started to tackle this project, I decided I wanted to make these ideas and this seemingly inaccessible place available for virtual exploration by the public.


2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?

I began researching and building connections at CERN in March 2019 and finished the film in May of 2020.

3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?

Inspiringly meditative

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

This film was really a one-lady show in a lot of ways. I was the researcher, full camera and sound team, and only editor. Thankfully I had incredible subjects, a talented composer, and a great support system, but making a film, primarily on your own is challenging and time consuming.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

Ecstatic! This film was completed during the pandemic, so it has not been seen by many people – let alone, have I heard commentary! I just truly appreciated hearing the way people were inspired by this program just as I was. I love how curious people become about the topic once they’ve seen the film.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

I learned about art residencies in major scientific research centers during a course I took abroad. I was deeply engaged in the exploration of unique artforms that incorporate scientific research. Those interests, along with my wonder about physics research and their exploration of the universe collided and led me to CERN.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

Probably Interstellar.

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

A+ – easy to use!

9. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?

Sing – Hozier

10. What is next for you? A new film?

I’m currently working on storytelling in the clean energy industry – hoping to inspire local and state governments and other public entities to transition to renewable energy and invest in energy efficiency measures for their buildings. Hopefully I will eventually jump back into filmmaking full-force. 🙂

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