Interview with Filmmaker Philip G. Anderson (ALWAYS PRESENT)

ALWAYS PRESENT, 30min., USA, Musical Dance
Directed by Philip G. Anderson
An artist explores their relationship with fear in the creative process.

Get to know the filmmaker:

1. What motivated you to make this film?

The things that I imagine motivate all artists, a desire to create, to explore and express artistic ideas, to tell a story. The project’s focus is to illuminate an artist’s relationship with fear in the creative process, how it influences them in conscious and subconscious ways, and how to acknowledge and accept that fear as an always present part of the process. I sought to illustrate that through contemporary dance, music, and film.

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

It took about 9 months from the initial idea to the completion of post production. There were some delays along the way and it was difficult to find times that worked with everyone’s schedule.

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

Recognizing, accepting. Recognizing fear in the creative process and accepting that fear as an always present part of the process that shouldn’t discourage you.

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

Scheduling was easily the biggest obstacle. With so many people being a part of this film, especially the cinematographer who flew in from the west coast, it was difficult to coordinate and find a time and date that worked for everyone involved. It also was difficult to secure the space we filmed in as it had limited availability in which we could use it which we then had to try to make work with the crew and dancers. In the end there was only 1 day and time frame that worked for everyone so we had to get everything shot in about 4-5 hours.

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

I was happy to see that the viewers enjoyed the film and that they were able to understand the narrative and purpose behind it. I want to say thank you to all of them for their kind and positive feedback and I’m very glad they enjoyed the film. It’s great to receive direct feedback from the audience so soon after they’ve viewed the film.

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?

I first realized I wanted to make films back in 2017 when I wrote a piece of music that I wanted to connect with a film to further illustrate and expand upon my idea. That first experience was daunting as I’d had no filmmaking experience before but with help from filmmaking friends of mine, notably cinematographer Eric Waldron and editor/colorist Andre De Matheu, I was able to bring the project to life and loved the experience. Since that first film, I’ve sought to create projects that utilize music, film, and other artistic disciplines with this latest project, Always Present, being the biggest to date.

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

The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty. It’s easily my favorite and most watched film. A wonderful story that’s well executed with stunning cinematography and an incredible and unique musical score.

I own the DVD and the original soundtrack to the movie which I listen to regularly. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a film score that I’ve connected with quite like Theodore Shapiro’s score for this film.

8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?

This is a tough question to answer as I’m new to the film festival world. This was the first film I’ve submitted to festivals with The Experimental Dance And Film Festival being the first one to accept so I don’t quite have a frame of reference. However, I would say anything that can be done to reach and engage a wider audience and to provide a more direct link between the filmmaker and audience should be emphasized. I do also want to say thank you to you all for the support and promotion of this film in your festival!

9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?

FilmFreeway made it incredibly easy to find and submit this film to festivals. I’ve had a very positive experience with the site and will happily use it again for future film submissions.

10. What is your favorite meal?

A surprisingly tough question here as I don’t think I have a favorite meal! However, I do enjoy a good curry dish.

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

After the final release of this project this spring, I’m sure I’ll need some creative rest. The past year has been incredibly demanding working on various shows and productions as well as my own artistic projects. However, I have some ideas that I’ve been dreaming up that I’m sure I’ll get to work on soon. There will always be new films, albums, and projects for the future. If your readers wish to stay up to date with my work, they can visit my website and signup for my mailing list to get early previews of future works.


By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival

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