PHOTOGRAPHY, CREW/PRODUCTION, CINEMATOGRAPHY
Offering a humanist approach to music video production, gig photography, brand content and press shots among other things, Eye to Eye is an opportunity to connect with some of the most talented freelancers based in Naarm right now. At Eye to Eye they believe that narratives and social issues should be covered by compassionate crews and sidestep telling stories that aren’t theirs to tell. Even though there’s been progressive changes in the industry, they’re perceptive of the work that still needs to be done. We sat down with the founding director Athina Wilson to get the 101 on all things Eye to Eye and their ambitions for the future.
First up could you please give us some background on how Eye to Eye Productions came into fruition?
Creating Eye to Eye was a decision that felt logical during lockdown last year in September at a time when most of the film industry was slowed down and my casual employment came to a halt as well. The drive to expand my work as a freelancer and broaden my horizons motivated me to apply for a government run initiative that supports small business getting off the ground. I wanted to create an inclusive and encouraging team environment for collaboration. At Eye to Eye we are all young creatives unapologetically learning side by side and helping each other to expand our abilities. Catherine Huang helped us build the website and we were ready to be live and operating by November.
What is your process for considering whether or not to sign on to producing a project?
A core factor is if it complements our ethos; we hope to embrace the production of compassion projects and collaborating with individuals and enterprises whose style aligns with ours. We hope when working with brands they’ll have similar ethics and values we possess. I love working within the musical realm because it’s something else that I’m really passionate about. We are open to any field a team member may be eager to explore as it offers the chance to expand on the mediums that we’re passionate about together.
At the moment who are the individual members on the Eye to Eye team?
We tend to collaborate with other crews for each production but the current core team is:
Yang Chen - producer, booker & musician.
Irany Turral - production designer, art director & photographer.
Anjelica Angwin - photographer, writer & actor.
Nyssa Mitchell - cinematographer, director & graphic designer.
Hazal Alakus - cinematographer & photographer
I wanted to create an inclusive and encouraging team environment for collaboration. At Eye to Eye we are all young creatives unapologetically learning side by side and helping each other to expand our abilities.
What qualities or attributes do you value most when considering people to work alongside?
Having people reach out to work with us already is certainly flattering. Ideally, they’re a compassionate individual without too big of an ego as all are equal on our set. Someone who is able to collaborate and discuss with ease. We have created a contract about how we work and our expectations towards being equally invested in the success of Eye to Eye. No camera bros who aren’t willing to listen to their peers please haha.
Do you have any advice for emerging Australian artists?
I used to have imposter syndrome and it’s taken me a while to be comfortable pushing back my inner saboteur voice. Projects such as WIP help creatives get to the forefront especially those who are underrepresented and all too naturally feel less experienced than their peers. Engaging with your community is vital, as is learning not to doubt yourself. Find the right supportive group that doesn’t judge and just pursue it. A formal education is not 100% necessary for your success. There are pros and cons and I still struggle with the institutional concept considering every university teaches differently as well. I can appreciate how it helped me to learn how to explain and communicate my ideas, how to collaborate with other people and the access to high-end facilities. Outside of an institute you can learn a great deal through reading, watching films, Facebook groups (Flicka) and working on university production sets.
Engaging with your community is vital, as is learning not to doubt yourself. Find the right supportive group that doesn’t judge and just pursue it.
Who are some Australian industry peers who you draw inspiration from?
Probably Corrie Chen and Natalie Erika James who are both VCA Film alumni. As film directors they explore social themes and issues in a distinctively surreal way through genres such as horror and comedy. Nayuka Gorrie is a First Nations screen writer and activist that explores Aboriginal, queer and feminist politics through satire. Gorrie wrote a lot of episodes for Black Comedy on ABC and I think they’re really inspiring and empowering.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
If anyone on the roster wants to reach out to work with us, please do. No matter how big or small your idea is we should talk.
Check out Eye to Eye Production's WIP Profile Page for more!
Top Photo Credit: Bridgette Winten
Last Photo Credit: Jesse Gohier-Fleet