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“Whenever You Build a World You Open Yourself Up to It”: Director Sophie Hyde | Animals

Holliday Grainger and Alia Shawkat in Animals (Photo: Tamara Hardman)

Whenever directors watch their own films, they always do so with the knowledge that there are moments that occurred during their production — whether that’s in the financing and development or shooting or post — that required incredible ingenuity, skill, planning or just plain luck, but whose difficulty is invisible to most spectators. These are the moments directors are often the most proud of, and that pride comes with the knowledge that no one on the outside could ever properly appreciate what went into them.

So, we ask: “What hidden part of your film are you most privately proud of and why?”

From my perspective, what we think is hidden in a film process always seems to infiltrate the frame—or sit just outside of frame. When you make work and it’s encompassing, you put yourself inside it and it lives in there, and so the relationships, and the way you make the work, feel like they become part of the story and part of the world, the feeling for the audience.

For me that intimacy of creating relationships between the cast but also with the writer and the crew, starts to inform what we are building. I see myself in so many characters and I see my collaborators too. We each connect in ways that might not be obvious. Whenever you build a world you open yourself up to it, share your stories, reveal your secrets. That happens in the writing, it happens again in the rehearsing and it happens again on screen. All of us are there revealed, but not in the places that might be expected. I am always proud of that and proud of the raw vulnerability of making work.

Sundance Responses 2019

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