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“In That Lack of Motion I Found a New Way of Working” | Sophie Hyde, Good Luck to You, Leo Grande

Emma Thompson and Daryl McCormack in Sophie Hyde's Good Luck to You, Leo GrandeEmma Thompson and Daryl McCormack in Good Luck to You, Leo Grande. (Photo: Nick Wall)

The last two years have prompted much contemplation and reconsideration of the reasons why we make our films as well as the ways in which we make them. What aspect of your filmmaking—whether in your creative process, the way you finance your films, your production methodology or the way you relate to your audience—did you have to reinvent in order to make and complete the film you are bringing to the festival this year?

Being at home. I’ve always been based here on Kaurna land in Adelaide, South Australia. I have lived and worked from here my whole life. And while I have found myself away to shoot my last two films, I have always done the editing and post work here as well as most of the shoots. But for many years I have been on the move, out in the world with the movies/tv shows, returning home to recuperate, prepare, make. And then this pandemic time…over these years, like so many people, I’ve been home. Firmly. And in that lack of motion I found a new way of working. A calm. A deepening.

This is an odd thing to focus on, because we actually went from Australia to the UK to shoot the film that is showing at Sundance. Bryan (who is the cinematographer and editor) and I left Australia at a time where we had travel restrictions, which meant to leave the country we needed to get exemptions from the government and upon return we had to do a 14-day hotel quarantine. So I didn’t actually stay home for the whole two years Australia had its “borders closed.” And yet that’s the overwhelming feeling of this time. Being at home. And though I get itchy for the new, and itchy for the part of myself that I find away from home, I have also really enjoyed it. I feel very grateful for what I have here and that I can work from here. We have a shed/studio in our backyard and we edit there. We have access to incredible post production people and facilities which we utilized for this film (as well as doing some remotely with the UK). And I have space and time and nature to write in. I miss the world, but I have found a new kind of contentment here and I feel it has enriched my work.

See all responses to our annual Sundance Question here.

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