Shoots don’t always happen in ideal conditions but trying to capture surfing footage on a Sydney beach on a grey day during the school holidays followed by a beachside interview with a construction site nearby? That tests a director’s…well, everything.
Liv Watson shot, edited and post-produced a mini-doco for me for age_less_always, a movement to add age into diversity in the creative industries. Had it been a test, Liv would have passed with the highest honours. She has already demonstrated what she can do when she has an actual budget and a team behind her. She was the creative director of design and VFX company, Emerald City, during her time as an Aussie expat in London and her short film, Spoons, won rather a lot of awards:
Liv comes to directing projects with 14 years experience in creative direction, motion graphic design and 2D & 3D animation. She has directed TVCs, online content, brand films, and corporate videos and with a special flair for music videos and short films. Clients include Coca Cola, Canon, HSBC, Audi, Universal Music and The British Army.
I was hugely impressed by Liv Watson – her thoughtful approach to directing and whatever it takes attitude. [ed] I asked her to talk to me about her work.
Here is what she told me:
The Stable: You have a background in motion design, visual effects and animation. What does this add to your directing style?
Liv Watson: My background in design and visual effects, I feel, adds an extra level of detail and a visual richness to my work. I am meticulous with the way I compose and art direct every shot. Also having had the visual effects experience, I know what’s possible and what opportunities you have in post-production to enhance the visual narrative.
TS: What do you think are the characteristics that make your work stand out?
LW: I like to craft and polish every aspect of my work and I always start with crafting the story or main theme, as everything else is born from the story. I think this gives my work a highly expressive and emotive quality. My work can also have a very graphic aesthetic, integrating clean lines and distinct shapes to make balanced and flowing compositions. And it has a rhythmical quality, that I think, makes it distinctive too.
TS: How do you like to work?
LW: I like to have a clear and well-developed vision for every project. However, I also like to allow for happy accidents to happen at any stage during the process, that reveal a brilliant idea or an exciting approach that you hadn’t thought of before. I also really enjoy working with actors to achieve powerful and engaging performances.
TS: Tell me about Spoons.
LW: Spoons is a short film about memory and confronting your past. When Darryl, a dispossessed war veteran, meets Iris, he discovers he is not who he thought he was. Iris pulls Darryl into her memory, causing him to confront his own harrowing past.
With Spoons, I hope to take the audience into a world where they can inhabit the character’s memories and in turn inhabit their own memories and come face to face with whatever demons might lie there.
TS: Tell me about your favourite work from Emerald City.
LW: My favourite Emerald City project is probably The Star, as I came up with an overall story based on the evolution of time throughout the ages and created four individual pieces for specific times of day. Each piece was a four-minute loop that incorporated symbolism and had an energy level associated with these specific times of the day. A variety of elements including marine life, blossoming flowers, musical instruments and contemporary dancers were incorporated into surreal animated worlds full of unexpected surprises, movement and transformation. View The Star here and here.
Here is one of six content pieces Liv created for The British Army:
The Sheree da Costa age_less_always documentary is in here:
View all of Live Watson’s work and contact her here.