Creativity Series - Irene Gomez-Emilsson

2nd July 2018

As part of our Creativity Series, we interviewed visual artist Irene Gomez-Emilsson.

Can you tell us a bit about your practice and give us your background?

I am a filmmaker, I work mainly as a director of photography (D.P.) but I also direct. I was born in Mexico to an Icelandic mother and a Mexican father. I lived in Mexico most of my childhood then moved to Paris when I was 18 and London about 7 years ago. I have a BA in film studies and a MA in filmmaking from the London Film School.  I am now based in London.

Do you feel you have a clear creative process? Or is this something more fluid?

As a D.P., the process is determined by the process of the pre-production of a film. The script, the locations, and most importantly the conversations you have with the director, the producer the production designer etc., lead you to shape the vision you have of the film and with what means you can deliver a final product that is both of quality but that has a spark, an edge, something that may differentiate the film from others.

Where do you draw inspiration from? More broadly and day to day, is this different?

I draw inspiration from everywhere! From a film, to a painting, to a piece of music, a book or just from a walk in the canals, a train ride, a conversation with a friend…. Every moment is an opportunity to get inspired. As a D.P., I tend to observe the light in every situation, this gives me a lot of queues as to how to use the light when I am on set.

How do you avoid falling into automatic mode? What routines do you find helpful in keeping your creative side stimulated?

It is very refreshing to find something new every day or ponder further on an old idea. I think walking is great to keep yourself alert to your environment but also a way to keep thinking, thinking in movement.

Why is creativity important in your role, what environment does it best thrive in? Do you need a quiet space or loud music? Do you need to be alone to be productive? 

Creativity is at the center of cinematography, how to achieve with the means you have, an image that both serves the narrative and is compelling, and is responding to the world, reflecting and conveying ideas and feelings.  

I think my creativity thrives in a collaborative environment. What I love about film is that it’s not about one person’s idea and that’s all, it’s about conversations between a series of individuals with a particular set of skills, you learn from each other, you confront each other to achieve something you are all passionate about.

What did you want to do as a child?

Sherlock Holmes…. I guess I did not quite achieve that but at least I do live in London!

Can you tell us about something you have coming up? 

 I am working on Indigo Valley, my first feature as a D.P., it is a drama written and directed by talented director and actor Jaclyn Bethany with whom I have worked on several projects in the past.  Principal photography should start this August.  We shot the short version last summer in Iceland.

I am also working on a web series co-created by C.C. Kellogg and Clemy Clarke, called Nudes the Anthology, it is a series of short films inspired by short stories or paintings revolving around nudity.  We just shot two episodes in NYC.