Isabella Tan, Director/Cinematographer
When did your journey as a creative begin (both personally and professionally)?
It began personally when I was 13 years old and picked up my first camera. Professionally, when I graduated from college at the age of 22.
What is your life ethos and how does it relate to your creative journey?
My life ethos is to never regret — life truly is just too short. There’s never going to be enough time to do everything you want so you might as well live life to the fullest! I feel that way in my creative career as well. There’s too little time to be told what to do, might as well do what you want.
How would you describe your creative/artistic leadership?
I’m pretty determined to have my vision played out but I love collaboration — that’s one of my favourite things about filmmaking so there’s those two things I guess. I know what I want but I’m always open to it growing through others & feedback etc.
If there's something you noticed women creatives doing, what would you advise them?
There’s a lot of useless noise out there so you might as well put yourself out there as well. Take up space.
What was the most significant/impactful project for you thus far — why?
My favourite (I talk about this too much) was Narelle Kheng’s music video, Blue, we shot in Death Valley. It just seemed like such a perfect medley of South East Asia and US talents and it was such an homage to a friend who I had admired for so long. She’s so talented. Also the shoot ended up perfect against ALL odds. I mean, ALL odds. It reignited my spark for this art.
Tell us what are the best and worst things about your role.
Directing — my least favourite is to be pulled in so many directions during the production. You need to be everywhere to answer everything. Something I love about being a Cinematographer is that you’re responsible for ONE thing. It’s so nice sometimes. My favourite part though is also that I’m there for the whole process as a Director. It’s a true creative project.
Who is someone you would love to collaborate with and why?
FKA twigs comes to mind. Halsey. NIKI. They just seem like such artists in their own right I’d love to learn from them too :D
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