We’re continuing our #SundaySpotlight this week with an interview with R.M. Moses, an award winning independent filmmaker from East London. Jakob talked to Moses about his films, inspiration, and his goals for the future!
JB: For any of our readers who aren’t aware of your work, would you like to introduce yourself?
My name is Remi Moses, professionally known as RM Moses and I’m a filmmaker from East London. In the past 4 years of being a filmmaker, I’ve created over 30 films and counting, I’ve won multiple awards around the world in film festivals and award ceremonies. I hate the spotlight and so you’ll rarely ever see me at events and things that require me to leave my bat cave, unless I have to wear a suit… Them I’m showing up in full effect.
JB: I’m always curious to know if there was a certain moment in a filmmaker’s life when the idea of chasing that dream was first sparked; do you recall such a moment for yourself?
I was making youtube videos before I was filmmaking and that was really where I gained the knowledge on how to film/edit. It got to a point where I was creating so much content, I became jaded and I didn’t know why. One day I realized I didn’t want to make youtube videos for a living, that wasn’t the career I wanted, so I quickly transitioned into filmmaking. I took courses and read books on how to write for screen before actually making a film. Then when I found out how to piece the puzzle together of writing, filming and editing, I just loved it.
JB: Are there any filmmakers who really inspire you, who you draw from when working on your own projects?
Not anyone in particular just because I love so many different kinds of movies, but if you were to ask me my top 5 films, you would definitely see 3 Chris Nolan movies in that list. His perfectionism and talent in his craft is something I aspire to, I love the depth and thought in his movies. I follow a lot of cinematographers on Instagram who give me sooooo much content for my private mood boards, so, if anything, I would say they give me the most inspiration.
JB: Of course, every filmmaker has their own identity and style, so tell me how you would describe your work?
I personally like to think my work is very dialogue driven, emotionally heavy but painted with a very subtle brush. I tend to write better for strong female leads, but just in general, I think my work is best reflected upon actors who can reach a certain level of emotion that promotes a realism to the scripts. CJ Beckford and Sarah Isabella are two actors I’ve worked with recently who have this quality. I can’t really articulate it, but they have sensibilities that make your scripts so full of complexities and wonders. I love that.
JB: As an independent filmmaker, there are plenty of obstacles along the way; what are some of the challenges you’ve faced and how did you overcome them?
I think funding has been the hardest part because sometimes that is the difference between average work and being able to accurately paint what you see in your head. You can still tell effective stories with no budget but as a perfectionist, you need the funding to create the perfect painting. Other than that, I haven’t had any obstacles because I mainly produce all my own content, so I don’t have to rely on other people.
JB: Your films have garnered a lot of praise, which must give you great hopes for the future. Where do you hope to be in five years time?
I’m going to be nominated for a BAFTA or OSCAR. Then hopefully, with my foot in the door, I can create all these ideas I have, with no obstacles. I just want to create as much as I can, and as much as I don’t like the spotlight, if I have to go and pick up and award just to give my work some credibility, so be it.
JB: Speaking of praise, I saw Letitia Wright – of ‘Black Panther’ fame – gave you a shoutout recently. Congratulations, first of all. How important is it for these kind of stars to support those of us trying to break into the industry?
Letitia has been to a couple of my past film premieres and I love her to bits. When she gave me a shoutout, my phone was going crazy the whole week. I think its testament to her personality, being so kind and humble, but it happens a lot in the industry, just on a bigger scale. We always see interviews with big stars name dropping their well-known celebrity friends but I think it’s important to talk about the emerging talent coming through. We don’t usually get wind of filmmakers until they get Oscar nominated, which is crazy but that’s what I mean when these awards give creatives validation. The indie film community in London is pretty close-knit but there isn’t much going on in terms of support and development. The support from people in the industry, as mentors and teachers, is critical for our growth in this country.
JB: I also saw on Twitter, that you were considering writing a British gang movie; is this an avenue you will genuinely be pursuing? Because I would love to see that!
I’m creating a 3 minute short film called “MANDEM” which is for the RODE film competition. It’s more of a proof-of-concept than a film because it’s so short but I think it could go far. It comes out during the first week of August so watch out for that.
JB: What can we expect from you in the near future, what are you working on?
I have a short film called “Grounding” starring Sarah Isabella and Stefan Boateng which is about anxiety in a relationship and the fallout of poorly dealing with your mental health problems. It’s a 7-9 minute short and is incredibly beautiful, so raw and elegant. I have high hopes for this in the film festival circuit. Also I’m working on a web series at the end of the year which should be available online sometime early 2019.
JB: Do you watch many films yourself? What have you been enjoying lately?
I haven’t seen much recently because work has been intense but I’d like to think I’m an amateur cinephile. ‘Ready Player One’ made me cry recently after watching it for the second time. I had read the book so I knew what was to come but that was one of the best cinema experiences I’ve ever had. And of course, ‘Infinity War’, absolutely blew me away. Just recently I’ve been preaching about the new horror movie ‘Hereditary’. Such a brilliant film, the acting is some of the best I’ve seen in recent years. I really do urge people to see it, not because it’s a horror movie, but because the filmmaking is soooo good.
JB: What’s the best piece of advice you could offer to other aspiring filmmakers out there?
Learn to wear as many hats as you can. Don’t limit yourself to one specialty, learn how to edit, produce, direct, write, and increase your value to a future agency or studio. Make sure you learn as much as possible, don’t be naïve to think you can be in the industry without training. Read books, pay for courses, study your craft as much as you can because you can never learn too much. Educate yourself and go and create as much as you can. The theory is only 25% of it, filming/producing content is another 25% and the last 50% of becoming a filmmaker is making mistakes. Like any creative field, we only get better with practice. I’ve made over 30 films in the past 4 years and I feel comfortable and confident being able to specialise in any department because I’ve put myself through the process of making mistakes and learning how to get better next time. Sounds cheesy but it’s true.
JB: And finally, the most important question of the day, maybe ever – Pineapple on pizza? Right or wrong?