Violence against Women targeted by Sydney filmmaker

January 20, 2012 by Henry Benjamin
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London-based Sydneysider Mark Tintner has written and directed a short film featuring dance for Refuge, a UK organisation which aid victims of domestic violence. The film “Raging Beauty” has been widely acclaimed and has been praised by the Young Directors’ Award team. Watch it here…


On the UK Young Directors Award web site, this is what they had to say about Mark Tintner:

We’re  rather impressed with his latest spot for Refuge, a charity fighting for the elimination of violence against women.

They ran a short Q&A with Tintner…

Using a performance piece is a very effective way of communicating something harrowing. How did the creative idea come about?

Mark Tintner

The idea was the result of a newspaper article I read about an extreme situation. It was a horrific set of circumstances. I wanted to understand how circumstances could escalate to such a level.
I did have the seed (of a movement piece) planted prior to writing RAGING BEAUTY. I began my career in theatre working at Sadler’s Wells, The Barbican and the like – it’s had a huge impact on me, my work and where I originally met the performer Michela Meazza. I believe physicality drives performance and I always wanted to make a film with dance, but not a dance film. RAGING BEAUTY came out of those feelings and I knew Michela was the performer to bring it to life.

Did the shoot go according to plan and what were the main challenges of the whole production?

The shoot couldn’t have gone any smoother. The main challenge for this project was effectively portraying the story of multiple characters within a solo performance whilst conveying the message efficiently and effectively. Michela’s connection to this was very powerful.

So you’re studying a Masters in 3D Stereoscopic Media at Ravensbourne in London now. Please do tell us about the tricks you’re learning and how you’d apply them to directing.

Yeh, this Master’s came as quite a shock! I had no idea 6 months ago that I’d be studying, but I am enjoying it immensely, playing with some seriously amazing toys and learning to craft stereoscopic content creation at the same time. At the moment this medium is so new there really aren’t any tricks to digital 3D stereo. I can only compare it to the introduction of sound to film back in 1927. It’s a game changer. I still work in 2D and have not turned my back on it at all, but as sound did, depth will stick around and enhance drama..I’m definitely on the 3D team!

J-Wire had some questions for the 30-yr-old up and coming director too…

JW: When did you move to London?
MT: 2003

JW: What stage are the Young Directors Award at?
MT: The YDA have been supportive of my work since I received a couple of new director nominations. They are at the forefront when it comes to discovering new talent so I’m seriously chuffed to be on their radar.

JW:What school did you go to in Sydney?
MT: Bellevue Hill Primary and Cranbrook High School.

JW: When did you become interested in movie-making and what motivated you?
MT: I began my career as an actor, but couldn’t shake the desire to direct and tell stories. Ideas kept coming, then two years ago I just new it was time to go behind the camera and open a new door. I am sitting here thinking about it and to be completely honest, my motivation was – I want to direct and if they can do it, I can do it.

JW: Did you study film in Sydney?  If so where and for how long?
MT: I never studied directing or drama, I’ve been fortunate to learn on the job. I don’t know if I would recommend that avenue because it’s definitely the hard way, but it’s worked for me. In 2011 I was given the opportunity based on my experience, to study a Master’s in 3D Stereoscopic Media. I am looking to become a specialist in 3D content creation and direction.

JW: How did you get involved with Refuge?
MT: I was interested in the subject of domestic violence based on a newspaper article I read outlining a horrific domestic circumstance.

I wrote the script and pitched it to Refuge. It was something we all had to see lifted of the page, so I made the film anyway and then showed Refuge the final piece. Once I had done all the research on the subject, I was too committed and inspired to wait for an answer. We met Refuge to view the finished film, it was an inspiring and positive connection. We got the go ahead!

JW: What is your current project?
MT: I’m currently working on a piece for London designer Corrie Neilsen for London Fashion Week in Feb. I also have a number of 3D projects in pre production for 2012, which I am really excited about!

JW: Was it your idea to use dance as vehicle to get the domestic violence message across?
MT: Yeah, I wanted the feeling of a beautiful dance piece developing but then the cracks appear… get the audience when their guard is down. No walls or doors, just open space – being able to see straight in was important. Physical performance was crucial to highlight different characters in this situation, the victims and perpetrators.

JW: What is your ultimate goal?
MT: Too many goals come to mind but it definitely involves features, drama and 3D.

JW: By the way, I have forwarded the short to my niece who is a producer at Tiger Aspect.
MT: Wow. Thank You! V kind!

JW: Did you ever join your Dad in the choir at the Central Synagogue?
MT: Yes indeed I did!  From quite young actually, up until my barmitzvah. Any opportunity to perform – especially with Dad. I still enjoy watching JT perform, he’s old school 🙂

JW: Where will the film you made for Refuge be screened? And when?
MT: RAGING BEAUTY is a viral film, so it will probably have it’s life online. My production company will submit it to a number of festivals, so you never know, it may end up on the big screen somewhere, hopefully exotic.

JW: What has been the reaction to it?
MT:  The response has been very positive and quite emotional. I wanted to affect the audience with the reality of such situations and hopefully I have achieved that.

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