Photo credit: Raymond Sagapolutele
Kia orana kotou katoatoa, my name is Robert George and I’m a film maker (Ngāti Kuki Airani (Rarotonga & Atiu) and Te Arawa (Ngāti Kearoa Ngāti Tuara). I originally studied Fine Arts and Design but then after much procrastination I went and gained a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Sociology at Victoria University of Wellington before changing direction again and entering the film and television industry.
A Memoir for Falling Light. Photo credit: Sam Hartnett
In terms of working at MIT’s Faculty of Creative Arts, I wasn’t there for long but I really enjoyed my time. I started as a tutor while Glen Maw was lecturing, helping out with the Introduction to Moving Image paper, and then when Glen moved on I took over lecturing duties on the Documentary Film-making paper. Teaching wasn’t something that I had thought about doing before, but I really enjoyed trying to pass on my passion about film to the students. MIT is unique and the community that surrounds it is super inspiring. The perspective that their students and teachers have there is a valuable resource. If there was one thing that I tried to explain to the students while I there, it was that film is a process and like all art-forms, you only understand the whole process by being able to repeat the process in it’s entirety, again and again. My only regret was not being able to help the students make more films.
Still from short doco ‘Aka’ōu
In my own practice, it has been a long and constant process of learning and relearning. The only reason that I have been able to practice film and that I am still able to practice film is because of the Digital Film-making revolution (ironically). Digital film-making and the online realm allows us to embrace film completely and provides us with pathways and opportunities that we would not normally have. I’ve realised there is no right or wrong in this and if you think you’ve found a hard and fast rule, more than likely someone else can find the exception. Digital film-making has helped me realise many personal projects which would not have been completed otherwise, such as my experimental video installation A Memoir for Falling Light short film docos ‘Aka’ōu and Bradley Lane. In all of this I have had more failures than success.