AWFJ EDA Award @ DOXA 2017 Filmmaker Interview: Alexandra Gaulupeau on LIFE AT A SNAIL’S PACE

0 Flares 0 Flares ×

alexandra gaulupeau for doxa2017Filmmaker Alexandra Gaulupeau takes us into the unique world of Marla Coppolino, a malacologist (snail expert), artist and self-proclaimed spokesperson for the largely misunderstood diminutive species of land snails. Through the creation of elaborate miniature scenes and cello scores, Coppolino displays her own mighty appreciation for the tiny, slimy (and surprisingly sexy) creatures! Read what Alexandra Gaulupeau has to say about making her first film, microphotography and mini-budgeting and connecting people to the natural world.

How and why did you encounter and commit to the subject/theme of your film and the main characters in it?

Life at a Snail’s Pace is my graduation film from Goldsmiths College, in London. As a French person I ate snails my whole life and realised that I didn’t know anything about them. So I decided to make a film about snails. Throughout my research I came across Marla’s snail wrangling website and that fascinated me.

What did you learn about the subject/theme from making the film?

As a malacologist (snail expert), Marla taught me a lot about snails. I think more importantly I learned to see the beauty in her obsessive passion for snails. I have never been grossed out by snails but she sees them through a completely different lens. I also really appreciate that she is completely aware of her obsession but also is very comfortable in it, because this is part of who she is.

What did you learn about filmmaking from making the film?

Being my graduation film, I have learned pretty much everything I know about filmmaking from making this film. I did learn a lot in particular about macro-photography and how to think of ways to make a film on a tiny budget.

What were your biggest challenges?

I found myself more torn than I would have expected in the edit suite. As filmmakers we do have a responsibility in the way our subjects are represented. It is very easy to make Marla’s quirky and funny sides come across, but to me these sides go in hand with her expertise, dedication and sensitivity. It was somewhat challenging to balance those aspects throughout the film.

alexandra gaulupeau snailspace

Do you think that being female gave you a distinct perspective and/or way of handling the filmmaking process?

I am not sure it gave me a distinctive perspective, maybe with my interaction with Marla but this would be more a question for her.

What are your plans for the future?

Continue to make more documentaries, and tell unusual intimate stories that somehow connect people to the natural world.

Who are the Filmmakers whose work has inspired/influenced your own?

Patricio Guzman and Lucy Walker

What advice do you have for other female Filmmakers who are trying to make their way through a still male-dominated industry?

Just make the films you want to make, even if people laugh at you for making a film about mollusc.

0 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 0 0 Flares ×
explore: | | | |