Tapes from the Revolutionary by Scott Willis: The Skinny Short Film Competition Shortlist 2015

Shortlisted in The Skinny Short Film Competition 2015, director Scott Willis explains the inspirations and processes behind his film, Tapes From the Revolutionary

Video | 29 Jul 2015

Filmmaker's statement:

“What is it like to see the world through someone else’s eyes?”

Filmmaker Scott Willis discovers Andy, a self-proclaimed communist revolutionary who documents his life on a Hi8 camcorder. Aiming to understand the purpose behind the tapes, Willis picks up his own camera – Andy, however, has his own agenda for the project. Tapes from the Revolutionary is a humorous and unconventional documentary that turns the lens on itself and examines the filmmaking process.

Filmmaker's Q&A:

What do you do and why do you do it?
I am a filmmaker. My motivation is that I simply have a passion for storytelling.

Where did the initial idea for your film come from?
I was intrigued to play with the role of author. After discovering Hi8 tapes from a self-proclaimed political revolutionary, I wanted to experiment with what would happen if I gave full control to my participant as the filmmaker; reverse the salvage paradigm. Bad move. We had arguments and I lost control of where the film was going. However, this made the film richer. It became self-aware, and asked questions about why filmmakers create and how others see the world.

Describe your film in five words?
Reflexive form served on ceramic.

What excites you most about filmmaking?
As a filmmaker, I get excited by the process of collecting materials from the idea of an objective reality, similar to modernist art. It is the deconstruction of those findings within post-production that excites me; new meanings emerge and the world becomes more intriguing. I get a comfort from the delusion that I am able to make sense of it all. When watching the work of fellow filmmakers, I can see how they interpret the world. That is exciting.

What advice would you give other filmmakers?
The advice I would give to other filmmakers is to ignore your condescending uncle.


Director - Scott Willis
Executive Producer - Emma Davies
Assistant Editor and transcriptions - Florrie Munro
Sound Design and Mixing - Ali Murray
Sound recordists - Charlie Moon & Chris Gayne
Composer - Josh Sabin
Produced by - Alia Ghafar
Cinematography - Andy Anderson & Scott Willis
Editor - Scott Willis

Learn more about The Skinny Short Film Competition and watch more short films at our Short Film Competition portal, and check out the full shortlist for The Skinny Short Film Competition.