Aerlan Barrett – Artist Statement

Still from Short Film - "Emma"

Still from “Emma”. Short Film, 2014

Story and Drama unite my work. As a filmmaker, writer, editor, producer and cinematographer I look for the story in everything. Story is the study of change, life condensed; its ingredients are moments of major shifts. Ignorance to wisdom, self-consciousness to self-awareness. Story asks what are the forces that make people change? Whether I’m editing a film, placing a camera in a space, designing a plot or directing an actor I search for a beat, a tangible moment of change; a paradigm shift.

As a director I place the camera where it won’t interfere with the actor, rather than asking the actors to fit the camera I fit the camera to them. I want to feel that the life of the scene will continue whether we’re there to watch or not. I wait for the actors to make mistakes because I’m there to catch them exposed. I want it to feel messy, honest and unrehearsed. As a writer I spend countless hours, planning, preparing, design and inventing rigged structures to communicate my Story. I work to throw it all away and live for a brief moment in the world that’s been designed.

My stylistic inspirations come from directors like Paul Thomas Anderson and Martin Scorsese, I work to capture their dirty dark subjects, spontaneity and energy. In contrast my true blood brothers are playwrights. Artists like Tennessee Williams, Henrik Ibsen and Arthur Miller, writers who look into people’s homes, into the lives of despicable humans without judgment. The symphonies I hope to compose are those of people: where the notes are desire, with the chords of drama and the melodies of plot that push people to the brinks where we can see who they really are.


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