The Curious Interview: Prano Bailey-Bond
Prano Bailey-Bond is an award winning Film Director. Her work has screened at events and festivals including BFI London Film Festival, Tampere Film Festival, UKMVA's, Slamdance, ASFF and European Independent Film Festival. Recognised primarily for her work within the Horror genre, her recent short 'Nasty' was selected & screened at over 100 Film Festivals, long-listed for the BIFA Best British Short Award and voted one of the Top 25 horror shorts of 2016 by Fright Meter Awards.
Her film Shortcut was made as part of the Film4 Fright Bites series, broadcast on Film4 and is available to view on All4.
Prano is currently developing her debut feature 'Censor' with the support of Ffilm Cymru Wales and Creative England. Her second feature project titled 'Womb', was selected for Ffilm Cymru Wales' 'Cinematic' development scheme. Prano is also a writer and an award-winning editor.
The Curious Interview with Prano Bailey-Bond
What are you most Curious about?
I’m curious about what makes us who we are, how our brains work and what makes them work the way they do… what informs our individual interests or reactions to things?
I’m curious about why I love horror films – what makes me seek out the experience of being afraid as entertainment? Is it the thrill of the ride, or some kind of catharsis, or is it a need to engage with some primal emotion? My love for horror and ‘the strange’ has always been there, I’m curious about where that came from.
Fear and how we react to it fascinates me. It says a lot about a person. Why do some people enjoy horror whilst some avoid it, unable to handle it? I could use the example of me and my sister. I’m a filmmaker and she is an artist. We are fairly similar as people; our voices sound the same, we have freckles in the same places on our bodies, we both do this silent laugh thing where we throw our heads back at certain jokes – we have a lot in common even though we didn’t grow up exactly side by side as we are a few years apart. And then there’s the art that we each produce – my work focuses on the darker, more twisted aspects of life, with a touch of surreal humour thrown in, whilst my sister’s work focuses on light, peace and serenity and aims to inspire joy and tranquillity. I think if we were to each write manifestos for our work they would be strikingly contrasting.
How does your Curiosity serve your Creativity?
Everything starts with curiosity. The first breath of an idea has to be one that inspires enough curiosity to explore it further. Sometimes an idea comes in the initial form of an image, an atmosphere, or a fragment of a story. It’s curiosity that makes you peer around the corner of that idea and see what else is there. Curiosity makes you take an idea and wonder what it would look like upside down or inside out, what’s behind it – it makes you explore things. Making films is a strange adventure that begins with curiosity and imagination.
What Inspires you?
Recently I’ve been inspired by standing in a crowd of people, staring at a building, a conversation with a friend… sometimes ideas ping about like crazy, and sometimes there is a drought.
I think having a certain level of contentment and comfort within yourself is the first step towards inspiration, because inspiration requires you to be non-judgemental – if you critique ideas too early you can destroy them before they’ve had a chance to show you their potential.
People who inspire me are those who have the confidence to do things their own way; who challenge expectations and norms, or reveal new perspectives on old ideas. Filmmakers who do this, and inspire me, are David Lynch, Tod Browning and Darren Aronofsky. I also find the work of Cindy Sherman very inspiring.
A recurring location in my ideas seems to be the forest, so I think this must be quite an inspiring place in my mind. Perhaps it’s down to the atmosphere and mystery of a forest – it feels like there are endless ideas beyond the trees. There’s a notion that, in fairy-tales, the forest represents the psyche – so maybe I’m kind of metaphorically trundling through my own brain when I’m there too.
How would you describe your Style?
I have to say, this is a very difficult question. One that until now I really haven’t
consciously thought about. According to others, I’m “eclectic”, “structured”, “quirky”, “Hackney”…
I like the idea that I’m structured – I love patterns and colour, but they have to go with something simple, and I like things to match – it feels satisfying. Saying that, I do like pattern clashes sometimes too, but it has to be a particular kind of clash, and I’m not entirely sure how to describe that!
Vibrancy is important to me, so when I buy clothes I often remind myself not to end up walking out with all black items. If I was a cartoon I think I’d be very colourful but neat, and with a heavy black outline – I like outlines. Comfort is always high on my list of priorities when it comes to style too – the best outfits are the ones you feel like you look good in, but could also roll down a hill wearing.
What do you particularly like about Wool & Water?
I like that both the label and pieces feel personal and unique. It’s almost like, even if I have the same Wool & Water design as someone else, this particular one is mine and it was made for me; it’s individual.
I love the craft behind it, knowing who made it and also imagining it being created – what set was Alice on? What character was she playing at the time? What costume was she wearing? What TV or filmmaking challenges were going on in the background of Alice creating this piece?
In a world where we consume so excessively, often not knowing where the things we buy have come from, or how they have been made, Wool & Water is refreshing and makes you want to take care of your item – to consume less and to love the things that you do consume more.
"When I wear my W&W Braces I feel...
...ready for an adventure."