YTT Interview: Joseph Mitchell talks film production
YTT at Travellers’ Times caught up with 21 year old Romany Traveller, Joseph Mitchell to find out more about a selection of short films and documentaries he has written and get his views on Romany and Traveller representation on the big screen.
Joseph has just finished his second year studying a film production degree at The University for the Creative Arts in the south of England and is working on becoming a professional screen writer.
I want to be a professional screenwriter in the future, I enjoy it most because I have complete creative control over the stories that I’m creating………….he told Travellers’ Times
What got you into film production?
I’ve been studying film since year ten, I’ve done two years of film at school, two years at college and now I’m finishing my second year at university about to go into my third year doing a degree in film production.
I’ve always enjoyed film, I’ve been writing since I was ten, started off with short stories, venturing into scripts when I finished school. I’m constantly reading books, comic books and watching films to gather new ideas, I spend most of my days writing.
What’s your favourite film and why?
My favourite film is ‘A single Man’ directed by Tom Ford, written by Christopher Isherwood, it’s my favourite book. I love the film as it’s a simplistic yet complex story about a man struggling to stay alive after losing everything, I’ve always been drawn to that film, and always watching for more ideas and picking a part how they use the camera to tell the story.
Can you tell us a bit more about previous projects you’ve been involved in or are currently working on?
Over the years projects I have created 'Beatrix & Jane' a short about two women who connect through art and film.
'Yellow jacket', a queer one minute short about problematic relationship troubles between two men, and a documentary called 'The Puppet maker' on a puppet maker that’s toured the world with his puppets, using them for massive theatre productions.
My latest documentary 'Sankhara' is in edit and is about a horse whisperer, but right now I’m working on a short sci-fi film about two sisters that live in a research facility due to the air outside being a toxic deadly mist. It’s called ‘The Unhinged Inhabitant’.
Joseph is trying to raise funds through a crowdfunder to get this project off the ground you can help by donating whatever you can here
What are your aims in the film industry?
My main aim is to first break into it, second is to tell as many untold stories as I can. I want to tell the stories we never hear, such as Traveller mistreatment, and see more women on screen especially Gypsy women who have not been represented enough on screen.
How do you think Gypsy and Travellers are portrayed in film?
I personally feel that Gypsies and Travellers still have a long way to go until we are represented well on screen, we are still being depicted as thieving brutes, in order for us to break this down we need to tell the everyday stories of the people from our community that continue to face hardship due to being discriminated because of how they live.
Do you have any advice for any other Young Gypsy and Traveller filmmakers?
Make as many films and watch as many films as you can. The hardest part about filmmaking for me is making sure that I give myself enough time and not to rush things, it’s always best to take your time on a project, and talking to other filmmakers is important, the community is very small so branch out and make contacts.
Main image: Joseph Mitchell © Katie Loughrin