Interview with Clear-Sighted Canadian Film Director/Editor Sarah Hedar
[Update - June 2019: Winner for Best Picture Editing in a Motion Picture is Sarah Hedar for her work in Edge Of The Knife (Sgaawaay K'uuna)!
I am indeed fortunate to know Sarah Hedar from my time living in Vancouver BC when I was young and foolish, and she was... not.
Sarah Hedar's work as an emerging Canadian director and writer is supported by her years of experience as an editor on provocative and original award winning films. With a strong technical and artistic background, Sarah focuses her attention on visual storytelling that promotes empowerment for women, critical thinking and helping to make this world just a little bit brighter.
Thank you Sarah for sharing with us!
How are you? What are you working on these days that is exciting you?
I’m well! I’m currently co-editing a feature film that I think is pretty special and when this project is finished in the new year I will return to school and keep chipping away at my masters degree in film – and with that, hopefully a couple projects of my own. I always have a few ideas floating around but it’s taking the time to get them done that seems a bit more challenging. When I don’t have a lot of time for my own creative work I try to carve out even 10 minutes to at least write or doodle or something, it helps a lot.
Do you have any rituals or tips you could share when it comes to writing? How do you motivate yourself?
I’m still learning and figuring out what works for me. Last summer I grabbed a book from the library that was all about different artists' morning rituals. I found they all structured their lives very differently and of course, had different obligations but most of them made sure that their creative pursuit was the first thing they did in the day. That’s something I’m still trying to implement as my work schedule can get in the way. I find that my process is still very much a struggle and a bit like self-torture. I’ll impose some sort of harsh deadline or build up this idea of failing that I’ll just paralyze myself until I somehow find my way through my own drama. I’m trying to find ways to not worry about those things so much and just find the joy in writing or creating anything just for the sake of it. Sometimes writing something unrelated to what I think I’m supposed to be doing helps– it takes some of the ‘ perfectionist’ pressure off by lowering my expectations for what I’m doing and in turn, frees up the creative brain to do what it needs to do. Sometimes music helps. Sometimes getting out of my house or setting up “work dates” help. I find just having someone else sit across from me looking productive is enough to keep me from gawking at Facebook for hours instead of writing. I think one of the most important things for me is to take walking breaks. I feel a lot better if I take some time out in the world, ideally nature, but that isn’t always as accessible. I do have a tendency to treat myself like a bit of a work horse and just keep pushing myself through but it’s not pleasant and it’s not always productive, so I’m trying to remember to take those breaks and replenish when I can - and that those practices have real value.
What would you dress up as if you were invited to a costume party on another planet?
Hmmm. I’d like to think I’d dress up as some sort of abstract concept but the truth is I’d probably think about a ton of different ideas and run out of time to make one so I’d just end up going as myself. Although, I suppose if I were on another planet, that might be interesting enough.
What are your top 3 funniest movie ever recommendations?
It really depends what mood I’m in. I laughed so much at What We Do in the Shadows – I think I’m going to rewatch that one again soon. Mockumentaries in general are a pretty safe bet – there’s always the Christopher Guest ones (Best in Show, Waiting for Guffman etc), and of course he’s in Spinal Tap! The Coen brothers movies also tend to get me laughing but it’s a different kind of humour. I often like to take little comedy breaks when I’m working a lot so I’ll find a few short videos to break up my day. The two that I consistently keep going back to are Rob Cantor’s song/ live performance "Shia Labeouf" and Adult Swim’s "Too Many Cooks". Both are very strange and, to me, very funny.
Could you please pull a tarot card on the subject of healing for the human race and share the results with us?
I usually use the Osho Zen tarot deck. For this question, I pulled the Outsider card. To me this speaks of the disconnection that a lot of us feel – disconnected from one another, from nature and from ourselves. There are a lot of people who believe that we are healed and that healing is just a process of understanding that. . . I’m not sure what the truth is, and maybe it is different for everyone, but I do think that connection will always be a big part of it, so that we feel that we are a part of something and that we are seen. I don’t mean in the context of religion or organized groups necessarily – even just a coffee with a friend where you can each really listen, really see each other for a short time. Find those moments that remind us that we aren’t alone – that most of our experiences are in fact shared in some way – and that in itself can lighten the burden of our pain and expand the breadth of our joy.
Do you remember any particular art you did as a kid that you could tell us about?
As a kid I was really shy but I loved jokes (both practical and otherwise), doing impressions and anything gross like fake vomit or slime so I would make a lot of that stuff…using my mom’s makeup in the bathroom sink (sorry Mom!). I don’t remember any specific drawings but I do remember that my mom had a collection of Shakespeare plays that I used to get my sister and the neighbourhood kids to reenact. I think we did a scene from Romeo and Juliet on skates on an ice patch in our friends’ backyard. I had no idea what any of it meant except what I had picked up from pop culture references but I loved having people act out what I wanted them to do. I was lucky my sister was a pretty good sport and usually ready to help. We would also pretend to host our own radio show and record it on cassette tape, it was a lot of fun.