Intervision training for filmmakers, what’s that?
Written by Bram Megens
Let’s face it. Being a filmmaker isn’t an easy career path. There are many roadblocks ahead of which you didn’t know they existed or that exist outside the content of your work. Sometimes you’d wish for a fellow filmmaker to talk to and to listen to your story, your daily life struggles as a maker.
That’s where Go Short’s intervision program comes in. Together with our partner Coaching in de Cultuur, we’ve set up a recurring meeting with a group of filmmakers who all want to work on dealing with their day-to-day struggles. This is a pilot for which 6 filmmakers could apply during Go Short 2022 in April. All costs were covered by Go Short with the intention to stimulate filmmakers and their mental health.
The first two meetings have passed. We asked two filmmakers what they’ve learned about the intervision procedure. These are their experiences.
“What I learned from these sessions is that every filmmaker faces the same problems. It’s a relief to receive this confirmation. It doesn’t ‘solve’ anything immediately, but in an indirect way. By asking well-formulated open questions and listening to each other you give each other the opportunity to figure out your own problems.”
“Something else I’ve learned is to not feel guilty whenever I’m loafing around; it’s actually pretty useful! I should see it as a way to get inspired and not feel ‘useless’ or anything like that.”
“The experience was incredibly useful to me. I’ve really met some professional soulmates through this intervision training.”
Huibert van Wijk
“Being a maker can sometimes be a lonesome profession. We mainly discuss the content of our work and not the mental aspect of it. The intervision training is a way to combat that and to balance things out.”
“An example of something I learned is that I may allow myself to feel angry or frustrated by the way things sometimes are. Maybe a project needs to be put aside for a little while in order to come back stronger at another time.”
“What I especially liked was how other people talking about your issue gives you a different perspective on your own experience. That’s extremely helpful to me. It gave me the chance to look at myself in a more positive manner.”
What does a session look like?
All of the participants prepare a case: something that’s going on in their lives, a recurring problem or something else that’s bothering them. It could be anything! Corine Overvest (Coaching in de Cultuur) moderates the session and starts off with an introduction. After this introduction, the first filmmaker may bring forward the case they prepared. The filmmaker introduces the case to the group and following up on that, participants may ask open questions. These questions are meant to clarify the situation of the filmmaker, both professionally as well as personally. When everyone has asked their questions, the participants formulate the problems they see for that filmmaker and share it with this person.
What follows is the round of gossip. During this segment of the session, the filmmaker must turn their back on the rest. The rest will ‘gossip’ about the filmmaker. This way, the filmmaker is not included in the conversation, but hears everything. The filmmaker hears how other people would judge this case and what way they would speak about the filmmaker in question. It’s possible that this is confrontational, but more often than not it’s a relief to hear your problem being handled by others. You’ll probably hear recognizable things being said about your personality and how people place you in your situation.
Finally, the participants may give their advice: “If I were Joe, I would handle his case in this way.” Something like that. The filmmaker – Joe in this case – is not allowed to react to the advice, but he can merely receive it. Then, Joe shares his view on how this session went. The participants are allowed to briefly react to this statement. At the end, everybody is reminded that what’s being said during these sessions is confidential and will not leave the room.
Why does Go Short do this?
Kirsten Ruber, festival director: “We want to offer filmmakers support and stimulate them to build up a strong network of feedback. These are interesting times. Many filmmakers have tons of experience and knowledge at the ready to be there for eachother. Intervision is an accessible and sustainable way to start a conversation and to keep in touch afterwards. With this pilot, we hope to stimulate more get-togethers and conversations.”
In Autumn next year, Go Short will launch a new series of this intervision project. More information on this later. Follow us on social media and stay informed about the latest news.
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