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Golden 20s: An Interview with Stella Born

Tell us about yourself. How did you become an artist?

I’ve always been one. The description „Artist“ always felt natural and true to me. I didn’t feel like I choose it or I had to work towards it, it is just who I am.

I started attending an afternoon painting class when I was 5, still in Kindergarden. I went every week till I graduated high school. Expressing myself through visual art, is my way to feel seen.

After high school I started studying Computer Science, which inspired me to look into different areas of visual art like VJing and filmmaking.

What was your first job in the art field?

I have yet to be paid for a job in this industry, but the first time I got hired was at a Techno Club in Munich as VJ.

What makes you want to tell stories? In other words, what are the themes/issues you want to incorporate into your work?

Characteristic for my work is a loose storyline with the focus on portraying a feeling, a state of mind and creating an atmosphere. I think Golden 20s is symptomatic of that.

Most of my work so far wasn’t intended to serve a higher purpose, in terms of highlighting an issue. I want people to look at my stuff and just enjoy it.

Please tell us about your vision and your method of approaching a new project?

It depends on the project. Sometimes I hear a song that inspires me, or a quote in a Book, or a cool location. After the initial idea, I usually have the whole project already mapped out in my head and have to force myself to slow down a little and create a proper script, storyboard, moodboard, etc. For Golden 20s I even did a dress rehersal. I try to avoid long waiting times between the idea and execution to keep the momentum alive.

Who are your filmmaking influencers? What are the films that were influential for you?

Luca Guadagnino.

The aesthetic for Golden 20s was highly inspired by Bones and All. I was lucky to see it in Venice and saw it 4 other times since then. Incredible story, incredible cinematography by Arseni Khachaturan, a must see!

How do you think the industry is changing? How has COVID affected independent filmmaking/creation?

I will get back to you on that one, once I finally got my foot in the door.

What advice would you give to aspiring artists? What are some of the things they must follow/avoid?

From one aspiring artist to the other: consistency is key. It is something I’m struggling with, because you put so much effort into a project and two months later you look back and see 100 things that you could’ve done differently. But that is a good thing, it means you won’t make the same mistake again. Don’t let yourself be discouraged, the more you practice your craft the better you will get.

Do you think films/stories can bring about a change in the world?

I do think films are a powerful tool to inspire change, however I don’t think you can always predict how your movie is going to be perceived. Probably there’ll be reactions you never intended. I’m not a big fan of films that feel like a lecture.

What do you think people like to watch these days? Has the pandemic changed people's taste?

From personal experience I wouldn’t say the pandemic has changed peoples taste. I think there is a change, which we can already see in how Netflix creates new projects. Series are going to be even bigger than they are already. Peoples attention spans are decreasing rapidly due to how we consume content daily and the industry has to react to it.

Please tell us about your upcoming projects.

Shooting on 35mm film.


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