“/demo_n” (EXCLUSIVE) Interview with Gary Francis Roche

2024 January 5

“/demo_n” (EXCLUSIVE) Interview with Gary Francis Roche

-Who is Gary Francis Roche?

I am an animator, storyboard artist, editor, actor, author, and independent filmmaker set on becoming a film director.

-What inspired you to become a Filmmaker?

It all started when I was a professional actor while working as a barista at Starbucks Coffee, I was in a place in my life where the path I took in my career wasn’t taking off, until one day during one of my days off work when I watched Ridley Scott’s cult classic sci-fi film, Blade Runner. I had such an interesting viewing experience, a viewing experience I had never had before with a movie, and made me see what film can be and still can be: appreciating this medium as an art form as well as just a form of entertainment. This movie made me see the possibilities of what can be achieved with the array of skills that I had other than just acting, such as drawing, and photography, and later self-taught in editing. I felt that having watched that movie ignited that second spark that set me off on that path of wanting to become a filmmaker, using the skills and knowledge I had at the time, reutilising them all into one basket, and began putting them into practice making short documentaries, short films, and even getting work experience on professional film sets, applying to workshops and collaborating with other like-minded artists, and building up that network. And the rest is history.

-Do you think the cinema can bring a change in the society?

A: The true definition and purpose of art is that it imitates life, and life can be inspired by the art based on how one perceives it, and cinema to this day is an art form that is such an important staple to our tradition as storytellers that can touch people emotionally, mentally, and even physically at a universal scale. The idea of bringing together communities into one room and escape from our everyday problems and be immersed by a world happening in front of us on a silver screen and leave feeling inspired, or leaving an impact to motivate someone like me to go out and set their sights in wanting to be involved in the filmmaking process, or attempt to make movies just like the one they saw at that screening. No matter how much entertainment changes with technology, whether it was the invention of television, watching a movie on a streaming service, or watching something on a handheld device, the experience shared still stands the test of time as a powerful medium yet to be beaten. Human beings are social creatures, we like to go out and catch up with friends, and we like to create, read, or watch movies or TV shows to alleviate the emotional baggage we may be carrying and give us not what we as audience members want but what audience members need. From what I’ve seen so far in how the movie-going experience is looking post-lockdown it seems to still be alive and kicking and not going anywhere any time soon.

-What would you change in the world?

A: I’m not too sure that it is my responsibility to use my work to change the world per se, but what I hope to offer with what I can give people is providing them entertainment and that the work I create can leave them feeling fulfilled or happy, or maybe inspire the next generation of filmmakers after me. It is sure better than putting people down and leaving them in misery from the problems we face today.

-Where do you see the film industry going in the next 100 years?

Pretty much relating to your third question, I see the film industry still going. The entire planet needs entertainment, even for those who don’t know it. Every day we seek stories, and we always told stories since the beginning of time, from the Stone Age days when everyone sat around a fire and shared their own experiences, to drawing or painting on cave walls, to piecing together a series of still images moving 24 frames a second which bleeds inspiration and innovation to push the limits of technology through the human potential that continuously evolves and never stops evolving, and will not stop for the next 100 years, or even the next 100 years after that. As long as the human population still exists there are always new stories to tell, whether it is from our past, or something current, or predicting what the future may look like. Or maybe we just want to make people laugh or scare the living hell out of them for a living.