“The Captain’s Heart” (EXCLUSIVE) Interview with Simon Bang

2023 March 6

“The Captain’s Heart” (EXCLUSIVE) Interview with Simon Bang

-Who is Simon Bang?

Simon Bang has created three documentaries, but works primarily as a painter. He grew up in a family of artists and painted and drew landscapes as a young boy. He was born in 1960 in Denmark and lives in his studio in Copenhagen, and over a number of years has also designed book sleves, record covers, posters and drawn storyboards for feature films, documentaries and TV series all over most of the world. He is self-taught both as far as the film and the painting are concerned.

-What inspired you to become a filmmaker?

Right from childhood I was given free opportunities to play and build whatever I wanted. I built scale model ships and harbors in the backyard. Soapbox cars, airplanes, knights’ castles and when I had seen a film, for example by John Ford or other good filmmakers, I often drew the action again, but added my own drama. Often my stories were recreated in the localities I lived in the middle of. I entered the film world because I was good at drawing the storyboards that the renowned directors needed. Over time, I wanted to create my own films and my own stories. It wasn’t because I aspired to become a director, but mostly to try out new visual storytelling techniques and tell stories that others didn’t.

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

Yes, of course the cinema can change the world. It happens all the time. But we must be aware of not only creating political and moral films that will educate the audience in a certain political agenda. I think more and more the cinema have lost the free form of expression. The artistic film has become a rarity and it is not often that they are supported and get the attention they should.

-What would you change in the world?

Do we have room for such a big question? Would like that now that it is actually possible to create films with all our latest technology, that the films created by non-commercial filmmakers had better access in our everyday life, i.e. on TV and SoMe and elsewhere. If we are to stay in the world of film, I would like all archive footage that exists in the world to be digitized in high resolution and made available to filmmakers and audiences all over the world.

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

I cannot see 100 years into the future, but if we look at the cinema today, it is still alive, but we treat it mostly as a commercial product. In a way, we have almost lost understanding of the adventure and magic in the film. We will soon create movies in 8K, but we will only watch them on small devices the size of a credit card. We see it on the way to work, on the train, in the car and on the plane, where the surroundings are noisy and we scroll forward to the highlights and cut off the credits and we are using it as candy and dessert, without any real respect for the enormous work that lies behind it. If it continues like this, I have my doubts as to whether the medium has a credible future.