Interview: 5 minutes with...Kate Sawyer, Actor/Director/Producer, Not Waving Short Film
I’ve grilled most of the cast and crew involved in Not Waving before we started filming. Now we've wrapped (principle filming was completed yesterday in Southend-on-sea) I thought it only fair I turned the questions on myself! The act of interviewing yourself is undeniably unusual and possibily calls ones sanity into question. But, hey, I’m already assuming a few roles in the production of this film…so why not go the whole hog and be my own interviewer too?!
Kate Sawyer, Writer/Producer/Director/Actor, Not Waving Short Film
Kate Sawyer: So, Kate, nice to meet you (haha!) Tell us a bit about yourself and what you have to do with Not Waving?
Kate Sawyer: I’m Kate Sawyer and I am the writer, director, producer of Not Waving. I am also going to be playing the part of Mary, so not taking on much at all...
KS: Where are you right now?
KS: Sitting on the floor of my digs in Swansea. I am on the top floor of a really old house. I can see the sea from my window, in fact, I can hear it and seagulls as I type.
KS: Not Waving centres around an event that happens in the sea. Do you like swimming in the sea?
KS: I love to swim and I am quite a strong swimmer. However, my over active imagination sort of interferes with that. I don’t like the idea of what might be swimming in the sea with me, specifically, sharks. I have actually been known to vacate a swimming pool when I imagined that a shark could somehow have snuck his way in there and was going to eat me. I’ve been trying to get over it. I went swimming in the sea off Langland bay just yesterday, it was lovely, only worried about being eaten alive a couple of times.
KS: You wrote the film and it centres around a drowning. Is that something you’ve experienced?
KS: The film is based on an incident that I witnessed when I was travelling in Uruguay earlier this year. I found the whole experience of seeing someone have their life saved very moving. It had so many echoes of experiences and feelings for me, particularly at the idea of drowning metaphorically in one’s own mental state. The allegory for my own experiences with loneliness and depression were so strong I just knew I had to write about it, I didn’t realise it would be a film, I though a short story rather. But the images came to me so strongly I knew it had to be a visual story.
KS: When did you last go to the seaside? What did you do there?
KS: Yesterday. Langland bay near Swansea with some of the company I am currently touring in Out of Order with. It was a beautiful sunny day. We sunbathed, went for a swim, then I read whilst the others played cricket before going for a nice seafood lunch and and ice-cream! A pretty perfect day really!
KS: Do you have a favourite beach in the UK? Why?
KS: I’m not from a particularly beachy family, we went camping quite a lot as kids but not that much to the UK seaside other than Grimsby where my Dad is from. I really like Aldeburgh. I like walking along the shingle and then having a pint of Adnam's ale and some fish and chips.
KS: Do you have a favourite memory involving a UK beach?
KS: The nearest beach to my family home in Suffolk is Felixstowe. It’s not exactly the most beautiful seaside resort but I have some wonderful memories of going there as a family. Being quite small and going to the Pavillions with my Nana and Grandad and getting a toasted teacake with melted butter and listening to the pianist. We then used to walk along the shingle beach and Grandad would try to show me how to skim stones but I was never any good. I used to love the pier particularly the 2p machines and always had a good philosophical debate with Grandad about the concept of fortune or fate provoked by the Fortune Teller, which always filled me with dread!
KS: Not Waving gets its title from a Stevie Smith Poem. Do you have a favourite poem?
KS: I mean I love that poem, obviously! But I love a lot of poems; Rapture by Carol Ann Duffy is probably my favourite anthology- it has a narrative to it. I love Tim Keys poetry, it’s funny and sad. I love Maya Angelou’s work and Wendy Cope poems too, my favourite of which is:
After The Lunch
After the Lunch On Waterloo Bridge, where we said our goodbyes,
The weather conditions bring tears to my eyes.
I wipe them away with a black woolly glove
And try not to notice I've fallen in love.
On Waterloo Bridge I am trying to think: This is nothing.
You're high on the charm and the drink.
But the juke-box inside me is playing a song
That says something different.
And when was it wrong?
On Waterloo Bridge with the wind in my hair
I am tempted to skip. You're a fool. I don't care.
The head does its best but the heart is the boss
I admit it before I am halfway across.
KS: Okay quick fire round…Ice cream or Cockles?
KS: Ice cream.
KS: Kiss me quick or Sex on the beach?
KS: Sex on the beach.
KS: Waving or Drowning?
KS: Sometimes I’m not really sure which one I’m doing. Which I suppose is why I’ve written this film.
KS:Sunbathe or swim in the sea?
KS: Sunbathe- fewer sharks.
KS: What are you most looking forward to about your role in making Not Waving?
KS: Collaborating with all the amazing artists involved and promoting their work. Then getting the story in front of an audience to show them something beautiful and if it can make just one person feel less alone then I’ll be happy.