CASTING DIRECTOR BLOG

A Film Director With Vision

28 Oct 2019, Posted by Nicci in Inside Story

I was recently lucky enough to spend time with one of the most inspirational people I have met in our industry, Adam Morse.

Adam recently directed the feature film LUCID starring Billy Zane and Sadie Frost. This is undoubtedly a great achievement for a young director – however the fact that he is REGISTERED BLIND makes his achievement even more remarkable.

I got the chance to ask him some questions about working in our industry when you are “differently-abled.”

Whether you are “abled” or “differently-abled” I KNOW his words will inspire you as much as they inspired me.

1. How has the industry changed with respect to diversity over the last 5 years?

As a black woman I can see the changes taking place in the industry, but how is the industry changing for someone with a “disability”
The industry is trying to be more diverse but the mentality is all wrong still and it feels like we are not progressing with our thinking. Differently-abled actors deserve equal consideration but they are only being considered for characters with “disabilities” which is very disappointing.

I’ve been victim of this first hand and my experience was extremely frustrating because I know I can do so much more than what is expected of me. Opportunities need to be shared to everyone and not just those who tick certain boxes.

2. How has your “disability” changed your creative process?

I don’t see my condition as a disability because it enhances my creative process. I prefer the term differently-abled because I have a different process but the result is as effective as any other artist. I rely more on memory and imagination than other filmmakers because of my condition. I’m also forced to be more trusting of my team.

3. People always talk about disadvantages, but has your “disability” given you any advantages

By default my condition sets me apart as different which I see as an advantage. There are not many blind film directors so I feel a responsibility to lead by example to prove what is possible to the rest of the world.

4. What are the top 5 tips you would give to somebody with a “disability” advice to help them progress in our industry?

  1. Always remain positive and ambitious, use music for inspiration to charge up and realign your perspective.
  2. Don’t feel sorry for yourself and only focus on what is within your capabilities.
  3. Trust the universe and be confident in your talent, ignore the doubters and let negativity go in one ear and out the other!
  4. Don’t be too proud to ask for favours, if you don’t ask then you don’t get.
  5. Enjoy the journey and be motivated by love for what you do.

5. Are there organisations or agents who represent disabled talent who newcomers could approach?

I would speak to your local council as I did to see who operates in your area. I’ve had amazing support from my local organisation KAB (Kingston Action for the Blind).

6.What are your views on casting an actor for a role which specifies a disability that doesn’t actually have a disability?

As I’ve said before, anyone deserves the right to play any role if they have the talent to convince audiences that they are the character.

7. In what way could the industry make more of a change to tackle the issues on diversity / is there more that could be done?

Casting directors and filmmakers need to start being open minded about actors playing against type. If you love a black actor but the character is written as a white then how important is skin colour to the story? If you meet a visually impaired actor but he appears fully sighted on screen then why can’t they play a pilot or a race car driver?.

8. Do you think the industry has gone too far the other way in terms of diversity?

To a degree but it’s positive to see more minorities being represented on film. However there are now unspoken quotas that filmmakers feel they must meet and that sometimes results in talented artists being overlooked when we need to remove all prejudice and bias from the casting process so that talent is the only thing being judged.

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