People of colour are slowly beginning to see ourselves and our lives portrayed on screen. Of course, there is scope for improvement but it good to acknowledge the shift. I dare say if there are more of us behind the camera, then the telling of our stories will grow and have another level of authenticity. Independent film often brings us the raw, gritty facts of the human existence It is there that filmmakers of colour are making their mark. It’s no surprise that via this medium women of colour strive. Once such film maker is Aysha Scott. Scott will be making her directorial debut for the film Absent: The Cycle Of A Broken Home. The films’ themes are: (single) parenthood and breaking a cycle of absentee fathers, echoes many aspects of Scott’s own life.
Absent is expected to be completed June 2018. There is an important Indiegogo campaign which will support high production values attached to the film, widen the film viewing experience for audiences, support the growth of British acting and production talent, spearhead national debate about families and heal long-standing hurts. This is Scott’s interview for The Tiger Tales
TTT: Tell us a bit about yourself.
AS: My name is Aysha Scott. I am a single mother to two beautiful children, owner of A Scott Productions and an independent filmmaker. I initially embarked on a career in the media industry as an actress and poet over 15 years ago and trained at the Anna Scher Theatre School in Islington. Although, I was fortunate to secure roles as a working actress, I was often left feeling depleted after roles played or auditions, as I found the roles were often limiting and typecast characters.
After going through a difficult period in my life where I was left to raise my 10 week old son alone, I decided to change career paths and went on to study a BA (hons) in Creative Writing, where I graduated with a 2.1 and was awarded Course Director prize for outstanding achievements. Since then my written play Unspoken was showcased for two weeks as part of a site specific project with A Friend of a Friend Productions, I have written and produced a feature film Residential and a short film It Still Hurts. I am now currently in pre-production with my independent feature film Absent, based on my experiences as a single mother, that I will be making my directorial debut on.
TTT: When did you know you wanted to make films?
AS: Ever since I was young, I always had a fascination for films and could often predict the plot or a films ending way ahead; to the point where others avoided watching films with me because they’d say that I would spoil it for them. I found that I never just watched films for the story I’d always be unravelling the production flaws and be intently focusing on the delivery of the actors. I’ve always been pretty addicted to films and ensured my first job was in a cinema so I could watch movies all the time for free. But it was during my Creative Writing Degree that really awakened my passion for filmmaking.
I’d always get first-class marks for my scriptwriting pieces and promising feedback from my tutors expressing how talented I was. After my degree, I took on the challenge to make my first film and fell in love with the whole process and knew from there on that it was my purpose and that all my creative endeavours in the past had lead me to this path.
Scott’s inspiration and work
TTT: Who are your favourite film-makers?
AS: Some of my favourite filmmakers are Spike Lee, Tyler Perry, Lee Daniels and my most recent, Jordan Peele.
TTT: How do you balance your career with being a single parent?
AS: I find balancing my career and being a single mum, isn’t always easy as it can take twice the time and work to get notoriety and become successful in my chosen field. However, I find getting my children involved in my creative works gives me a good work balance and them an understanding of what I do. I am also self-employed which gives me time and great flexibility to have a solid commitment to my children’s education, welfare, health and emotional needs, but also give me the freedom to pursue my dreams.
TTT: What did you learn about yourself when you began writing Absent?
AS: I learned many things about myself whilst writing Absent, but one of the key things I learned was that my fathers absence had a major impact on my life. This was something I didn’t focus on much and never saw it as anything that he wasn’t around growing up. However, delving deep into the creative process of writing Absent, I learned that I had a lot of hurt, was very angry about his abandonment.
I had to relive my childhood and relearn and reflect on some of the bad decisions I had made throughout the years. It impacted especially, in relation to some of the men I had chosen, who had all been a mirage of my father and some of his negative characteristics. The process was very therapeutic and I learned to heal and forgive my father for his choice not to be responsible for me, and that as hard as I made myself out to be, really I was a little girl who had been hurting all along.
TTT: What would you like your legacy to be as a filmmaker?
AS: I want my legacy to be that my films and creative content make a difference in the world and that the subject matters that I address will offer healing and restoration to our society. Also, I like to be remembered as the woman who broke boundaries in the industry and took each “NO” from the elites who were in the position to fund and make films, and turned it into a “Yes”, by doing it myself and making it possible. Creating opportunities for other creatives and leaving a legacy that others will inspire too.
You can find Absent on social media via @absentmovieuk . Contributions to the funding campaign can be made via this link https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/absent-the-cycle-of-a-broken-home-film-community#/