Far Out Meets: Director Tim Wilkime, the creator of quarantine film ‘It’s Outside’
At Far Out Magazine we believe in cinema’s ability to heal.
At a time when millions of people remain locked inside amid strict social distancing measures and cinemas around the world continue to keep their doors closed, we want to shine a light on filmmakers on a personal level.
Turning our attention to the work created by independent artists, we have launched our new weekly series ‘The Far Out Film Club’. The project will focus on one filmmaker during each episode and will premiere on both of Far Out Magazine’s Facebook page and YouTube channel every Wednesday.
Offering a platform for filmmakers around the world, promoting their work to millions of cinephiles while also connecting them to other creatives, our first edition of the series welcomes the creative duo of married couple Tim and Madelyn Wilkime and their short film It’s Outside.
“It’s Outside is the second short Madelyn and I have made in lockdown,” Tim tells Far Out. “The only reason I made the first one, ‘It’s a Puzzle’ was because a director friend, Matt Pollock, challenged me to make a short in March. That got me itching to make another one right away. With both shorts, I wanted them to express things I’ve been feeling during this lockdown without making the story explicitly about the pandemic. It’s Outside came out of the new anxieties Madelyn and I have been feeling with the simple task of leaving our home. Telling a story about a ghost lurking outside your home felt like a natural and fun way to talk about this invisible threat we all have to deal with now.”
The film plays on the sense of uncertainty that is affecting people around the globe, one that has changed the way in which we interact with others and live our daily lives. “The original idea of seeing a ghost through one window but not another is, oddly, something I’ve been thinking about since moving into my new place,” Tim added. “I think it just came from the placement of the two windows in my dining room and kitchen where I kept thinking: ‘Wouldn’t that be crazy if I saw someone through this window but not this one’. It’s that weird, 5th grader daydreaming thought process. Once the quarantine stuff started happening, that scenario paired nicely with it.”
Given the restrictions of the current climate, one that forces people to stay home with limited contact, the artistic expression can, at times, become limited. However, with uncertainty and confusion comes the ability to experiment and improvise. “The biggest challenge with this short was just the time it took to shoot it,” Time added. “Madelyn and I were both the stars and the entire crew, so there was a lot of running around adjusting lighting, checking the frame and jumping in front of the camera.”
Adding: “I usually shot list everything out in detail but I wanted to relive that experience of making stuff when you were a kid, where you’re running around with a camera, discovering how to shoot it and piecing the story together. It was a lot of fun to work that way but the downside is it took a lot longer to make. We got a lot of coverage and even re-shot a few things which was awesome since it’s something you can rarely do on jobs.”
Finance has, and always will be, a major debilitating factor for those working within the world of independent cinema. However, life as a self-employed creative has never been more difficult. “In terms of earning money, it’s very challenging being a director right now,” Tim explained. “I just try to put things in perspective and know that our industry’s shutdown is for smart and safe reasons. I’m still keeping creatively engaged daily though by writing, finally learning AVID and making shorts from home with my wife,” he added with an infectious and impressive sense of optimism.
Tim Wilkime, a director and filmmaker with a real thirst for cinema, has drawn inspiration from a wide source of creative content and it shows in his overall work. While the likes of Spike Jonze, Jackie Chan and Nathan Fielder have all had an impact on his vision, Wilkime has been able to remain true to his own stylistic drive and that factor derives from his willingness to push boundaries of his own creativity. “I think being passionate about the project you’re working on and making that passion clear to your team is the most important thing,” he explained when I asked about important roles of being a director. “Crews are willing to go the extra mile for you and the project if you can make them feel like they’re a part of something special. I also think that passion is what leads to being innovative, taking risks and making the project feel personal. You can tell the difference between a project where the director puts their heart and soul into it and one where they’re just phoning it in.”
Our conversation turns to the future of cinema for those working in the independent sector and, quite predictably, Wilkime was passionate and positive about the next steps. “There’s a lot of really exciting stories and filmmakers coming out of independent film,” he said. “This pandemic definitely puts a question mark on the future of indies and how they’ll be distributed. The shift from theatrical to streaming has slowly been happening for years but now this pandemic is going to accelerate that which I think will have a big effect on indies.
“I think the sheer amount of short films being made has changed the landscape. With the ease of accessing good cameras, equipment, editing software, cast and crew hungry to work, there’s no longer an excuse to not be going out and telling stories.”