Award-winning filmmaker Amanda Bluglass is a sculptor. Amanda crafts objects in her sculpture studio from pieces she finds in metal scrap yards. Likewise, the UK-based independent director crafts documentaries from unique stories. Life is a scrap yard of beautiful narratives and it is full of interesting people: from treasure hunting deep sea divers and gay and transgender ministers of the Presbyterian Church, to octagenarian punk rockers. We had an opportunity to talk with Amanda about her work, listen to it here.
Amanda’s latest project, Out of Order, is a feature length documentary following the journeys of three gay members of the Presbyterian Church USA as they attempt to overturn homophobia in the church. Amanda explains in the interview that it was important for her to share the incredible courage of these individuals and to answer the question: “Why would someone who is rejected by the church seek to lead it?” She also discusses using film and these images as an agent for change.
“Wrinkled faces, people who don’t look beautiful and have something to say… we should see more of that in the world.”
Amanda talked a bit about making movies about older people, particularly compelling characters with unique stories to tell, and expressed apprehension toward our current youth culture. Amanda’s films often center around the interesting and sometimes quirky lives of people and how they became the people they are today. Ray – A Life Underwater, a film about an aging deep sea diver, has won various awards and was a Vimeo Staff Pick. Amanda feels the story resonated with audiences because Ray was a man at peace with the world and happy, a message she feels we do not hear often enough.
Amanda also talked about how she promotes her work, and getting people to see her film. The promotional aspect is practically a full time job. “Apply yourself to generating buzz… like you’re being paid to do it in the belief that the money will come,” she said. She talked about using this technique for her film Ray – A Life Underwater. Visit Amanda Bluglass’ site if you’d like to view more information about her latest films.
Photo courtesy of Amanda Bluglass
Amanda has begun crowdfunding for her latest project about 82-year-old punk Viva Hamnell.