GET TO KNOW A FREELANCER
Sam Neave is a filmmaker and editor who's work has been nominated and showcased at festivals around the world including Morocco and South Africa. His third feature, Almost In Love, stars HBO's, Girls, Alex Karpovsky and is currently available on iTunes, Hulu, and Amazon. As an editor, Sam has worked on many award-winning features including Alex Karpovsky's debut feature, The Whole Story and Ferenc Toths's Unknown Soldier (for which he won the Best Editor Award at the Woodstock Film Festival). He has also been a long-time collaborator of the renowned Iranian visual artist , Shirin Neshat, and helped to edit her first feature film, Women Without Men, which won the Silver Lion Award at the Venice Film Festival.
We were excited to sit down with him recently:
GC: How did you start directing and editing?
Sam: Well I started in a theater program in London and when I got out of school and moved to New York I didn't want to be one of those 22 or 23 year old film directors who nobody wanted to take seriously. So I decided to work in editing in order to have a marketable skill.
GC: Who is your dream team in terms of crew, like DP or sound?
Sam: I'm loyal. My dream team is actually the one I have now, the people who have been making movies with me since my first feature. I think it's something that comes out of being in theater, where it's important to have a kind of family and people you trust to work with. It sounds pretty obvious but you'd be surprised at how unusual it is to find that kind of dynamic.
GC: So how did you and Shirin Neshat start working together?
Sam: When I first came to New York I got introduced to Shirin's husband who is also a filmmaker. He gave me one of my first editing jobs. So Shirin would use the editing room in the day time and then he and I would work at night. I eventually started working for her and I worked for her for about eight years.
Women Without Men was interesting. I was initially only editing the four or five pieces for museum presentation, and the feature was supposed to be edited in London. But since much of the film is in Farsi and the London editor didn't speak Farsi at all, Shirin decided it would be a good idea to sit down and edit it here with me.
GC: So you've worked with "Girls" Alex Karpovsky a lot. Can you tell me how you two know eachother?
Sam: Alex and I have been friends since college in London so I've known him for quite a long time. He and I used to act together in some pretty terrible plays.
GC: How old is Alex Karpovsky? I feel its kind of like a mystery.
Sam: I don't think it's as much of a mystery as it used to be. He's probably a little younger and a little older than you think he is.
GC: Which would you say is you love the most. Editing, directing, or playing pool?
Sam: Hahaha, it depends on who I'm playing against. But uh, I really enjoy editing because that's where you see everything come together. Whereas directing it's sometimes difficult to turn your ideas into something you can actually see and touch. Once you've got your footage, thats it. You've got to work with what you got.
GC: Who is winning the pool streak, you or Aaron?
Sam: Me of course.
Sam Neave is Iranian by birth, grew up in the United Kingdom and now lives in New York City.