"It was a lot about trial and error" - Meet Bertie Gilbert

Some know him as Scorpius Malfoy from Harry Potter, or Fleance from a television adaptation of Macbeth, but most of us know him for his astonishing films which he shares on YouTube. At a young age, Bertie Gilbert has already accomplished so much. We asked him about his passion for film, what he’ll be premiering at Buffer Festival this year, and his advice to aspiring filmmakers.

How did the creation of your channel come about?

When I was 14, after a few failed lego-mation channels, I thought it was time to start fresh, time to try my luck at vlogging! I took a lot of inspiration from the greats: Charlie Mcdonnell, Wheezy Waiter etc. It was fun for a while, but as time went on, I matured and my fascination with filmmaking grew. Now all I do is make films!

Growing up, did you know this was something you’ve always wanted to do?

I think, subconsciously, it was always a dream of mine to make films. On family holidays I’d always be filming constantly, trying to construct my own weird little travel documentaries! I think, leading to where I am now, it was a very a natural progression.

You have a very distinct style, not only in how you create your films but also in the details, from the thumbnails to the scripts. What was your approach in finding your unique style?

I think, as is the case with many creative fields, it was a lot about trial and error. My first few shorts were aiming for a certain vibe, the ones that followed were a bit different. I just kept making stuff! I still don’t think I’ve fully settled into ‘my voice’ but I’m getting there! It’s fun.

When you’re not producing films or YouTube videos, how do you like to spend your time?

When I’m not actively working on a project, there’s always something bubbling away. Brewing. Like a fine beer. But yeah, I love to play video games in my spare time and obviously I watch a lot of films. Sometimes I cycle? I’m really quite boring.

What are you premiering at Buffer Festival this year?

I’m premiering a snippet of our newest film ‘PLAYGROUND.’ The story of a grown man, played by Chris Kendall, who finds himself living with a group of self-sufficient, forest dwelling children. Like, the lost boys meets where the wild things are, but a bit more contemporary. It’s all a metaphor for him getting over the loss of his brother. You know, the usual! But I’m really excited to share this one. I really think it has the potential to be something very special.

If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring filmmakers and content creators, what would it be?

Always surround yourself with people who share the same interests, or at least similar interests. If you want to be a director, find someone who wants to shoot stuff. Find someone who’s interested in sound. Find someone who’s interested in writing. Eventually, after working together for a while, you’ll realize you’re in the company of a brilliant DoP, a boom operator and a co-writer. Assemble an avengers-esque crack filmmaking squad and eventually, I think you’ll get there.

Janine Maral is lifestyle photographer and culture writer. When Janine’s not writing, she’s planning her next trip, listening to a podcast, or making guacamole.

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