Interview with #whoreplay Filmmaker: Tim Butler-Jones

1. When did you discover photography and/or filmmaking?

Photography and the arts have been something I’ve grown up with. My paternal side of the family have been making a living in the creative industries one way or the other for generations. My great grandfather was Herbert Tornquist, who owned a successful portrait studio on Queen Street from the 1930’s and my uncle is Mark Brazier-Jones, internationally celebrated artist, master furniture and lighting designer.

On a personal level, I discovered film making at Music college when one of our assignments was to make a music video. the project earned me my best mark over the whole course. From there I eventually moved to NZ and went to Film School and from there got into photography.

2.Where do you get your inspiration?

I take my inspiration from wherever I can get it! It may be from a line of music, a throwaway comment someone made, a dream… anything that sends a train of thought running. More immediate forms of inspiration come from nature, the female form, architecture, engineering and music.

3.What is your most memorable still/footage you have ever taken?

A friend had organised for a male and female model to come in for a photoshoot in his home studio. We were both just starting out in photography and I’d been invited along as a laugh and for a bit of experience. The lighting was poor and all I had was my father’s old manual focus Nikon 50mm f.2. I wasn’t getting many great shots, but then I turned the colour profile in the camera onto black and white and all of a sudden I was getting amazing images that looked like a Calvin Klein advert. Looking back at it now, it’s pretty cringeworthy but it was at that point that I made a concerted effort to get as good as I can at the medium and improve the eye for composition and light.

4.How did you come up with the name ‘Four Eyes Media’?

There were originally three of us in the company and we couldn’t come up with a name that we all agreed on. Sitting together one night, my partner, Emma, pointed out that the only thing we all had in common was that the three of us wore glasses. By the time they left the company the name was already registered with the company register and so now I’m stuck with a name better suited to an optometrists.

5.Have you worked on other projects with charlatan clinic before?

I worked on Artefact Project and Motherlock/pURe double-bill.

6.Who would you really like to film/photograph – name anyone?

I’d like to find an ultimate muse that I can photograph over and over again and continually draw inspiration from. However, as that’s a fairly evasive answer to a well intentioned hypothetical question I would like to photograph Bjork.

7.What is the most important lesson you have learned taking pictures of people?

Getting to know your subject and putting them at ease can be the hardest aspects of a photoshoot. It is as much a skill as any technical aspect. Also maintaining professionalism throughout a shoot. Also, don’t make jokes as they can backfire, and never show a client unfinished work.

8.Do you prefer digital or Polaroid?


9.What is your dream location to film/shoot?

The Favella’s of Rio.

10.What makes you smile?

Accomplishment. Family and friends. Cats. Food. Booze.


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