Curious Film's Peter Grasse Gets All Mushy Over Valentine's Day
Valentine's Day is set apart to think of the ones you love -- that person you amorously admire. However, I’ll leave that for the Hallmark cards. I’ve got a busy day ahead and my mind’s racing elsewhere.
Rather, I’m thinking real love! Like loving our work well done. That is a joy miles beyond mere wine and roses. Great work lasts a lifetime and, in some cases, it can even last forever.
So tell me Cupid, how do we experience this kind of celestial vocational love?
The answer, Casanova, is simple. You stay with people and build a creative, collaborative relationship. One that is open, trusting and beyond hierarchy. From my experience, that’s what produces results.
Time again we see the rewards reaped from this kind of relationship. Think of how the great production companies are structured, like Traktor and Dummy. Insightful directors work with equally inspired producers to make great work. Whilst tyrannical dickheads belittling crew do not. Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure to achieve marvelous results via mutual respect and reciprocity. I know from experience that this leads to great work and that is love.
Another way to find true love at work is by searching out that love that is uniquely yours. It's a strange example but I am certifiably a dog lover. However, I’ve only ever loved the one dog. His name was Klaus and I’m yet to find another match. I’ve looked and tried with other pups, but no other canine comes close.
Creative projects are the same. Not every brief is meant for us. Some, although beautiful, simply aren’t in tune with our senses, and so are best passed over, whilst those that we intrinsically love should be snatched up and nurtured. For example, this year Curious chose to distribute a film that we uniquely loved, IDA. It spoke to us at first sight, and so we lovingly shared it with Australasian audiences. And, I’m happy to say our instincts were right. IDA was just awarded Best Foreign Language film at the BAFTAs in London and is up for two Oscars.
Similarly, as a company, we have signed directing talent like Stephen Kang and Sam Kristofski, directors that we uniquely saw potential in and loved. Some directors get commercial careers instantly, but most build it over time and through sustained creative collaboration. That sometimes takes a significant amount of time and attention to detail. Hence, we keep our roster small to reserve and preserve that power to create things that we love.
The results have been a Grand Prix at Cannes for Stephen’s BLUE and an inspiring collection of crazy-good creative work from Sam like his Tokyo Baddies. They are both geniuses and I genuinely love their minds.
Finally we work on things for people that we’ve learned to love. Sometimes that love is the result of great work previously made and sometimes it’s due to failure. Either way it's the continuance of the creative collaboration that brings us joy each time we meet we irrationally jump head first into whatever it is that we’re making.
Why do we do it? Again, I think its that shared sensation of creative potential, and in essence that's what Valentines day celebrates. I love that!