Gareth Bowler

Gareth Bowler

In 2012 he was a 24 Stone fashion and music videographer. After transforming his entire life in just over a year, he hopes to make work that can be the catalyst for change of others.



How did you become a filmmaker/director?

Last year (2013) I lost 10 stone (210 Pounds) and it wasn't until the weight was off that I realised how much it was holding me back, I spent my twenties up to now void of self worth and unable to sell myself, however now the weight is off anything seems possible and I now feel I have the drive and self confidence to realise my potential. Given the journey I've been on feel I understand journeys of transformation better than most so it's those stores I'm looking to tell in my work.


What did you do before becoming a filmmaker/director?

As early as I can remember I was animating plasticise models on the kitchen table so filmmaking's something thats always been there, after film school I spent my twenties working as a freelance videographer in fashion, music and corporates but it's only really this year I'd start really calling myself a director.


SOBER from GARETH BOWLER on Vimeo.


Where do you turn for inspiration?

You don't have to look far for amazing inspirational people who are battling the odds and overcoming their demons, I used to be interested in screenwriting in a big way but right now all I'm interested in is getting inside real peoples heads and telling their stories in a cinematic way. Especially stories of transformation, those mean everything to me and creating work that could be a catalyst for change in someones life is about the greatest thing I can imagine.


Which are your favorite filmmakers/directors?

It was Elliot Rausch that really changed the way I looked at things, the way his subjects open up to him, the way he gets inside their psyche, and Jonathan Bregel of variable, he quoted his granddads advice in an interview I read a while back and that really changed my approach, something along the lines of, "your aim in life shouldn't be to be the greatest filmmaker in the world, but to become as human as possible" if you follow that advice you can't go far wrong.



What are your favourite shorts on Vimeo?

I'll always find myself watching work by Variable, Eliot Rausch, Salomon Ligthelm and the African Attachment but one short I always come back to over the years is 'SOFT' by Simon Ellis I think it's a masterclass in short storytelling.


Is your city a good place for filmmakers/directors?

I live in West Cumbria currently, a town called Whitehaven, I used to think it was the worst place in the world for a filmmaker to live but now I feel where ever there's real people there's potential for filmmakers, and coupled with the scenery of the lake district it's not a bad place at all for a filmmaker. I'd imagine to make my career work I'll have to move nearer to a city though.


What technologies are you excited about?

The movi, UAV's and hopefully soon I'll get my hands on a Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera, I'm really excited that you can shoot almost anything you can imagine with these three things.


How many hours do you work each week?

At my worst I was working really unhealthy hours, my worst day was 3days long without real sleep and involved going from backstage at a music festival into the edit, delivering that then onto a fashion campaign, insane. It's those sort of hours, 20hr days etc. that led to me being really ill. I live with my girlfriend now which gives me structure to my day which is essential, I now try to keep roughly 9-5 when I'm not shooting and I feel so much healthier for it, and it works, if you're focused you can achieve anything you need to within those hours.


How do you fund your work?

The theory is to do corporates etc. to pay the bills and personal projects to keep pushing myself towards what I really want to do, that's the theory anyway, haven't got the balance quite right yet.


What are you working on next?

I'll be putting out two videos for performance nutritionist Ben Coomber in the next month that explore the nutritional landscape we live in, we're hoping these will make people stop and think about the food we eat day to day. I'm also working with local charities organising screenings of 'Sober' to at risk young people, there has been talk of making a film for one of the charities, I've a few corporates here and there and I just hope eventually I'll be able to make a living telling stories that inspire change.



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