Oscar-winning English theatre, film and television producer David Parfitt urged young filmmakers and producers to surround themselves with the best professionals and invest in the creative process, not just budget management, during his panel at Qumra.
At Qumra 2023, the annual incubator organized by the Doha Film Institute, Parfitt shares wide-ranging anecdotes from his career and his journey producing acclaimed films such as Henry V (1989), Friends of Peter (1992), and Much Ado About Nothing. (1993), “Shakespeare” (1998), which won seven Academy Awards, and “The Beloved Vincent” (2017), which was supported by the Doha Film Institute, among others.
Parfitt was distinguished by his great passion for cinema and theatre. Although he started his career as a child actor, he says that by the time he was fifteen, he did not want to be an actor, but his acting experience gave him the background. "To understand filmmaking enough to be a producer".
He said that one of the most intense periods of work in his life was when he was producing the movie “Peter’s Friends”, just to support the distribution of the movie “Henry V”, and he was disappointed commercially. Parfitt noted that there is a special advantage to working with theater actors "Because they learn their entire script and don’t need to repeat shots as often. They know what to do from day one". Parfitt describes screen actors as: "different breed"and they are noted "They love to discover in the moment. The outcome can be either very impressive or very frustrating".
Addressing young filmmakers, he said: "It’s important to be diplomatic and that’s part of being productive, but there’s no need to be nervous. I find things very calm when you get to the set and the crises might happen in the lead-up". He also advised aspiring producers not to get out too early for financing. "Take a step back, invest in the creative process and don’t panic. Do not impose your decisions on others. Always surround yourself with the best professionals and be protected". /Qena/
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