We had the good fortune of connecting with Ben Winter and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ben, any advice for those thinking about whether to keep going or to give up?
This may sound a bit counterintuitive, but I feel that my lack of knowing when to give up has steered me in the right direction. On countless projects, I’ve found myself not just past the point of no return, but past the point where a reasonable person would have jumped ship and drowned while they still had their dignity. Sometimes, it’s only in that tunnel vision determination that I can get something done. Other people probably have a healthier relationship with their work, but that’s mine. To me, that process of seeing it through to the end is tantamount to the work itself.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Right now, I’m finishing up sound for my short film “Prisoner of the Desert.” Back when my co-writer and I were coming up with the script, we were drawn to the idea of making an old story new again. That kind of became our North Star with the production, to the point that my cinematographer and I knew we had to shoot it on film. A lot of kids coming up in film school today don’t have that chance to work with celluloid anymore, so I’m glad we were able to take part in that tradition. All in all, “Prisoner of the Desert” has been an unbelievably challenging experience every step of the way, yet I still get the blues knowing that we’ll be done with it soon. Whatever film’s next for me, I just hope I can surround myself with great collaborators again and (fingers crossed) maybe even shoot it in an air-conditioned room.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’ve always been one of those guys who considered it a personal win whenever a teacher took a shine to me, partially because I’ve been lucky enough to have some amazing educators over the years. To name a few: April Monera, Dean Delgado, Kevin O’Brien, Adam Moore, Jack Tucker, John Muto, David Waldman, Anthony Atherton, and Raymond Waters. I still find myself citing lessons or tidbits from at least one of these people almost every day.
Other: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm10969279/?ref_=fn_al_nm_2 https://letterboxd.com/benwinter/
Photographs by Brandon Kheang