James Fotopoulos “Who Inspires Us?” | Filmmaker Magazine

Filmmaker Winter 2018


A feature entitled “Who Inspires Us?” appeared in the Fall 2003 edition of Filmmaker.  Suggested by Ted Hope, the article contained 36 filmmakers writing simply about the inspirations sustaining their creative lives.  I think that we all can agree that, 14 years later, inspiration is now an even more important commodity than ever. So, we went back to six of that articles filmmakers, asked them to read their original responses and comment again – both on those responses and on who or what is inspiring them now.

Experimental filmmaker James Fotopoulos (Migrating Forms, Two Girls) listed as inspiration a scientist, mathematician and politician, all the while questioning the article’s premise.  He responses today with a similar response, albeit one inflected with the passage of time.

Since the last “Who Inspires Us” contribution 15 years ago, I still pretty much operate the same way.   I do not really get inspired; I just work on the films everyday and the images, stories, and so forth just come. For the most part, I work in the same type of routine I did then – but more refined now. As far as the people I mentioned in 2003, I never thought much again about the scientists, but over the past 15 years I’ve been working on a Richard Nixon project, so he has remain in my mind. The passage of time has affected me in that I am aware there is less time ahead of me to make all the films I want to make. So, some aspects of life now have to be pushed away more severely, paced differently, and protected more. Some people and things I have thinking about these days are W. Edwards Deming and Disney, particularly in the 1980s.

Filmmaker Article