“I’ve lived in London for almost 20 years, and the best thing about it is it grows with you and whatever interests you – the best is here so you are constantly inspired, so yeah, it definitely has a creative influence on me.”
– Mark Tintner
Mark is a filmmaker and an academic; working in moving image from ideation to distribution. At the moment, he is working for a global organisation called Viacom in a senior position and will shortly be moving into a role which focusses more on drama work in terms of moving image. On the academic side, he is a Postgraduate course leader for MA Moving Image at Ravensbourne University.
What is your definition of studio space?
It differs – I don’t know how I would define it, but I know how I would use it. For me, it’s movement through space; working with performers, lighting, costume and make-up – I like to look at a space to see how it can add value to the end product.
In terms of office space, I have personally never had my own space. I don’t necessarily like the idea of the structure of it, so going into these contracting jobs is much more interesting for me because, on a day-to-day basis, I could be in an office for 3-4 days, and then I’ll go to an edit suite, and then I’ll be on set, and then go out to meetings and all that sort of stuff. I like to be on the move, so my backpack is like my office, but I do also use a lot of spaces that I can have control of when it comes to creating and delivering work. So, yeah for me, I’ve never really wanted a real estate office, as one day I like to go to the library or go to The Barbican Centre – I like to work in different places to keep things moving. I think that if I did have a space then I would be constantly changing it based on the seasons and the projects. It would be different based on what we were doing as well; whether it be rehearsals or meetings etc.
So, if you were to have a set space to work, would you want it to be on a short lease contract?
What are the most important elements to you about a space?
I think light is the most important and I think that’s obvious. I think simple things like being in a studio space where the toilets stack, it’s so inconvenient when you can hear the toilets, so yeah the ideal space for me would be somewhere quiet. Quiet, light and modular.
I don’t think I would need a lot of room – I could happily be in a pod working away, or a huge office block, it doesn’t bother me – it’s agile working. I think part of what I do is cloud-based as well, so I can take meetings and deliver pitches anywhere, so it more so needs to have a good internet connection. I’m not the type of person to pin stuff to walls, as I do digital mood-boards and mood-films so I’m kind of paperless if that makes sense as I just need to airplay it or HDMI – I try not to waste. Ultimately, there are so many cool places, I don’t really need to spend money on more space.
Do you believe that London has an impact on your work?
Totally, because of the cross-pollination of cultures. I recently worked on a project in the UK and then I worked on a project in South Africa – I’m not South African but it was for a South African audience, but I can still access those influences here in London and it definitely has a rich melting pot of influences. I think I’ve lived in London for almost 20 years and the best things about it are that it grows with you and whatever interests you – the best is here so you are constantly inspired so yeah it definitely has a creative influence on me.
In terms of locations and facilities of a space, what is important to you?
I think that’s a tough one as it is constantly changing – a lot of the messaging I work on and the clients I work with are quite diverse, so that’s difficult to answer.
Ideally, the first thing I thought of would be to have a view – it would be up high or above ground and that’s something that I would look to whether it be in a remote place or something expansive near the ocean – I think that has something to do with my upbringing. I also lived in an urban area for a very long time and that was above traffic and it was in an old building so that was really an amazing kind of perspective – being up high but still being in an old building and you don’t really tend to get that unless it’s like a modern building, so that was quite inspiring and the light was beautiful and changing.
Do you feel like if you moved away from London hat you would miss out?
Would you consider moving out of London?
Yes – every day. When an opportunity arises to move, I will take it, but I will never say goodbye to London because where do you go from London? I’ll definitely always come back.
Personally, what is your vision of where you feel the future of studio space is going?
For me, I think it’s a collaborative environment. Like somewhere like here at The Trampery – you have four walls but you’re around other creatives. I think that’s interesting. I think one thing that has been successful in my experience, spacial wise, is something I saw at the university I lecture at as it has a really interesting space as there are no real walls anywhere, it’s really modular. It’s great, it won loads of RIBAs. The thing I realised when I first came to that space, it felt like a creative environment even though it’s quite a technical college, as at any moment I could just look in and see what people are working on – it’s very open, not shut out and you can just walk into someone’s project and collaborate.
I also saw something really interesting in America a few years ago – a friend of mine had like a warehouse and they sectioned everything with glass doors into like conservatories and it was cool because you could see everyone and you’re interacting but you’re all doing totally different things. I thought this is really ingenious for those who are freelancing or for smaller businesses who need studio space.
If you had the opportunity to talk to a developer, what would you say to them?
I would say don’t take away the fabric of what has already been built and given grit and a story to. Don’t make it beige. Don’t take away the heritage. I think a lot of what “development” can do is it can just plonk something somewhere and take away the entire character of what was there before. I think being creative with the space rather than just starting again is something to consider. Not every space has to be generic. It’s like when you look at data, you can forecast the trends and say that’s the target audience which is fine, but I think people want more authenticity rather than just being a result of the data. So, yeah, I think being authentic is probably the key idea to consider.