Living religion: my livingness is religion

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Living religion: my livingness is religion

I work as a television and film director. My favourite thing about the job is the huge and varied plethora of people with which I work: the regular working men and women, the famous celebrity actors and actresses, the money people that juggle with the crazy budgets and scary risks, the technicians, the muscle, the geeks, the geniuses, the tea makers, the stunt men, the animal handlers, the computer whizzes … the members of the public with whom we are always interacting ... the list is endless.

It is a glorious gamut of the whole of humanity. Every colour, class and creed.

My livingness is treating each and every single one of these people with absolute equality and, no matter what pressure we are under, connecting to each and every one of them in full.

It is a religion for a film-set. It is a religion for life.

For as every crew-member is integral to the process making the film, so too is every person integral to the ‘process’ of humanity.

Let me explain … for a film set to work in harmony, efficiently and effectively, every single member of that crew has to be committed to themselves, to their job and to the purpose of the day. If there is one who is not stepping up, one who is not feeling cared for, one who is not being heard, one who is shouting above the rest, one who is being left behind, one who is feeling less, one who is feeling above the rest, one who is there just for themselves, one who is there just for the money … if any of the above happens (and it often does) then it affects the whole.

What I have experienced is the amazing power of a group if everyone does commit, does treat all others equally, does play for the big picture, does look out for each other, does take care of their own selves, does fulfil their own responsibilities. In these scenarios it is amazing to see what can be achieved. And what I am constantly inspired and fascinated by is that this is an exact reflection of the bigger picture of humanity. It teaches me every day that whether on a film-set or in the whole of life, we are all part of the process, the big picture. Our film-sets are mini versions of the whole world, of the way we could live together as a unified brotherhood.

This is what I commit to – my livingness as my religion – this is what I bring to my work and what I inspire in everyone working with me to feel. It is game changing. It doesn’t get any bigger, AND … boy-oh-boy do they feel it!

It is a glorious thing to be a part of because we all actually crave this way of being, this connection, this unity, this equality – thus when it is offered, it is gladly grabbed by all, with open hearts and big smiles. Many, many times have I had people expressing back to me how powerful an experience it has been, either in person or in the amazing work that they then do.

Which in itself is a further joy to me – because there are few things that fill my heart faster than watching amazing people be amazing at what they do.

And all of this is super, super simple. It takes no time, no effort, no special skill, no diploma, licence or qualification. It is just me being me, meeting them, being them. Nothing could be simpler. Nothing could be more powerful.

It is without doubt the single most effective and important asset that I have as a Television Director – far, far greater than any technical or creative skill that I may have mastered. Furthermore it is without doubt the single most important thing in my whole life; as a father, a husband, a friend, a colleague … a human being.

It is my livingness. It is my religion.

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    By Otto Bathurst, Film Director

    Successful job, family, house, car, friends. What I am really interested in is re-discovering more and more of the tenderness and fragility that I have discarded along the way and seeing that these are in fact the strengths that make a true man.

  • Thumb small otto bathurst

    Photography: Otto Bathurst, Film Director

    Successful job, family, house, car, friends. What I am really interested in is re-discovering more and more of the tenderness and fragility that I have discarded along the way and seeing that these are in fact the strengths that make a true man.