Who is Phillip Whiteman?
I am originally from the Navy city, Portsmouth, where I spent most of my days skateboarding and travelling around the globe (with my skateboard). My mother is Chinese whilst my father is English, so I have a good balance of Eastern and “Western” philosophies. Listening to stories from both parents about two very different parts of the world has definitely affected my creative side and has played an active role in the kind of storytelling I’m interested in. I have always loved film and my favourite filmmakers tend to be mavericks like John Cassavetes, Werner Herzog, David Lynch and John Huston, amongst many others.
How did your career path develop?
I trained as an actor and studied in the USA and UK at drama schools and fell in love with storytelling. After working on an indy feature film, the director – who was a trailer editor – invited me to watch the film being cut together. I immediately fell in love with that process and with his guidance, I started working on my own projects, for fun at first. I wanted to produce my own work as an actor instead of being at the mercy and whim of others’ taste so I set up my own theatre company. Theatre however is not that commercially viable, so I moved into producing films and shorts. Editing was always on the side, here and there, but helped me supplement my income as an actor. Now I have stopped acting and I work primarily as an editor but I also do PD, operate cameras and fly drones!
What’s your greatest achievement/s so far?
Winning awards at The Raindance Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival. Being picked by The Guardian’s Film critics for best short film and receiving an amazing write up from them.
Any projects you are most proud of and why?
Web series “The Vessel” was a fun project and I am proud of where it went – Italian public broadcaster Rai bought it as part of their attempt at more progressive content. Short film “Aeris” was different and has done well around the globe, even garnering interest from top Hollywood studios for a potential development into feature length.
Share your biggest lessons in life and work
Everything is a process: be patient and take things step by step. And always trust your instincts – especially with story! Sometimes it is ok to compromise creatively – we all need to enjoy life and it helps when you try to make your passion projects.