The New York City filmmaker

”Oh right, we fucked! I mean we met. We met.”  
 
Though not the opening line of his debut short film The Jane, it is in a way where the it began or at least what you remember after it’s over. 
 
Photo by Travis Emmett
 
 
The first time we met was in what I imagine is a typical New York-manner, on a dance floor somewhere in Brooklyn. He was out with friends and I was enjoying a night in the city with the girls when we got talking over a cold beer. Sometime in the midst of our conversation he handed me a blue business card with a red pig on it and told me about his debut movie. This was 2013, the Jane had then just been presented at the Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles and he told me it was viewing in the Anthology Film Archives that following day. 

- Unfortunately I was busy, having decided to visit my first baseball game ever - bored out of our minds we ended up leaving after an hour and finished watching the game on the television screen at a Italian restaurant. But that’s another story. 

Although slightly delusional, leaving the club thinking he was a better dancer than me (he wasn’t) he had awoken my curiosity. 

As everyone knows the first rule (or perhaps it is the third) for someone in pursuit of her goals, is to find people who they find inspiring and not loose sight of them, in a non-stalker-like way(!). And Trevor being a thirty-something producer and director working, living and eating in New York City, definitely had that inspiring vibe. Perhaps it was partly the seduction of the City he was living in. Either way, it isn’t too often you meet a career focused person who dreams big and really works to make them come true. 

 

So you’re both a producer and director. Does that basically mean that you’re a complete control freak? 

— I am pretty much a total megalomaniac control freak. That said, I think it's important for any director to listen, assess and incorporate the ideas of your collaborators as much as possible. When other artists are offering their creative energy to make you look good, you are a dummy to not receive it. 

 

What exactly is the difference between what a director does and what a producer 

does? 

—The definitions are kind of fluid from medium to medium, but for the most part the director is in charge of orchestrating everything that goes on the screen and the producer is in charge or orchestrating everything that goes into the production of the thing. Since my company is still on the smaller side I often find myself doing both, but when I can afford to hire a producer it makes my job an absolute dream. 

 

What does a regular work day look like? 

— There are basically 3 kinds of work flows. Pre-production, which is about 1 week when I’m on the phone and email coordinating, writing scripts and occasionally stepping out to have meetings and scout locations. 

Production it self is all in all 1-2 days per project. Very long days of about 10-12 hours on set. I wake up very early to plan the day, then spend the remainder of the day trying to execute that plan or react to unanticipated problems/keep everybody happy and finish the shoot on time and not loose my mind. Then I go home and worry about what I screwed up until I pass out. Finally there is post-production which is 1 to 2 weeks per project of me editing from home or at a cafe in my neighborhood (Park slope, Brooklyn). This is generally the most relaxing part, though sometimes a bit monotonous. 

 

Just like a typical New Yorker, you seem to work a lot. How is your work/life balance? 

— Pretty great. Being a freelancer I get to travel a bit more than most of my friends who are full-time employees. That said, there are some weeks/months where I feel like I am never off the clock. Above all, I love what I do and it never feels too much like work as much as it is a passion. 

Photo by Kati Keyes
 

Finally, I heard somewhere that you’re into staring. What’s the deal? 

— As a creative living in the city, I think it's important to do nothing whenever you get the chance. A HUGE part of being an artist is daydreaming; seeing the thing you want to make in your head long before you do it. You have to fight to make the time to do this kind of daydreaming, but to me, it's essential to making something worthwhile.

 

How do you avoid looking creepy? 

— I politely explain that I am a registered sex offender. (<= Does this joke translate in Swedish?) 

 

For those curious about his debut movie, here is an entry I wrote about the Jane and link to the movie, The Jane

 

 Random facts about Trevor: 

What movie can’t you believe people haven’t seen? 

"Beginners" by Mike Mills, starring Ewan McGreger and Christopher Plummer. It is just so delightful. 

What’s your favorite drink: 

Dirty Bombay Sapphire martini, up. 

Choice of food when working: 

I have a like to eat and edit at an Italian café. Usually eat the salmon and goat cheese panini with an iced double espresso 

Pass-time of preference : 

To go the metropolitan museum and stare at american landscape paintings. 

Favorite milkshake flavour? 

Vanilla.

Sound machine hit of the month? 

Airplane engine. 

 

 Photo by: Kati Keyes

 

 

 

 

Brooklyn - Director - Lifestyle - New York - Pig Apple - Producer - Sound machine - The Jane - Trevor Williams
1

The vacation that almost killed me

So I am back in Stockholm after just over one week’s vacation and it was genuine Swedish summer weather through out the week, with some days of pure sunshine and then many more with soft rain taking turns with the sun. 

And what a vacation it was. I have never had one just like it. No there isn’t any story of a dreamy trip to Italy waiting to be told. Sorry. Even tough I admit I have been dreaming my way to Florence. No, this vacation was lined with accidents and pain. 

Fun, huh?! 

Usually my trips to my hometown are enjoyment deluxe with hours spent on the kitchen counter sipping a glass of wine and reading a book as the sky outside shifts in color. This time there was none of that. Sure it was nice an all but then on the third day I got a terrible stiff neck that one week later still hasn’t let go. Then yesterday, just as my neck was getting a bit better I decided to pick some salad from the garden when bugs started raining from the big tree above. And when I took a couple of steps back I fell on some logs and scraped up my back. 

You know, cause that is the kind of stuff that actually happen in my life. 

#Vacation my ass! 

So you probably figured out that it doesn’t feel nearly as hard as you would think going back to work tomorrow. To be honest, I am actually looking forward to it. I mean obviously the risk of endangerment is pretty big when I try taking it easy. A few more days of this and who knows what would have happened. Nope, not for me and I know, you’re probably thinking ”Eh, talk about overreacting” and you could be right. But I mean, who the hell falls on a tree? Perhaps more common in Alaska or in the woods but this was in our back yard. So… I am currently in bed celebrating that this vacation is over (!) with a cup of deliciously strong coffee spiked with a splash of Baileys. Which is how every Sunday should be enjoyed! 

 

Då är jag tillbaka i Stockholm efter en och en halv veckas semester (minus 1 dags halvjobbande). Det var riktig svenska sommarväder genom hela, med några dagar somrig solsken och en massa fler dagar där duggregnet avlöste solen. 

Vilken semester det var! Och nej, det väntar ingen målande beskrivning på en drömsk resa till Italien. Även om jag har drömt mig dit. Nej, min semester var en kantad av olyckor.

Vanligtvis när jag åker tillbaka till Gävle brukar det vara njutning deluxe med timmar spenderade på köksbänken med ett glas vin och en bok medan himlen skiftar färg utanför. Den här gången blev det inget sånt. Det var visserligen mysigt och så. 

Men tredje semesterdagen slog en fruktansvärd nackspärr till och jag skämtar inte när jag skriver att den, en vecka senare fortfarande envist vägrar att släppa taget. Så igår, precis när nackspärren började bli bara lite bättre, bestämde jag mig för att plocka lite sallad i grönsakslandet (för man gör ju det) och när det började regna ned äckliga kryp från det stora trädet ovanför backade jag in på några stockar och skrapade upp ryggen. 

För det är sådant som faktiskt händer i mitt liv. 

#Vacation my ass! 

Så ni förstår att det inte känns riktigt så jobbigt som man skulle kunna tro att återvända från semestern. För att vara ärlig känns faktiskt ganska skönt. Olycksrisken är ju tydligen väldigt stor när jag ska ta det lugnt! Några dagar till och vem vet vad som hade hänt. 

Nope. Jag kör en omvänt Gyllene Tider och säger ”Jag går och jobbar” (du vet, istället för fiskar). Ni kanske tänker att ”snacka om att överreagera!” Ja kanske det. Men jag menar, vem fan ramlar på ett träd? 

I skrivande stund ligger jag i sängen och firar att semestern är över (!) med en kopp riktigt starkt kaffe à la Sara spetsad med Baileys. Vilket är så varje söndag borde avnjutas. Glad söndag! 

 
Baileys - Gyllene Tider - Stockholm - Summer - Swedish summer - Vacation
2

'Out of office'

Last week was like a dream. This was a week before it was time to put that Out of office auto reply on my work email and the week after the hectic conference. 

Two Sunday mornings ago the alarm rang at 5.30. You might wonder why. By god why? Barely four hours after we had gone to bed. In order to get 45 minutes more sleep I decided to take a cab to the station and an hour later I was having a wake me up breakfast at Arlanda Airport. Never the one to say no to work (like ever) I was heading to Copenhagen to work another MCI conference and to breathe some Danish air. From 9 am to 6 pm it was full speed preparing for the guests to arrive and then handing out badges until I finally zipped up my pink suitcase and got a cab back to the airport.

But that’s not where it started. No, cause as everyone knows that the week starts on Monday. Or usually it does. That one had a nifty bank holiday inserted on Tuesday so really it felt like it started on Wednesday. Any who, that Thursday me and Isabelle, the event assistant took the bus to a castle (of sorts) located fifteen minutes (without traffic, 35 with) from the city centre. I had volunteered to work an event for another teams event: the 30 year anniversary of a French bank. 

 A castle with a view. 

 

French speaking people and men in suits. Two things I love, so I really didn’t have to think too hard before saying yes to working an evening after a 24/7 week at work. 

Okay, so technically I didn’t exactly know that it was a bank event nor that it had any connection whatsoever with France. But I like to think that I was a bit psychic in that moment and sensed it. Either way it was a surprise in the same class as being served a truly delicious glass of wine with your steak. Yum. 

The Thursday began as all events do: in pure panic. True story. It’s sort of the charm of working with events. No matter how much you prepare there is always something that turns out wrong and you have to run around like a maniac to handle it before anything happens. 

So about thirty minutes or so after arriving at location we discovered that the clients carefully prepared presentation was in a format not supported by the television devices. Upon discovering this we quickly found out that it was working on two of the four screens. How the f* was it doing that? It turned out there was some mysterious tech guy out there who had reformatted the presentation on two of the USB sticks and then like dust he had disappeared. Now I don’t believe in ghosts, or anything but… No just kidding after some minor investigative work (nowhere in class of Sherlock Holmes) we got hold of him and after listening to a quick tutorial of what he had done I gathered all the sticks and got to work. It quickly turned out that though he had managed to make the presentation work it was just less than half of it there and 25 pictures where missing. 

We re-grouped, I took the presentation and the other two took everything else. Two hours and a whole lot ot running up and down and up and down the stairs later 

   - to see if it worked now, nope? okay, back to the computer on the top floor! - it was finally done. 

After that it was business as usual. The night went on, there was drinking (wine), oysters, dancing and after midnight it was time for us to pack up and head home. 

I admit it, 3 hours of sleep followed by 9 hours work didn’t exactly result in an overly energetic me, but after a swift shirt-change at the airport restroom I did feel somewhat more…alive! 

Dinner, a stop by Starbucks (!) and then it was time to fly back to Stockholm. Unfortunately the plane was packe and thus my hand luggage was involuntarily checked in - so instead of being able to quickly grab it at the airport and run home, I had to wait and wait, for it to appear on the conveyer belt. Sigh

At last landing at my flat I changed into pyjamas and was just about to have a midnight snack when I remembered something. Damn. The water bottle! I quickly opened the freezer and there it was. On the top shelf the glass water bottle, which I had nicely put in the night before, you know to have ice cold water, had exploded and there was glass everywhere. 

There it was. The perfect end to a hectic weekend! 

Anniversary - Arlanda - Copenhagen - Events - French bank - Lifestyle blog - MCI - Sherlock Holmes - Starbucks - Travel - Work - out of office - sunday