Necessity is the Mother of Invention

Tom Ford on the set. Photo by DP Eduard Grau.

On KCRW’s radio program The Treatment, film critic Elvis Mitchell interviewed fashion designer Tom Ford, now a first-time filmmaker, writing/directing/producing the feature, “A Single Man.” Some keynotes included:

  • “Make a silent film.”
  • “Reinforce the beauty in life.”
  • “This is the first thing I’ve done in my life that is purely expressive. … When I design clothes, I design them to sell. … You could make a film this way too.”
  • “I want to make a film that I’m proud of.”
  • “When you love it, usually you can feel that on the other end. … They end up speaking to people. … I had to find my voice as a filmmaker.”
  • “‘This is going to take 6 weeks.’ It took me 5 months [to edit].”
  • “I don’t think beauty has to necessarily be expensive. … Necessity is the mother of invention.”
  • “A lot of people advised me against it, but I decided to finance the film myself.”
  • “When I have a film that I’m proud of, I’ll release it and then I’ll talk about it.”
  • “We’re going to just hold the camera on you. … I used 3000ft. of film on that. I couldn’t just yell ‘cut.'”

You can listen to the show or download an MP3 at KCRW.com.

Also check out Laura M. Holson’s article for The New York Times, “Tom Ford: Design Director,” and Variety’s interview with the 27-year old DP, Eduard Grau.


Aaron Proctor
Founder, FWD:labs
Director of Photography site


The problem with "expressing the beauty of life" too much is, like Tom's film, it just feels so artificial.


Great idea, thanks for this tip!

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