Hi, I’m Andy Funnell, a director here at SRK and all-round camera nerd. I cut my teeth at the BBC editing, shooting, and directing across a huge range of documentaries and factual content.
Over the 10 years I worked for Aunty I got to spend 36 hours on an aircraft carrier, interviewed the great and the good of the art world – Anthony Gormley, Zaha Hadid and Wes Anderson to name a few – and filmed vox pops in some of the UKs lesser known towns. It was a pretty interesting and diverse job.
But, I wanted to explore the world so packed up my camera and left the UK six years ago. Since then I have lived in Brazzaville, Bordeaux, Berlin and now Bangkok.
In that time I have continued to make TV and documentaries but now also work for corporations, NGOs and the UN. These new clients have expanded even further the types of films I make. With subjects ranging from habitat destruction in the Congo Basin to the promotion of a Hong Kong based pan-Asian company, I’m constantly being challenged to find creative ways to tell other peoples stories.
The moment I first realised I could be a filmmaker was back in the late 90s, when, at the age of 19, I stumbled upon a course teaching film and television.
My favourite class was 16mm film, taught by an energetic guy from the north of England. He lived and breathed his work, spending hours chasing Kodak for reel ends so we could shoot with proper film. He had even blagged a Steenbeck to edit on, I still have no idea how he managed that.
We had been tasked with making a stop-motion animation based on any subject we wanted. A good friend and I wrote a script only students could get away with, titled Mr Potato Head Gets Mugged. We created a model night scene, set outside a nightclub, where Jabba the Hutt and his henchmen mugged Mr Potato Head. (I should explain that in the late 90s the Adam & Joe Show was very popular in the UK).
I did the lighting, mixing blue gels, adjusting head angles and beam strength, until it looked just like night. We shot it and the scene came to life. It was rough in places but as far as I was concerned I was now a filmmaker.
Why did I feel compelled to tell you this? Well beyond the misty eyed nostalgia the three things that have always motivated me to make films are as strong now as when I first started. I love to create something from beginning to end, finding an idea, developing it and making it a reality. This has never become dull.
Meeting with and having access to other people’s lives, even for a short time, is a constant privilege and endlessly fascinating. Everyone has a story to tell if you ask the right questions and listen.
Lastly, the opportunity to travel and see the world is only bettered by having a camera in my hand.