Indigo Bates is obsessed with language, which makes sense for someone who speaks fluent French, Spanish and English and has played the piano every day since the age of five. This innate mastery and passion for language is blatantly clear when you watch her stunning, powerful and seemingly effortless directing work. Her work also brilliantly bares the marks of another language she speaks fluently, the edit.
‘In the same way that playing the piano or speaking another language is so much about mastering and communicating emotion or story, making someone actually feel something after watching a film is a similar goal. Through my process as a director who edits her own work, I like figuring out the cadence of the film. I like counterpointing the music with the image and sometimes letting them
I watched Alfonso Cuarón’s a little princess every weekend for many years as a child. I never liked cartoons or animation and would always say they weren’t real, but somehow the magical realism of film totally won my affection.’
ride together. Putting shots together, adding music, not adding music, cutting, holding, it’s the most playful form of cinematic communication. I love how the end product always surprises me. Through my process, I’m trying to make people feel things that I feel.’
What is remarkable about Indigo’s work is that her instincts feel like those of a director who has spent years mastering their craft. Her frames are minimal and unfused, and her decisions as a film maker are deliberate and decisive. Truth be told, Indigo is a young woman relatively new to directing who possesses some pedigree when it comes to visual arts, film and fashion.
‘My grandfather was a fashion photographer in NY in the 50s and 60s. And on the other side my grandmother is a painter. My father is a documentary filmmaker and my mother used to be a textile designer. So in a sense, I‘ve always been surrounded by narrative/visual arts/fashion from every angle in my family and when I started messing around filming things with friends and then playing with the footage, it seemed like such an obvious culmination of all the things that I love.’
What is so inspiring about Indigo’s work is not only what you are seeing now, but the promise of what is to come.