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Three things we learned from filmmaker Mark Jenkin

Mark Jenkin Creative Breakfast

Stranger’s Creative Breakfast Series: Mark Jenkin, Filmmaker 

Last week saw the second in our series of Creative Breakfasts, where we look to incredible artists, designers, writers and makers to provide us with some early morning inspiration. This time it was the turn of award-winning Cornish filmmaker Mark Jenkin, analogue virtuoso and fisherman’s poet.

Here are just three creative lessons I learned from Mark between sips of coffee and bites of pastry…

  1. Constraints and mistakes breed creativity

Mark showed us the unintentional poetry that bubbles up while working within the constraints of a challenging medium. We saw how an accidentally overexposed segment of standard 8 footage could become the canvas for a film’s titles – letters hand-scrawled in miniature onto the blank 8mm frames, become beautifully animated words on screen. We saw how an uninvited ‘meow’ could make a collaborator of your cat.

  1. It’s all part of the process

Working, not working; listening to records, going out for a lovely bike ride. According to his producers, it’s all a valid part of Mark’s creative process. This is an idea we’re very happy to get on board with.

  1. Stay connected

Mark talked about the tangibility and tactility of film, as we passed around a reel of 8mm, realising that we could run a story through our fingers.

There is an immediate connection between Mark and his work that comes from his artistry in a medium that we can hold in our hands. It’s a fitting representation of Mark’s deep connection with Cornwall – a celebration of particularity of place, of local and personal experience, of the smudges and scratches of real life.


Keep an eye out for our next Creative Breakfast happening at Stranger HQ in the next couple of months. 


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