Tracy talks to Vanessa Gould, director, producer and filmmaker.

Posted on July 6, 2012 by in Artists, Filmmakers, Inspiration

Follow your heart? 

Vanessa Gould: Director, producer and filmmaker- studied a mix of science, art, film and design, including architecture and astrophysics at Columbia University and music at the New England Conservatory… 

Science and art are not often seen, by some educational traditionalists, as mixing well – I love Vanessa Gould because she is one of those people who prove that not to be so.

“You can sit in a room by yourself and try and figure it all or you can communicate with other people” 

I am so glad Vanessa did the latter by taking herself round the world to make one the most beautiful documentaries I have seen. 

The combination of questions asked, images captures, personalities discovered, the haunting music composed by Gil Talmi  and Vanessa’s almost meditative voice over has turned a modest film by a modest film director in something of beauty. 

Well I think so, and I am not the only one. TED Conference curator Chris Anderson  said of the film: “ …by the end, you find yourself convinced that the mystery of folding could be one of the universe’s deep secrets”, it has received many film festival awards and is the winner of a Peabody Award  and was shown as part of the ‘Independent Lens’ PBS series in the USA.   

The film has also become a wonderful tribute to paper artist Eric Joisel  Nov 15 1956 – Oct 10 2010

What is the film really about? In Vanessa’s words – “The Heart of the film is about potential, the potential to see things differently…”

 I hope you enjoy my conversation with Vanessa Gould, recorded below. We talk about art, science and education, but really we talk about living a life asking questions, going on a creative journey in blind faith and trusting when something ‘just’ feels right? 

 Do you know that feeling?


4 Responses so far.

  1. I could listen to you chatting away all day Tracy!

    Vanessa is an inspiration the way she knew what she had to do and quitting her job to do it. Hmm.. Lots of food for thought as I have come to expect from your chatty Interviews.

    Paper! Maths, science, art and creativity! This conversation’s got it all.

    I love that she’s so glad her films are being used in education though she has not intention to produce education films.

    I look forward to seeing this film now.

    Play found it’s way into this chat which is always interesting. How dreadful it is that many of us feel we can’t play anymore! I have to play if I want to make anything.

    Thanks for letting me eavesdrop on this conversation. xx

  2. tracy says:

    Thanks Lynne for your comment, it is always great to have some feedback…yes play was the basis of learning, expanding and developing our experiences of the world and our interaction with materials, ideas etc as children – why should it stop there?

  3. Giselle says:

    Only just listened to this – thank you so much for sharing it.

    I am really into listening to inspiring women just now – and Vanessa Gould is right up there. I love her throwaway lines like: “I quite my job, bought a used camera on e-bay and I KNEW I was going to do it.”

    She talks about “an incredible blind faith” but also about solid preparation.

    She has inspired me today – to know that I am going to do it!

  4. tracy says:

    Great Giselle go for it 🙂