Maker: One of the things we love about working with you is your ability to direct while operating the camera as it makes it perfect for intimate settings. How do you manage both roles at the same time?
Percy: I’ve had cameras in front of me my whole life from stills to video, it almost doesn’t feel like there’s anything in between me and the subject anymore. If anything it’s a shield, it allows me to become someone else through the camera, almost like i can let certain parts of me go and kinda become anonymous. Its a reason for me to be there and to be connecting with people. I like to be with difficult subjects or people not au fait with the process of filming. I like to normalise it and create a cocoon around me and them where we can talk and be open. I need to be open about myself, my fears and anxieties in order to gain trust and openness from the subject. I want to put myself on the line.
Maker: What’s your idea of the perfect project?
Percy: It always revolves around relationships and collaboration. A strong sense of understanding between myself and the client makes for trust in the collaboration and getting that balance right between what I see and what the client needs. I think that frees up a path to stronger, more impactful work. I like to have a good sense of what the client needs the film to do but having trust in what I can do and see during the process and in the moment is such an important aspect to me. Time is always one of the luxuries that I always strive for in a project, having the time to experiment and go off storyboard just for a little while can mean everything to the end product.
Maker: What’s your favourite thing about the medium of film?
Percy: Moving image still feels new to me, after a lifetime of stills for something to come alive in motion is still fascinating to me. I love the framing from photography melding with the sequencing and narrative powers of video.