Extraordinary Lives - Dylan Howitt


I’m a documentary film-maker based in Brighton and I’ve made films all over the world for TV, charities, activist groups and independently. See more here: www.dylanhowitt.com I also teach on an MA at UCL in London.

Currently I’m working on a film about a friend making a dress by hand from wild Nettles! It’s an amazing story five years in the making – a mad act of will and artistry. We have a crowdfunder running at the moment that ends on Tuesday December 22: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/nettledress/the-nettle-dress 

The OMGTea 60 Second Interview

1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

I'm not sure about the ‘perfect’ part, but I’m pretty happy swimming in the sea, dancing to funk, drawing portraits or the buzz of being in a creative flow, to name a few things.

2. Do you live to work or work to live?

I’ve always tried to find or create work that’s positive and useful in the world, and also satisfying and challenging for me. I’m all too aware that I need to make a living too, so it’s a hard balance sometimes, but I seem to have managed it so far.

3. What one thing are you most passionate about?

I struggle with superlatives – see ‘perfect’ above! But I love our beautiful planet and would love us humans to figure out a more harmonious and less destructive way to live here. It fascinates me that as a species we feel separate from the world – that we’ve been cast out of Eden – and that we’re somehow gods. But of course we’re not separate, this is it, we’re part of it and it of us.

4. What do you consider your greatest achievement?

I always feel the best is still to come! But I’m proud of many films I’ve made working in close collaboration with different groups and communities. A year I spent making films with young people in Guatemala City comes to mind. Sneaking into a tiger sanctuary in South India to film with indigenous people under threat of eviction. Films I made for charities like Macmillan Cancer Support or Christian Aid that helped raise lots of money. Also the teaching work I do gives a lot of pleasure – three of the students I helped this year made amazing films!

5. Who's the person you would most like to share a cup of matcha with and why?

I’d love the chance to chat to my grandmother again, she had the most amazing stories.

6. What is the best piece of advice you could give someone?

The advice I give myself when I’m working is to focus on process. Don’t think about end result but rather what is in front of you. If you’re alive to, listen to and in conversation with your work, then wonderful things can happen!

7. If you could have any super power, what would it be and why?

I guess breathing underwater and swimming with the fishes…I’m a water baby and have really enjoyed scuba diving in the past.

8. What is your motto?

Mmm, I’m not sure I have one, but I love the quote from Rainer Maria Rilke: ‘try to love the questions…live the questions…perhaps you will live into the answer’.

To find out more about The Nettle Dress project and to watch the short film Dylan has put together for their crowdfunding campaign go to Kickstarter.