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Quarantine Q&A: Tom Beard, Prettybird
Being a parent of a one year old would be testing in any circumstances, but during the lockdown? It means that Tom Beard and partner Nutty have witnessed the transformation of young Frank into a manageable non-walker into home-trashing Tasmanian Devil happen at close quarters.
Tom, whose feature film directing debut Two For Joy, with Samantha Morton, was released in 2018, has been managing through a combination of Teletubbies, Tarkovsky, veggie dinners, and poker...
What were you working on before lockdown?
For the last year I’ve been developing my next feature film with the BFI as well as a couple of TV projects. My writing process feels like a self imposed self isolation any way! But I was also very grateful to sneak in a music video for Rita Ora the week before the lockdown came into affect.
What are you working on now?
I’ve been very lucky to have the various longform projects at different stages of development. That’s helped to give me some focus in this really difficult period. So I’ve mainly trying to stay positive and keep my head in them - though I can’t say writing at home with my son tearing the place up is the most ideal headspace for writing!
What's the most surprising, or least predictable thing, that's happened to you during quarantine?
Seeing our one year old son go from being a non-walker to a wrecking ball in the space of a week. It’s crazy that they go to bed one night a Blob and wake up the next day full Tasmanian Devil. Most predictable would be my poker-playing. I don’t know why I bother.
When the baby's asleep I’ve been homeschooling myself with Andrey Tarkovsky’s book, Sculpting In Time.
What's the favourite part of your daily routine?
Our daily routine is focused around the baby. My partner is running her art gallery from home so basically we juggle him until bedtime! Mundane as it may sound, with the weather being this lovely just taking him to the park and letting him toddle about has been really cathartic. He’s loving life!
Are things getting better?
To be honest it’s each day as it comes, and I do feel my brain turning to mush. But I think the highs and lows are a universal experience in a limbo like this. I’m just thankful that I have my partner and my son to spend it with.
Work wise, it’s impossible to say what they lay of the land will be after the lockdown lifts. I hope everything will just get back to ‘normal’ straight away, but I know that’s a little naive. So for me it’s best to just try and keep present.
What have you learnt about yourself?
That I’m happier when I don’t overthink.
What’s the best thing you’ve eaten?
Anything from The Green Roasting Tin book. We’ve had the Chipotle corn, squash, feta and black bean recipe twice this week already!
Best thing you’ve watched, or heard, while on lockdown, and why?
It’s been mainly kids TV if I’m honest. There is a new series of Teletubbies on Amazon which is pretty lol. And I’m not sure what kind of message the Netflix series of Peter Rabbit is giving out about thieving. When the baby is asleep I’ve been homeschooling myself with Andrey Tarkovsky’s book, Sculpting In Time.
How's your Work/Life balance at the moment?
I don’t think I’ve found it yet.
• Tom Beard makes commercials and music videos through Prettybird in London, and is repped for music videos by Hands London. See his work here.
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