“You should never feel the hand that crafted it.” Those words are a snippet of Rebecca Skinner’s president’s message ahead of Cannes Lions 2019. The co-founder of Superprime is presiding over this year’s Film Craft jury. LBB’s Addison Capper chatted with her to find out about the beauty of invisible craft and why big doesn’t always mean something is good.
LBB> The film craft category has been shaken up a lot in recent years - there was the rise of mobile and increased data usage, then the wave of new platforms, such as VR, 360, there's the resurgence of film, the list goes on. In your opinion, what are the biggest factors affecting film craft right now and how will you deal with them in the jury room?
Rebecca> Craft is still craft regardless of the platform or outlet, so we'll be focused on the core values of the category, to identify work that connects with its audience in a meaningful way.
LBB> In a global show like Cannes, the transcendent ‘big’ ideas are relatively easy enough to spot, but some work is smart in a more nuanced or cultural way. But, at the end of the day, craft is craft - how do you deal with that in the jury room?
Rebecca> I think that more and more we are open to being surprised by a piece of work that may not be the ‘big’ idea. It is a time where I feel we are all more open (or should be) to new work and new ideas. Something that is unique and well crafted will stand up. Big doesn’t necessarily mean better.
LBB> In your president's message you said, "You should never feel the hand that has crafted it" - if invisible craft is the best craft, how do you go about spotting it in the jury room?
Rebecca> In my personal opinion, when a piece of work is beautifully crafted it never feels manufactured or heavy-handed. So, therefore, it never takes you out of the narrative and ultimately moves you.
LBB> Last year's Grand Prix was The Red Cross' 'Hope: #NotaTarget' - is there anything in that entry that you'd like to see in entries this year?
Rebecca> That was a beautiful and well deserved awarded film. It moved you and made you feel something. It was emotionally a very strong piece of film. Ultimately you want to see a piece that moves you and stays with you.
LBB> How have you been preparing yourself for your time in the jury room at Cannes?
Rebecca> By not sleeping and drinking lots of rosé like it is water.
LBB> What are you hoping to see from the entries this year? How has the pre-judging been going so far?
Rebecca> There is a lot of work and we have only just begun. Let's just say we are going to have our work cut out for us in a good way.
LBB> What words of advice will you be giving to your jury?
Rebecca> Have a voice, but always be open and view the work with compassion. If you feel strongly about a piece of work, speak to that. Healthy debate is always good and can often make one view a piece of work in a way that they had not.
LBB> More generally, are there any particular topics that you think will be particular trends / talking points this year?
Rebecca> It is early days as to what we are seeing this year. Last year was very much about female empowerment and inclusivity. I feel this year will continue to touch on that.
LBB> Obviously, you’re going to spend a lot of Cannes 2018 locked inside for jury deliberations… but is there any event or talk that you’re hoping to catch while you’re there?
Rebecca> Yes very much so. I think there are some very interesting speakers this year. However, given my schedule, I don’t see myself breaking away.