Interview: Jacqueline Pelzcar

Paper Mountain - October 14, 2017

Jacqueline Pelzcar is an emerging Perth-based filmmaker who has been making her mark in the local industry as well as further afield, after several months spent working in New York this year. She is passionate about filmmaking not only as creative expression, but also for its potential to be used towards social change. Drawing on a range of influences and mediums, she has many exciting projects underway at the moment and can regularly be found working away at them in her cosy little corner of Paper Mountain.

How long have you had a studio at Paper Mountain?

Just since March, so just over 6 months.

Do you feel like it’s changed or benefitted your creative work in any way?

Totally. I’m definitely much more productive. I used to just have my studio set up at home and I just found I would never sleep. It’s nice to get out and have your space where that’s its pure purpose – just to create – and the all hour access when you need it is really handy.

Now this is a pretty broad question, but ‘what do you do?’

I’m a filmmaker. I kind of pocket myself as a ‘creative enthusiast’ so I will do anything creative. Definitely at the core of it I’m a director. I went to film school for two years and since then I’ve been freelancing within the film and TV industry. For instance at the moment, I’m working with an actress who’s also a performance artist and so we’re creating performance art on film.

I love the way you say you’re a ‘creative enthusiast’ – that’s a good way of summing it up.

Yeah that’s kind of how I like to market it. At the core of it my position is a director. The visual art exhibition I’m working on developing at the moment – it’s probably two years in the making but it incorporates dance and film and music all in one. I’m not necessarily a painter or an artist in that sense, I guess I’m more of a visual artist in a film or storytelling sense.

Have there been particular influences or turning points for you as a filmmaker?

In high school, I loved history and politics and law – I really wanted to be a human rights lawyer but my grades just weren’t high enough to get into law school. And so I started watching political documentaries and I was just like ‘ha – maybe this is the way.’ You can say whatever you want on screen, whether it be a documentary or a narrative feature or a short film or an experimental film. So I guess that was the pivotal point and then – finding out more about it; the history… now I’m just kind of addicted!

How have you navigated building your career and your creative practice since graduating?

I think the biggest thing for me was that I started working while I was at film school – I just started creating. I’ve actually gone back to lecture a couple of times at my old school and the one thing I said was that people recognise your passion and dedication before they even view your work. Even if you’re not producing that great of a thing right now, or if it’s not completely polished, they know that you’re gonna get to that high standard just by talking to you.

What do you see as some of the rewards and challenges of creative work?

I think the obvious challenge is that it can get you down. It’s this constant high and low of emotions. But every time someone has a little bit of faith in you or you prove yourself it gives you an affirmation that you’re on the right path – that this is really who you are. That to me is rewarding – getting to wake up and actively do something I’m passionate about every day. It’s like the greatest love affair I will ever have!

— Interview and photo by Phoebe Mulcahy