Olivia Bee

Tyler Manson

How did you get into directing?
I started directing because I always had stories I wanted to tell and images I wanted to share. I’d get an idea for a film stuck in my mind and wouldn’t be satisfied until I’d shot, edited and screened it. I was totally immersed in the surf world and traveled the world shooting surf films. Through those travels, my view of the world expanded and I started making short documentaries. From there, I got my shot in the commercial directing world. For many years it was a one-man-band production. I would direct, shoot, do sound, and edit short films, music videos, and documentaries. Now I’m so grateful to have incredible creative partners at ACNE supporting my efforts.

What is your most recent project?
Recently I was lucky enough to make a short film profiling Scott Schuman, The Sartorialist, for Intel’s “Visual Life” campaign. Scott is a pretty fascinating character and he graciously gave us intimate access to his life, his process and his work. We had a lot of freedom with the film and I was able to try a few things I’d been waiting for the right project for. My DP, Joseph Aguirre, brought out quiet, beautiful moments with a great deal of patience and attention to detail.

What is the best part of being a director?
The best part of being a director is watching a simple idea take form. Filmmaking is such a collaborative art that an idea for a film can twist and turn and grow from it’s inception to completion. Everyone brings value, strength and creativity to a project, but being a director allows you to lead that process from start to finish. It’s the most rewarding thing to make something tangible and real, out of nothing but a thought in your head.

Have you a mentor and if so, who is that person (or persons)
and what has been the lesson learned from that mentoring which resonates most with you?

I’ve been fortunate enough to have quite a few mentor figures through different stages of my life, but the one person who both pushed me and inspired me more than anyone else is the photographer, painter and filmmaker Thomas Campbell. Thomas really took me under his wing and opened my creative world up quite a bit. He also was, and still is, the most honest and harsh critic of my work. Even if I don’t want to hear it at the time, I always appreciate his point of view in the long run.