The British-Canadian filmmaker and composer was born in London, UK in 1991. Co-founder of the Loop production company, Ing has produced a range of artist-led film and television projects since 2014 which have received prizes including at the Grierson Awards, the BFI London Film Festival and the British Independent Film Awards.
What was your starting point for “Jill, Uncredited”?
I had hoped to make a film about a background actor for a long time. Their fleeting moments on screen are taken for granted, but their roles can be so emotive and bring so much life and atmosphere to a scene. I wanted to find a way to focus on that, make it personal, and explore other themes along the way. I didn’t know how to find the right candidate, but one day I stumbled across an online community of film fans who liked to identify extras in the background of old British films. Jill Goldston had been spoken about as one of the most prolific but she hadn’t been spotted that much on the forum.
I got in touch with Jill and she handed me the list of jobs she’d worked across film and TV. There were almost 2,000 entries spanning over 50 years. So much of her life was captured on screen from being a teenager all the way to becoming a grandmother. Jill was the perfect subject: a distinctive performer with such warmth, who nevertheless was able to go unnoticed in the peripheries of a scene. So I went about the extensive task of sourcing material, and finding Jill in as many things as possible – with some helpful contributions from the forum too.
Alongside this process, I spoke with Jill several times as she reflected on her life and career. Collecting Jill’s beautiful performances and listening to her own perspective on them gave me what I needed to tell her story, although it took a lot of experimentation to figure out how I wanted to tell it.
Do you have a favourite moment in the film? Which one and why this one?
My favourite moment is probably the middle section on the London Underground where Jill’s appearance as a commuter becomes progressively more obscured. It was one of the earliest sequences I put together and it was inspired by a story Jill had told me when we first met, about the lingering emotional impact of acting out dramatisations of real-life traumatic events. This sequence is made up of three very different films from the 70s and 80s. By chance, Jill is wearing a yellow coat in all three films, which helps tie it all together – the puzzle pieces just fell into place. Sometimes with archive films, the more you dig, the luckier you can get.
What do you like about the short form?
It’s easier to make a short film than a long one.
„I didn’t really feel an ambition to become a filmmaker specifically, but I’ve always had creative ambitions in film and music. In both cases, I think there’s an impulse to express ideas that play on my mind and bring about work that I myself would like to see. My hope is that then others might connect with it, and find some emotional or philosophical value for themselves.“
Interview with Anthony Ing for the Shorts Film Magazine Yellow Bread Shorts.