The Mill is a creative culture made up of talented individuals from different backgrounds. They work tirelessly to perfect their craft and hone new techniques, whilst inspiring and collaborating with those around them.
The Mill Spotlight Series highlights artists, technologists, producers and everyone in between, delving into their passion projects.
This week we sat down with Executive Producer Eliana Carranza-Pitcher to find out more about her role and what inspires her.
Tell me a bit about yourself and how you got into your field.
When I finished school in Colombia, my dream was to become a film director, but there wasn't much of an industry back then and opportunities to pursue this as a viable career in South America were very limited. Thankfully, my parents have always encouraged me to follow my passion so I ended up going to film school in Madrid when I was 17. While I was there, I directed my first 16mm short film just after I turned 18. It was a thrilling experience especially at such a young age.
After graduation, I decided to move to London. I was obsessed with the UK music scene and always hoped that one day I'd be making music videos for someone like Radiohead.
Little did I know that making a living in that field was really tough and London isn't a cheap city! So I decided to explore the possibility of working in post-production.
I worked in a couple of post houses before joining The Mill… I sort of fell into production and realised I wasn't bad at it. Production challenges me in different ways, it allows me to have control over the projects I manage and I get to work with super talented people that inspire me everyday. And I love it.
Who / what inspires you?
My biggest source of inspiration has been traveling. Discovering new cultures, learning from them, living in different cities and being part of them. It always motivates me to take risks in life.
Music and films also inspire me heavily, I can't imagine life without them. You can harness the power of inspiration and motivation by simply listening to your favourite songs or watching a great film.
Finally, my family. They always inspire me to work hard and help to keep me grounded.
What are you currently watching / playing with / listening to?
I'm currently watching the new season of the Handmaid's Tale, it's beautifully shot but dark and terrifying at the same time.
I've been listening to an album called Curao - it's collaboration between Quantic, a British music producer, and Nidia Gongora, an Afro-Colombian singer. Quantic's synths work magically with Nidia's traditional Colombian sounds. You can check it out if you want to expose your ears to something a bit different.
I've also been listening to "Is It Always Binary" by Soulwax, waiting for their new album to be released in June. It's an awesome electro record with a great mix of live instruments and vintage synths.
Traveling is a big part of what you do, tell me about some of the most interesting places you've travelled to, and what makes them special.
Iceland has been one of the most interesting places I've been to. It's pure and wild. Most Icelandics live in Reykjavik so when you travel around the country, there's a unique feeling when you're outside in such a big open space in complete silence. It forces you to look around in awe.
Iceland is majestic. Waterfalls, rainbows, glaciers, lagoons, geysers… its beauty is unmatched.
Tokyo also fascinates me for the opposite reasons. I went there for the first time last year and I can't wait to go back. It's the world's most populous metropolis. It's chaotic yet refined and both modern and old fashioned at the same time.
And I never get tired of traveling around my homeland, Colombia. It's a highly diverse and beautiful country. Colombia has the Andes, the Caribbean, the Pacific, the Amazon… all in one country! You can find every type of landscapes and weather and Colombians' warmth is contagious.
You often document your travels on Instagram - are you a big photography fan?
What is your favorite way to shoot? iPhone, digital, film?
Yes, I fell in love with photography from a very young age. I learnt how to shoot with a Canon AE-1 and loved spending time in the dark room…That camera has been with me since and I still use it!
Shooting in film is a different experience, every shot counts. Composing the shot, setting your aperture for that depth of field, adjusting the shutter speed, etc. makes me love the process of capturing an image. You have to make decisions and stick to them as there's no "delete button", but there are also happy accidents that don't tend to happen when you're shooting digital.
I must own about 8 cameras, a mixed of digitals and analogues, but about 2 years ago I got a digital Leica and we became inseparable! I can take it anywhere and the image quality rocks.
I snap with my iPhone too, it's easy and quick when there's a picture opportunity that you don't want to miss out on.
You can take a good picture with any camera, it's more about what you want to say and capture, your own interpretation of the world around you.
The pictures below were taken with the Canon AE-1 camera, the second image was captured with a Leica camera and the last image was shot with an iPhone camera.
Shot in a Canon AE-1
Shot in a Leica
Shot in an iPhone
What are your three top tips for young producers trying to make it in the industry?
1. Have confidence in yourself. If you face failures in the beginning, don't let them discourage you. Try until you succeed.
2. Manage your time efficiently. Sometimes it feels like there aren't enough hours in the day to complete your tasks which can be overwhelming. Don't believe stress is necessary, always plan ahead to try and avoid panic deadlines.
3. Be kind to the people you work with. It will take you a long way.