TenEighty speaks to writer and director Sammy Paul about his new film, Diary of a Tortured Artist.
Diary of a Tortured Artist made its debut during the Short Films Screening at Toronto’s Buffer Festival in September, and stars Bertie Gilbert as the “tortured artist” and Khyan Mansley as the narrator of said artist’s diary.
Speaking to TenEighty, writer and director Sammy Paul describes the video as “a weird mix of comedy, but [also] kind of self-deprecating [and a] little bit self-reflective”. The various diary entries showcase the innermost thoughts of the tortured artist, from a reflection on snakes and ladders to the idea that humans are pretty much glorified funnels.
Compared to the content regularly seen on Sammy’s channel, Diary of a Tortured Artist features a much different direction. When asked where the idea came from, he explains it started with a mixture of ideas he’d collected on his phone: “I have this document called ‘Seeds’ that’s just, like, seeds of ideas,” he says. “As I was reading through them, I was like, ‘This is actually really funny just to read, this series of really half-baked ideas.’ So, essentially, I turned all of those half-baked ideas into a series of diary entries from the titular tortured artist.”
And that's a wrap on Diary of a Tortured Artist.
— Sammy Paul (@ICOEPR) August 1, 2017
Filming for Diary of a Tortured Artist occurred during the summer. When asked about the aforementioned involvement of Bertie and Khyan, Sammy explains they were given very little information about the film in advance: “I didn’t give either of them much context as to what we were doing. I don’t even know if Bertie heard the narration before getting on set. I guess – because, [with] narration, you get a bit more context – [Khyan] sort of knew a little more about it. It was kind of a mystery to both of them.”
Those wishing to watch Diary of a Tortured Artist can do so via Sammy’s YouTube channel.