Week 11 | Artist 11 of Created to Create 2017 | Milutin Petrović, Film Director
Milutin Petrović is a Professional Director, born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia in 1961. For more than thirty years, Milutin has been directing TV, film, theater and commercials. Petrović began his professional work in 1984; his highly acclaimed music show series "Hit of the month" developed a cult status and following in 80's and 90's popular scene and beyond. Throughout his carrier, Petrović directed dozens of music videos, television programs of all genres; ranging from live TV to fictional TV Series. Petrović directed five feature films, and continues to work extensively as a screenwriter, producer and editor. Milutin Petrović is currently a Professor of Film at KP in Belgrade. He has also been teaching at FMK, for the past 16 years. Milutin is also a musician.
Where were you born?
Belgrade, Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
Where do you live/work?
Belgrade, Republic of Serbia.
What fuels your desire to create?
"I've got nowhere else to go" as they say in the "Officer and Gentleman." “I wanted to fly jets and then I was stuck in some barrack with a bunch of psychos, harassing each other, polishing their shoes and worshiping flags.“
How do you overcome fear/doubt?
First, you're young and foolish, that's why you're brave. But, if you remain in this work long enough, then you can become “skilled guns for hire." You do what you have to do first, you practice, and then you get familiar with the discomfort of going into the dark and unknown over and over again...so you can persevere and create.
What is your greatest obstacle in working with self?
For me it is, my vanity and my fear. "Know thyself" is written at the Delphi entrance in Greece, it can mean that one has to understand how miserable one is, comparing to the gods. But, this does not imply that one should be a coward. I feel that “Prometheus” is good example - it is an excellent scenario. In my view, to be a coward, to be even an arrogant coward, sucks.
How do you heal from rejection?
Rejection to me is a similar to an injury an athlete would get, a sports injury. If you are a boxer, your injury forces you to deal with it, by healing your body, like healing arcade wounds or such; but when you are in this work, you simply start getting used to rejection wounds - you become somewhat immune to them; it is a professional hazard.
What are you inspired by NOW?
Well, the spirit is always here...or it’s not. If it isn't there, then “inspired'' is just a word without any meaning. The Spirit must be present to love you, and you just have to embrace it. That's it.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Don't be ashamed. Do not underestimate the fact that Jimmy Paige is so important to you. Do not underestimate your own excitement with drums and guitars; your passion is very important, young man. Listen to your own voice and try to ignore what your elders are telling you, their words are not important - it is noise; they don't have a clue.
Who has had a powerful influence on your work?
Bowie once said: “The music that you like while listening, is completely different than the music shows, when you start making some". I love the connections and influences between artists I respect, for example: Sinatra influenced Morrison. Morrison and Willie Nelson influenced Lydon. Listening to “The Doors” or PIL can bring to us a set of completely different associations. As for me, personally, I love listening to a few artists, while preparing a project and this is so important to me. But, when I am in the actual production process, I am faced with completely different influences, which surprises me.
What is your next project or a recent project?
For years, I have been planning to venture into simpler, more communicative structures/projects/forms. For years, I have wanted to step out from “art house" and into another form. I want to create films that communicate more directly/simply with its audiences. I want to create films that people would watch and connect with easily. I want to create films that, while watching them, the audience fully believes what is happening in front of their eyes. I think I'm ready for that step.
How do you reward yourself for a job well done?
I tell to myself - Okay, it seems that you're not a complete idiot...
When I complete a project, I am somewhat pleased with my work, I feel that there might be a very small possibility that I might not be a fraud, or a phony. I see our work and this business as a big, fun circus caravan. So, in moments that I am somewhat pleased with my work, I feel that there is a chance that I am not a phony, or a crook that simply joined this “caravan” for a ride, but that I actually have something valuable to contribute, as an artist.
Our work and the world of film production are often full of dishonest people and even crooks, which can leach on artist’s sense of play and our energy, and abuse it for their own advantage.
What are your hopes and dreams?
It is my hope and my dream that the work of great artists such as Tolstoy and Lennon would be the next step in the evolution of humanity. It is my hope that great art will defeat those who are representing and benefiting from crimes in the name of systems, organizations, greed and nationalism.
What is your advice to self in pursuing the business side of work? Do you have advice for making/producing your own work?
At this moment in history, my own country has been reduced to a status of a “banana republic," due to various dark political, economic pressures that Serbia has to endure. At this moment, in this country, only corruption and betrayal is visible; those qualities and values are the only ones that can be seen on the surface, due to a dark political and economic climate.
Now, try to imagine, you are watching the second season of "Narcos," and you decide to ask, one of the characters, someone living behind those walls, in the back: "What advice could you give me, about creating and reproducing your art?”
My advice is: SURVIVE and keep working in the bubble of your own creation. That's all you can plan; or try to hook up with dark forces and sell your soul so you can benefit from shady characters such as any secret service in your own country or beyond, in hopes of benefiting from this connection. The choice is yours.
What advice do you have for auditioning?
Just ignore those that conduct auditioning - the “gatekeepers;" disregard their opinions, their judgment, and their rejection. Work alone, if necessary, or with the greatest people you know. I feel that it is better to be a Van Gogh, all alone in the sunflower fields, than some molested apprentice on the scaffold of the Sistine Chapel. Rebel against the system, against the Pope and even against Michelangelo. Die, if need be, but die as an artist, as a rebel, a provocateur, rather than a conformist.
10 things that make you happy are...
Freedom is the most beautiful, love is the strongest and the truth is the sharpest thing in the world. The things that spice up my life are: movies, music, horses, snow, skiing, and the coast of the river Danube and red vine.
In 2017, SUPER SPACE is serving as a vehicle to facilitate Created to Create Project.
CREATED TO CREATE
INTRODUCING ONE ARTIST PER WEEK, FOR 52 WEEKS IN 2017.
Beginning, January, 1st, 2017
ACTORS, ARTISTS, THEATRE MAKERS, FILM MAKERS, DESIGNERS, TEACHING ARTISTS, STUDENTS all chosen because they spend a part each day creating. Artists will be chosen in no particular order.
Introduce artists from different parts of the world. People who use different mediums and whose practice is at a different skill level. A thing they all have in common is unique sense of style and self-expression.