Equal parts creative and charismatic, Veronica Wood has forged a career out of sharing different perspectives with the world. Currently doing a stint in LA, the Sydney-sider has recently branched out on her own, founding a production company. Here, the filmmaker talks about her love for videography and how personal style is an extension of one’s creative philosophy.
Photography by Christopher Lane Hess.
Tell us a little about your life’s journey, where you grew up and how you ended up in LA?
"I’ve always loved travelling and discovering new places, even if it’s just down the road. Growing up I couldn’t wait to travel the world. After school, I received all my qualifications and hit my bucket list, travelling to India, Europe, and the Middle East. Six years ago I settled back down in Sydney, where I’ve been lucky enough to work with deeply inspiring people and refine my craft. Last year I felt ready to start my own video production company. I knew I had to allow myself to let go of the safety net and really own the direction of my career. In February, my opportunities clearly pointed to LA, so I packed my bags. I’m living in the fashion district in a live/work warehouse apartment, working with some really lovely clients, working hard and giving it a go."
What was it that ignited your passion in film?
"I love the way film can help you see differently. It’s the closest you can come to being in someone else’s world, and by doing so, you learn about your own. As a filmmaker, you know how tell a different story by changing the frame. The same is true with your life story - if you can change your lens, change your angle, change your frame - you can create something new."
You founded the production company, Strange Paradise, could you talk us through that journey?
"Working as a videographer, producer and editor at Junkee Media, I was most often filming travel videos for Qantas - such an amazing job. I learned how to shoot on the move with a small crew. But for me, the real challenge was not gaining the skills, but the growing the confidence as a young woman to go out on my own. Your differences can be your strengths, and I’ve learned to trust my vision. The industry and the way we consume video content is changing so rapidly, it’s a very exciting time to be part of that evolution."
Is there a certain creative philosophy that weaves throughout your practice?
"The company name, Strange Paradise, is shortened from the 1984 Jim Jarmusch film, Stranger than Paradise. Our work strives to broaden our perspective of the world, and to remember that our beliefs shape our vision. When we open to new things, we receive so much."
Is there any idea or person who serves as a constant source of inspiration?
"I love playing with concepts of memory and reality - because both are really malleable - and yet we oftentimes perceive them as quite solid and fixed. That fluctuation and alchemy is something that's always fascinated me."
Style is also a creative thought, how does yours translate? How would you describe your style?
"Style is a fun way to be creative every morning getting ready! It’s something you can enjoy curating and evolving. My wardrobe tends to change as my environment changes. Right now my MO is wearing lots of earth colours, because they feel very grounding."
What are three pieces you can’t live without?
"I love a snuggly jacket on chilly weekend mornings; a sturdy bag that holds its own is necessary for long days; and the single best thing ever – comfortable business shoes."