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We are Makers and Creators: Lecturer Roter Su

Meet Subject Leader for MA Moving Image and Sound, Roter Su; lecturer, director and filmmaker.

Roter is a practicing filmmaker and director, sharing his expertise with our MA Moving Image and Sound and BA (Hons) Film and Moving Image Production courses. We met Roter on set in London. This blog serves part of our Makers and Creators photo series, showcasing our talented staff.

Tell us a bit about your practice

Most of my practice is about revealing either individual or collective identity on subjects’ liminal status socially, culturally and nationally. To capture and present subjects’ representations, I always aim to utilise my skill to provide them voices on film.

I took this approach in my PhD, which I applied documentary making as my main practice to discover the subjects’ representations under the concept of Postcolonialism and Postmodernism. 

While I enjoy storytelling and making narrative films, I am also interested in abstract moving image and sound making. Always keep balance between my professional practice and personal creation. I enjoy teamwork and I am keen on collaborating with artists in different areas, as I believe inspiration can be sparked from those thoughtful and wonderful encounters.   

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Where and how do you find your inspiration?

I have a wide range of interests in film, photography, music and art. I like observing people and interacting with them, I get a lot of ideas to create interesting characters for stories. Travelling is also the time when I get a lot of inspiration to understand and appreciate different cultures, languages, cityscapes and landscapes.

What do you like working on the most?

I have worked on several documentaries and it is a privilege and wonderful journey that I have permission to document the subjects in order to present their stories.

I truly enjoy the process of building up a very close relationship with the subjects as well as how they accept me not only as a filmmaker but also their friend who they trust.

Alongside my practice, I really enjoy sharing my filmmaking knowledge and experience with students in NUA. The way I see the teaching approach at NUA is that we aim to foster a reciprocal environment not only for students but also for lecturers. This means in the class, not only students learn new things from me, but I am also inspired by their creative thoughts and work.

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What advice would you give to a student wanting to get into filmmaking?

There is no magic in filmmaking because we (filmmakers) are the ones to make the magic happen. This will require a lot of plans and practices as well as rigorous research, creative and critical thinking. At the same time, being open minded and adventurous is always essential to pursuing your ambitions. And I believe having a pair of keen eyes to observe the details of things surrounding you is significantly helpful to your work.  

“…being open minded and adventurous is always essential to pursuing your ambitions”

Roter Su

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What’s the one piece of technical kit you just could not live without in your practice?

I think filmmaking is not about technical kit; instead, I think filmmaking is about the way you see things. And that will tremendously impact on your work whether it is the compositions, perspectives, and lighting of your cinematography, pacing and way of storytelling in editing, or structure and details in sound design.

And that’s why your moving image or film work always represents you, because it comes from your heart.  

MA Moving Image and Sound

Photography by Denisa Ilie, BA Photography graduate.