Phillip Van does what he loves, and loves what he does. Take a look at the director’s body of work and you can easily see a natural proclivity for perspective, a celebration of landscapes and the delicate design of a beautiful narrative. With impressive accolades and awards under his belt (including D&AD and One Show awards and an MFA from NYU), Phillip is deeply inspired by people. This includes those whose story he is telling and also the team it takes to do so, behind the scenes. Although Phillip calls Los Angeles home, you’ll often find him packing, unpacking and prepping to be on set, where he just so happens to also feel very much at home. Despite being more comfortable on the other side of the lens, he welcomed us to spend some early morning time him, while he happily geared up for his next adventure.
“I love directing. Every project, job, commercial, or short is a study in craft. Blocking, lighting, rehearsing, shooting; it’s like being on a boat. Once you get your sea legs, normal life feels a bit like shore leave.”
“People inspire me more than anything else. Sometimes you meet someone and just think, ‘Oh man, how is it that you exist?’ I mean that in the best possible way. Separating character from story is nonsensical. They’re the same thing.”
“Filmmaking is entirely about collaboration, and if you collaborate well than you can preserve an idea while working with and appreciating the perspectives of other people.”
Phillip is wearing the Richmond in Red Havana