What is the best thing that I love about my work? Every day I get to be a connector of people. I get to connect filmmakers to media to secure publicity, I get to connect audiences to films and filmmakers and at times I also have the opportunity to connect filmmakers to people and resources that can assist them with things like production and distribution.
What is my idea of perfect happiness? I don’t really have an idea of ‘perfect’ happiness. I think it’s better to learn to be happy in the now instead of chasing an ideal. I really believe learning to live in the now and loving the now ends up leading to even more happiness. So perhaps that really IS perfect happiness!
What is my greatest fear? After living through a devastating earthquake here in Christchurch, New Zealand in 2011 I found that if I could get through that, I could get through anything. It meant that my fears started to melt away (PTSD from the quakes notwithstanding). My greatest fear used to be not being ‘enough’. I think that’s a common fear for many female entrepreneurs. But I know I am enough. It’s taken a long time to get to that realisation though, I can tell you.
What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? I am a stereotypical nit-picky Virgo so I’m super rigid when it comes to things like being on time. I wouldn’t say I deplore it in myself, but it’s something that I’m pretty sure annoys other people. I’m so strict on timelines!
Which living persons in my profession do I most admire? In terms of PR professionals I think Kelly Cutrone is fantastic. In terms of people in the film industry I most admire, I’d have to say all of the incredible female filmmakers I have had the privilege of working with over the past 3 years. In terms of people in the film industry I admire whom I haven’t worked with just yet, I’d say Ava DuVernay for sure- she actually has a background in PR prior to filmmaking! She’s an incredible inspiration.
What is my greatest extravagance? This is going to sound exceptionally boring, but given how busy I am my greatest extravagance is the ability to take a day off. It doesn’t happen often, and when it does it usually involves sleeping in and then having a day where I get my paints, markers and my art journals and canvases out and paint while drinking copious cups of tea and watching Netflix or things I’ve got saved on my DVR.
On what occasion would I lie? I wouldn’t. I’m very straight-up about everything. If I need to say something that may not be what another person wants to hear, I’m going to do it in the right way. Honesty in everything saves you a lot of grief later on, be it professionally or personally.
What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? The only thing I dislike in my work right now is the fact that it’s very much “feast or famine” when you work as a freelance consultancy. I’ve had months where I’ve had to turn clients away because we just don’t have space available, and other months where there’s crickets chirping. But if that’s the only thing I dislike in my work, I’m very fortunate indeed.
When and where was I the happiest, in my work? Oh that is a tough one because I love what I do so much that it’s hard to pick one defining moment or time. I think one of the happiest parts of my work is when we’ve been able to secure great media placements for a filmmaker, or if they’re crowdfunding being able to assist a filmmaker in getting 100% of their funds or more. That makes me supremely happy!
If I could, what would I change about myself? My height! I’m only 5’0” so you can imagine what that’s like when you’re at an event and chatting with people who are taller. I think I have a permanent neck ache from looking up.
What is my greatest achievement in work? The fact that I founded Film Sprites PR (my publicity and digital marketing consultancy for film) completely from the ground up. I had no support, I had no seed money…nothing. It was a risk that was worth taking and I’m proud of that.
Where would I most like to live? I didn’t have to think twice about this question: LONDON! I’m currently living in New Zealand right now, but I’m looking to eventually move to London to work for a studio in the UK after potentially selling Film Sprites PR. My grandparents were Londoners, and I had a very British upbringing because I spent so much time with my grandparents and loved them so much.
What is my most treasured possession? It sounds ridiculously dorky, but after I successfully founded Film Sprites PR and we began operating in April 2014 I bought a beautiful locket that was quite deep so you could stash a trinket in it. I put in it the faded ticket from the film viewing that inspired me to follow my dreams and work in the film industry. I wear that every day like a talisman. (You can read more about how Film Sprites PR came into being here: )
What is my most marked characteristic? I’m determined. No matter what life throws at me, no matter what’s happening, I stay true to my vision and my purpose so I can be of the absolute best service to the filmmakers I work with.
What is my most inspirational location in my city? I would say the Christchurch Cathedral. After the quakes it was basically a devastated shell of a church, but it’s still standing. There’s still debate over what will happen to it…but it’s still there. Prior to the quakes I would go in there quite often to contemplate and be at peace.
What is my favourite place to eat and drink in my city? I absolutely love Mumbaiwala. It’s an Indian restaurant that has magnificent décor and exceptionally delicious food. Even better, they serve the best mocktails I have ever tasted in my life.
What books influenced my life and how? The first book to really influence my life was The Hobbit. It was given to me to read by a teacher at the age of 8 and it was a book that has remained a favourite even now. I loved it because it was so exciting and extraordinary and so when the Hobbit trilogy came out I had hoped to be a part of it. That didn’t happen, but I still loved the end result! To Kill a Mockingbird has also been influential- I like to live my life in a way that would make Atticus Finch proud.
Who are my favorite writers? I love to read, so I have so many faves from different genres, but a few that come to mind right now are Camilla Lackberg, Alison Weir, Jim Butcher and Val McDermid.
Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden from the Dresden Files series of books. Harry’s witty, principled and a talented practitioner of magic all rolled into one. He’s very much 30’s noir detective meets magician.
Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? People in this world who are making a difference, no matter who they are: teachers, activists, artists, entrepreneurs and parents. For all the bad we see in the world, there are some very good people out there and they’re everywhere- you just have to look and be inspired.
Which movie would I recommend people see once in a lifetime? Ahhh! That’s like asking to choose a favourite child out of your children! If I absolutely had to choose one, I’d say Reservoir Dogs. I say that because it’s an example of how you can work with very few set transitions, minimal visual effects and still turn out an excellent, compelling story (with a killer- pun intended- soundtrack).
What role does art play in my life and work? Art is embedded in my entire life. I grew up learning to appreciate art in all its forms, and when I’m not working (which doesn’t happen often!), I’m a photographer and love to paint (as well as graphically designing greeting cards and posters as a side gig). And art is everything in my work, due to the fact I’m doing PR and digital marketing for films. You’re constantly being creative and honouring the art and creativity of the filmmaker.
Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? My partner. It’s been difficult for him to transition from having me working a 9-to-5 to being a publicist, but he’s been supportive throughout (even if he doesn’t understand what the heck I’m going on about most of the time- that’s OK, I don’t understand most of his work either because he works in physics and astronomy!)
Who would I like to work with in 2017? It would take me hours to rattle off who I would like to work with this year. I have a fairly long wish list for sure.
Which people in my profession would I love to meet in 2017? I’m definitely looking to meet even more people who are working within the large studios in the UK at the moment. It would be great to network and see things from their perspective, because I work a lot with independent films and/or microbudget films, so to see things from the mainstream in a wider context would be great. I’d also love to meet some of the filmmakers I want to work with (and potentially work with them).
What project, in 2017, am I looking forward to working on? There’s a project that’s currently in the works that I can’t say a word about because we’re currently hush-hush about it right now, but that’s one I’m really looking forward to because it’s going to be huge.
Where can you see me or my work in 2017? To keep up with everything we’re doing at Film Sprites PR and the films and filmmakers we’re working with, you can find us on Facebook (facebook.com/FilmSpritesPR), Instagram (instagram.com/FilmSpritesPR) and Twitter (twitter.com/FilmSpritesPR) as well as the Film Sprites PR website ().
What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? Passion for something (a career, hobby or cause) never expires. A passion for something goes beyond the 9-5. You never stop growing, learning or being passionate about something. And it’s never too late to pick up a passion for a particular thing, either. Passion for something you love to do transcends traditional boundaries.
Message of the founder of The Heroine’s Journey Project Peter de Kuster
When you want to support The Heroine’s Journey project buy here one of my books about The Heroine’s Journey.
You can buy Peter’s Books here