Vasilis Kolokithas talks to us
On the occasion of the photography exhibition organized by Katheti about “Sotiris” taverna from 13 July to 31 October, we talked with Vasilis Kolokithas, the professional cinematographer and amateur photographer who depicted the inside of Poros island taverna where Katheti will shortly be hosted. Vasilis visited the historical building which remained closed for sixteen years and took some photographs that give the visitors of the exhibition the opportunity to take a glance at its inside.
Vasilis talked to us about his work and his future plans.
Tell us about your work.
I am a cinematographer and film editor, two things which sometimes align, but sometimes do not. After having worked as a professional for some years, I can only think of positive things to say about my job. It is fulfilling, it makes me want to improve more and more and I have never thought of quitting it. I work at production companies, on video clips, and other projects at the same time.
What is your relationship with the local area?
I grew up on Poros and I consider my generation a bridge between old and new things. I lived on an island where something would change all the time, but at the same time I lived through the stories my relatives and other people told me. Stories about an island, Poros, full of tranquility, traditional elements and wilderness. It is normal to evolve; we cannot avoid evolution neither at a material or a technical level. Unfortunately, though, apart from the cement we used for construction work, it seems as if we used cement over the island’s tranquility, romanticism, and tradition. In this period of my life, I am constantly away from Poros as my job keeps me in Athens.
How has crisis affected your work and your life and how do you deal with it?
Crisis… the economic crisis has affected my moves, but it never put a strain on my work and my creativity. Mental crisis pushed me to my limits many times. Many people worshipped crisis, prevented themselves from growing, stopped thinking or started thinking in any way but critically.
Which of your knowledge and personality traits have been most useful to you in your professional life?
I think what helped me more at my job are the creative approaches and clever solutions I can quickly come up with in order to solve a problem.
Is there an aspect of your personality or anything related to how you work that would like to improve? What are your weaknesses and how have they influenced you?
I believe that we keep on learning as life goes by. I feel that taking into account my experiences so far, I have a solid background. Of course, this is never enough. I am always looking for something new. However, I try to fill in any knowledge gaps as soon as I can in order for them not to affect my work.
Is there anything you would do differently? What do you consider as a right step in your career?
I would not say I have done anything wrongly – if I were to go back in time, I would do everything in the exact same way. I would like to have studied abroad, because there are more opportunities there. I can say that what I did well enough is the time when some things happened. I never pushed things to happen, I let them happen slowly instead, so that I could accept them and process them properly.
What piece of advice would you give to a young person who would like to do what you do?
Cinema, as well as the field of image and sound is a field that needs patient and creative people. There is a constant evolution and as long as you keep up with it you become better. However, the most important thing to me is that through audiovisual arts I managed to better understand both people and the world around me. I am always supportive to young persons who would like to work in cinema and I am willing to tell them about this wonderful journey I have made through my camera.
What are your plans for the future, short-term and long-term ones?
My plan for the near future is to keep on working on my projects, like the series of mini-documentaries about the historic taverna of Sotiris Kerras we are working on with Katheti, in the same pace, and also to manage to show this work abroad.
Would you like to talk to us about the photographic depiction of Sotiris Kerras taverna you just completed?
Some months ago, I found myself in Kerras historical taverna for the needs of an upcoming documentary location scouting. I then did what I do every time, taking pictures of the set so as to be able to study my frames better. Putting all those photographs in order, a small visual story which could be presented as a starting sequence was formed. Thus, this photography exhibition is nothing more than some peeping glances into the historical taverna which can introduce the public to all that is to follow.
Vasilis Kolokithas grew up on Poros and now he lives in Athens. He is a professional cinematographer with studies on audiovisual arts. For the last few years, he has been working in advertising and live events.