Mark Waters, a 23-year-old South African cinematographer and video editor, shared his day with The Bali Times’ Laurane Marchive
Bali never sleeps, because tourists go to bed at the time local people wake up, and I like the ambivalence.

Every day I wake up at a different time. My work is creative work, so I don’t have a schedule, and I don’t even have an alarm clock. I wake up when I feel like it, and I work when I am inspired. Whenever I see something I want to film, I work, but if I don’t feel creative, I don’t pretend.

But sometimes I like to wake up early, because at sunrise the light is special, and people are doing different things. During the morning, you can really see the identity of a country, and that is also what I like to do in my movies: Showing people things they would not usually see. I like wandering in the countryside or in the streets, observing people, trying to understand the culture and what their life is made of. This is easier to do in the early morning, because most of the tourists are still sleeping, and sometimes you can find places where Bali seems to be virginal and free from tourism. That is one of the reasons why Bali is interesting for me: it offers a lot of different sides. Bali never sleeps, because tourists go to bed at the time local people wake up, and I like the ambivalence.

I have lunch at warungs, especially ones where there are no Western people, because it’s important for me to meet Balinese, people who grew up here, who know the island and all its secrets. They are part of Bali life.

In the afternoon, if I don’t have inspiration for filming, I do some editing work. As I travel with my video camera, but also my computer, I can work everywhere. I do everything in my films – filming, editing, sometimes adding my voice and my commentaries – so I have to work a lot to be good in every field.

My movies are about travel lifestyle, and culture. That’s why Bali is perfect for me. I can focus on the surfing side and on the culture. It’s very interesting, because Indonesia is a multicultural nation, and for my work I have to go to a lot of different countries.

I like mixing, so for example the movie I am working on now will be composed of different sections, each one on a different country: I traveled to Thailand and Australia before coming here, and now I am staying for three months in Bali, which is short, but I think long enough to understand the essence of the island. Still, in every movie, I focus on extreme sports: skiing, snowboarding, surfing. My movies are not fictitious, but not documentaries either. They are visual art, and when I edit a movie, I have two aims: being esthetic, and showing what a country has to offer for people who like traveling and doing sports. My movies are supposed to inspire people to go and live their lives.

With experience, editing is becoming more and more easy, because I film only what I know I will use. In six months’ traveling, I just filmed nine hours, because I knew it was all that I needed. So now it is easier for me to edit. But even editing is a creative work; you have to be inspired to do it; it’s impossible just to sit and to wait for it to happen. Sometimes I don’t touch my camera for a long time, and sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night to film.

After working on the afternoon, most of the time I am hungry, and I feel tired, because this work requires a lot of concentration. So I go and have dinner at local restaurants with friends, or I go to the beach, watching the sunset; it makes me feel relaxed after all this creative energy. I also like walking on the beach, surfing to clear my mind. For me, evenings are the time to loosen up and enjoy the crazy Bali nightlife.

I make movies, but I work freelance, so it’s a little bit risky. I don’t have a website yet, and I am working on it, but I prefer my movies to be screened at festivals; it makes me feel closer from the public. But sometimes I worry about the future, because there’s no safe kind of creative work. If I am worrying about it, when I go to sleep, it comes to my mind that life is too good, and I know that when I leave Bali, I will miss the waves, the atmosphere, the sunset and also the taste of sambal.

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