John B. Lowe, an instructor for the University of Winnipeg’s (U of W) theatre and film department, is a self-proclaimed emerging filmmaker, despite his experience.
“I’ve been dabbling for years,” Lowe says.
Initially, Lowe set out to be an actor before taking an interest in filmmaking. While pursuing acting, he travelled across Western Canada for work and lived in Vancouver, Banff, Edmonton, Kelowna and Winnipeg.
Since taking an interest in filmmaking, Lowe has created seven short films between teaching and being a father. Now, with COVID-19, Lowe is able to put more time and focus toward other film projects he’s been working on.
“I’m actually in post-production,” he says. “Very end of the post-production process of two short films.”
While he says short films might not be the most financially viable, Lowe finds they’re creatively fulfilling and interesting learning experiences. Between finishing up the short films and always thinking about what projects to work on next, Lowe has a lot on the go.
When it comes to honing his filmmaking abilities, Lowe finds he learns a lot from working with his academic and non-academic students.
“When you teach, and particularly if you’re teaching a creative endeavour, you can’t just give a lecture,” he says.
According to Lowe, it’s not all about information. It’s about creating experience(s) for students and drawing from one’s own knowledge to create a suitable environment.
By cultivating a learning experience for his actors, Lowe’s built up a deep understanding of his craft over the years.
“I would say the best training I’ve ever had as an actor is teaching.”
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
“I think to fly.”
What is something you’ve learned from your students?
“You can’t judge someone based on where they’re at now. Everybody has the potential to surprise you in so many ways, and that’s exciting.”
What do you like to do in your free time?
“I write. I drink red wine. I like a woodfire in my fireplace.”
Published in Volume 75, Number 11 of The Uniter (November 25, 2020)