With a background in documentary filmmaking, Swedish-born director Marcus Storm has a knack for uncovering the truth.

Now London-based, Storm, who's signed to Odelay, utilities this background to create work that feels authentic due to his practice of working with real people/non-professional actors and telling a heartfelt tale.

This authenticity can be seen in the handful of items he talks us through in this piece, from books on poetry and photography that inspire his outlook to the tools of his trade that help him realise it.

The Photography Books

When I get a new project to pitch on or when I need inspiration in any shape or form, I always start by picking up one of my photography books. They are a huge source of inspiration for me. 

The one I always go back to is The Ballad Of Sexual Dependency by my favourite photographer, Nan Goldin. She has a way to get really close and intimate with the people she photographs. 

That’s been a heavy influence in my work and something I always strive to get in my films, no matter if it’s commercial work or drama. 

Going through my books for this piece, I realise most of my books have one thing in common, which is that intimate docu-style. 

It really seems to resonate with me.

The Carving Knife

I’ve always been drawn to creating physical stuff. 

When I was younger, I built my own skateboard rails and obstacles. For the last few years, I’ve missed doing something with my hands (writing scripts and emails doesn’t count). 

In 2019, a friend invited me to an evening with wine and wood carving. We got to keep the knife and I just kept going and got really hooked. 

It’s the perfect thing when I need to focus on something different for a while. 

To lose myself in something physical and creative at the same time. 

I find it really therapeutic and it works as a sort of meditation for me.

The Skateboard

Skateboarding was my first true passion... and still is. 

I believe I started skating when I was around 9 or 10. 

When I skate, time ceases to exist. I’m transported to another world. It is still like that for me but nowadays it also has a therapeutic effect on me. 

Whenever I need to get a break from work, I go out and skate for a while. It always helps!

Skateboarding was also my gateway into filmmaking. It's the reason I picked up a camera and started filming. 

I was very inspired by the skate films I watched at the time, especially the ones that Spike Jonze was involved in. 

I remember that I was so disheartened because my films never looked as good as the ones I watched, and I couldn’t figure out why.

The Poetry Book

Someone recently told me about this book [Det här är hjärtat by Bodil Malmsten]. 

It’s about losing someone you love and it’s like a punch in the gut.

It was written by a Swedish poet called Bodil Malmsten. 

Reading this one taught me you can tell a powerful story with less. It opened up a new world for me to think in new ways on how to tell a story. 

It also gave me a few ideas for a series that I’m currently developing. 

The Cameras

I started taking photographs when I was around 17 or something like that. 

It became an extension of my love for films and filmmaking. 

Taking loads of photos, bad or good, has definitely helped me become a better filmmaker. It helped me get a better understanding of what makes a good and interesting image, and to explore different angles and how they affect the story you want to tell, no matter if it’s contained within that one photo or over a scene in a film.

Not in this picture is my Mamiya RB67, a lovely beast of a camera. 

I brought it to a shoot in Paris years ago, I walked around with it in my bag all day. 

I don’t think my back has fully recovered from it yet, but I love shooting portraits with it nonetheless!