Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Interview with filmmaker Michael Cuenca

Jerry Powell & the Delusions of Grandeur will premier at the Straight-Jacket Guerrilla Film Festival

*How did you get into making films? 
I used to play with action figures ’til I was maybe 11, or 12. And I’d come up with all these stories and I’d tape them with my parents’ camcorder. During school, instead of writing essays, etc. I would make short films, too. So I’d put all this effort into that sort of stuff. By then I was becoming a huge cinephile and I took a film history college course when I was 16 and still in high school (dual enrollment). I was blown away by all this stuff I had never been exposed to: from the great silents to the French New Wave, etc. I started writing scripts in my late-teens. And I tried to get people to give me money for them, with no luck. So I started to save everything I earned. I made my first feature film — which I couldn’t complete and ended up cutting it down as a short — in 2008. 

*What inspired you to make your movie? 
Well, JERRY… in 2011 I was living in an artist house. You know, a bunch of people — musicians, filmmakers, creatives — living together in a house, splitting rent, sharing rooms, rooming in the backyard in a tent. I was unemployed and was living with Joe Halter (who plays Jerry), and whenever our mutual girlfriends would go out to their band practice, we’d just hang out, having nothing better to do. Joe would slip into this New Jersey persona.. This character was a misanthrope, pissed off at everybody and everything. And I wanted to make a series of sketches to showcase Joe’s talent and this character. So when I first started writing what became JERRY POWELL, it was very episodic. Hence, the first quarter of the movie. And then I got the idea to just make it into an entire DIY feature. Why not? I thought it would be fun. Putting this character into this crime-fiction universe, stylized in black and white… and he also was an unreliable narrator. Pretty much inspired by all the stuff at the time that I was reading, or exposing myself to. 

*How has your style evolved? 
Since JERRY? JERRY was made in 2011. And my latest feature I’LL BE AROUND was completed earlier this year. In a way, that flick encapsulates everything I’ve learned in my past dozen years as a filmmaker. I do love long takes. I wish I could do more of them, but, it’s tough when you make guerrilla/DIY films. Anything can happen. I don’t think my style would truly evolve without some financing, to be honest - haha. 

*Tell us any strange or funny stories while making the film? 
Wouldn’t call it funny. But it’s on the strange side. When we were making the flick… a hood pulled out a gun on us. It’s the scene where Jerry is talking to the camera and Donna yells out, “Street dogs!”. Small crew. Shooting at nite. Pretty much wearing all-black. DP Ammo was buried behind a cloak over the camera. So maybe this guy thought that Brittany Samson (“Donna”) was yelling out, “Street thugs!”. We don’t know. This guy is with his homies or whatever, hanging outside of their car in a parking lot. And he’s a bit away from us. But he’s yelling random stuff out while we’re shooting. And Joe, who never breaks character stops and goes, “Wait…” looking out in that guy’s direction and he goes, “I think that guy’s got a gun.” And we stop and go, “What?” We look and the dude is leaning against his car, gun resting on its side, on the roof of the car. And he says, “Fuck you sayin’, Hawaiian Boy?” Jerry’s wearing this tropical-esque shirt in the scene. And the dude comes directly towards us, gun behind his back, his buddies egging him on from their position. He goes up to Joe and starts cussing him out. And Joe completely becomes submissive — which was a good thing. And he tells the guy that hey, we’re just shooting a movie, we’re not causing any trouble, etc. And I look, the next parking lot over, this cop had pulled over a car and were talking to the passengers. This guy with the gun, looks at us, looks at Joe, sees the camera, waits a beat and goes, “Okay”. And he leaves. Just like that. We get the fuck out of there. The funny part is that the guy had a limp the entire time because one of his legs was in a cast! And this was our first official day of shooting. The next day I get an email from our scriptee and she wrote, “You guys are very brave for what you’re doing and I wish you good luck on the project but I have to quit.” (!!) Now, the strange part is that in front of this building we were shooting behind of— the building is on Sunset Blvd. in Los Angeles, very busy area — maybe a month before this, a young man had been shot and killed. The young man actually lived in the building. A couple of years go by and Joe moves into, not only the same building, but finds out he moved into the guy’s same apartment! 

*The Misrule Film Movement & Pink8 manifesto bring what to mind? 
Punk rock. Just do it. 

*What can we expect from your next film? 
I was set to make a sequel to my experimental second flick BY THE WAYSIDE, catching up on the characters eight years later, but due to life circumstances and what have youse, we’re going to have to wait maybe a year or two before we tackle that one. If we tackle that one. Would love. The first flick was entirely improvised, without a script. This time we have a script, but the dialogue will be improvised. And I think we came up with a fantastic story that will make the first one better when watched back-to-back. I’ve been filming THE BOYS ABOUT TOWN since 2018. That one follows the friendship of two best friends in their early-twenties, and both are obsessed with the Mod subculture and just alternative music in general, and it’s about their friendship and the changes you go through in your early-twenties. I have an anthology movie, slightly interconnected stand-alone stories, that I’LL BE AROUND co-writer Dan Rojay, and ‘Oblivion’* writer Asheel Elfman and I penned. Very excited about that one. After the anthology one I’m taking a crack at my first serious non-comedy. 
Oblivion was my half-hour long punk-inspired web series that we worked on from 2008-2010.

Interview with filmmaker Allabhya Ghosh

Lockdown will permier at the Straight-Jacket Guerrilla Film Festival

*How did you get into making films? 
From a very young age, I like to think and telling stories.I was famous in my primary to high school friends for the every day new stories.The stories come from my life.In my childhood, I used to live near the Zamindar palace at Tollygunge in Kolkata.I never entered the palace;But my imagination was very comfortable to revolted around the garden and in the beautiful palace.Those imaginations become my everyday story. My stories and fantasy were looking for methods of expression.In those days a bioscopewala was very popular among children.I got confirmed that I would make myself a bioscopewala. But the dream was broken.I was unable to create a projector with useless spectacular spectacles.But I made a pinhole camera and was start dreaming with antagonistic images. 

*What inspired you to make your movie? 
This is not a story of a day.From early days I am very home keeping.In my childhood, I used to play wedding game with dolls like a girl.In fact, by the doll I arranged for family drama, parade and fight in those days.This was the first methods of my dramatic expression.After that, I start writing, drawing & clay modelling was interested in art, music, drama, and literature.In group theatre; Joined.When I was acting film, television and opera theatre; Writing script for others; I was not satisfied.I started the children's street drama group.My friend wanted to make a short film on my story.I was not only a screenwriter of his film, I helped him in direction, shot division, music design, make-up, artist selection and other activities.The film was selected at the Kolkata International Film Festival.I was surprised; I had a small credit in the credit list.I left all my jobs and decided to make my own movie.I became more poor.But among the difficulties, I have succeeded in making my debut film "The Thief".Life inspires me to tell the story at any cost through any art form.The demand for large canvas and composited art inspired me to make my own movie. 

*How has your style evolved? 
The style of my film depends on the story or the subject.I have no definite style. panning, tracking or static camera, dialog or without dialog, music or without music, silent or sound in my film give importance to the storytelling.I look forward to a new style of storytelling for my every movie.I like versatility in my films.I am not grammatically correct. My filmmaking style comes naturally, spontaneously with its love of art, with the passion of the heart. 

*Tell us any strange or funny stories while making the film? 
This is my first independent film which is people’s film and it is about people and for people. "Lockdown" is an experimental mobile film. This film has been made with some Facebook friends from India and Bangladesh during quarantine. 
1) What is love; it is eaten or coated? 
2) Who did you benefit from being born? (What's so significant about a birthday?
3) Is your religion human or animal? (Does religion provide you to eat or does it prove the eligibility of the usefulness of the biodata?
4) What do you mean by politics? (Giving speech or ration to please the people or licking the position of king? 
5) Are you afraid of Corona virus or are you afraid of illiteracy and poverty? (What is the biggest virus indeed?
6) If death really knocks your door, what would you do to make it wait? 
7) What would you do if you were made the Prime Minister or President of this country or the God? (Would you be careless about what happens? Would you sing? Would you dance? Would you clap on the side in joy? Or travel abroad happily? 
8) What do think at the moment? Are people's lives expensive or the economy of the world? 9) Do you realize something new in life from being locked at home? (Is it freedom or subjugation?
10) What do you mean by educated? At what stage are you now; educated, uneducated or semi-educated) We are trying to make a film at home using the time during quarantine to find the answers of some questions. 

*The Misrule Film Movement & Pink8 manifesto bring what to mind? 
I think need a parallel culture. And I also feel proud that I am practising the culture which is completely against the ruined mainstream. Misrule Cinema Movement (2010-2016) & Pink8 manifesto have a great backing for independent filmmakers to the government's disbanded, micro budgets films. 

*What can we expect from your next film? 
Film is very expensive media for us.We are tirelessly trying to make independent films without compromising arts. We think ; this type of film is not art for art's sake . It is art for human's sake.We are trying to rise ethics, integrity, individuality, dignity, love, faith, etc more important human values.Which are the basic ingredients of all cultures and religions . We are friend of general people

Interview with filmmaker Hector M Aguilar

Some Be will premier at the Straight-Jacket Guerrilla Film Festival

*How did you get into making films?
Since I was five years old I have been attracted to tell stories. Back then I was doing comics. At thirteen I took my mother's VHS camera and made movies with my friends in the summer. At the age of 17 Bad Taste, Fando and Lis and 8 1/2 confirmed to me that I wanted to dedicate my life.

*What inspired you to make your movie?
I love being behind the camera, telling stories. I am fascinated by the power that cinema gives you to create your own micro-universes within it. And the impact that cinema can have and how you can affect someone with a film.

*How has your style evolved?
For the past 10 years I have been making video clips for independent bands. That helped me to polish the technique and to define my style. I'm still searching.

*Tell us any strange or funny stories while making the film?
Recording Some Be here in the city where I live, Cancun, it was a scene on a big avenue, with abandoned traffic and dead bodies on the pavement. We asked permission to close the avenue for a few hours and the traffic police supported us. We were starting to block the scene, when suddenly ambulances, Federal Police, the Army and the Navy arrived, as they had reports from citizens calling emergency numbers. They hadn't realized we were recording from a movie. In less than 15 minutes we already had the press and the media with a drone flying over the film set. This is understandable in a city where violence from drug cartels has increased in recent years. That day we gained 1000 followers on our fanpage.

*The Misrule Film Movement & Pink8 manifesto bring what to mind?
I think that these types of movements are very necessary so that the world knows other voices and another way of doing things.

*What can we expect from your next film?
Well, currently we are about to start the development stage to raise my second film, a social story and also comes the second part of Some Be, which is being rewritten day by day with everything that is happening in the world with this pandemic that we live.

Interview with filmmaker Peter Rajesh Joachim

Blood Empire will premier at the Straight-Jacket Guerrilla Film Festival

*How did you get into making films? 
Film-making has always been a passion of mine. A perfect escape mechanism to get away from life's troubles. Also my mother was a well known stage and drama director so she played a major role in my decision to get into films. 

*What inspired you to make your movie? 
I was always fascinated by the darker side of humanity and their struggles to achieve salvation. There is nothing complex in Blood Empires. A simple examination of character tests and circumstances. 

*How has your style evolved? 
I learnt alot from my first film and fine tuned my skills especially in the areas of pre and post-production. I am eager to start production on my second feature which is going to be a comedy about the adventures of people who seek fame in Hollywood. 

*Tell us any strange or funny stories while making the film? 
On the 3rd day of production our lead actress dropped out which caused us a lot of grief but we managed to persevere and get the film made. I remember how supportive the cast and crew were towards the production. We went out and got the coverage for the day and also got some amazing off script shots which lightened the mood of everyone. Looking back one could say that was one kind of a funny experience we all can never forget. 

*The Misrule Film Movement & Pink8 manifesto bring what to mind? 
A relatively unheard of movement started by film-making students in USA. A kind of anti-studio, anti establishment movement which supported DIY principles which is very common today. 

*What can we expect from your next film? 
Laughs, action and fun.

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Interview with filmmaker Laura Grace Robles

Alice In Acid Wonderland will premier at the Straight-Jacket Guerrilla Film Festival

How did you get into making films? 
While studying art at the University of Texas at San Antonio I took a video art class with Leslie Raymond, now the Ann Arbor film festival executive director. I was assigned to make my first short film. It was then that I developed a love for film making. After that i couldn’t stop making films. The class was very inspiring and motivating for dreams I had of becoming a director like my Mother. 

What inspired you to make your movie? 
I was wandering YouTube watching all kinds of different versions of Alice In Wonderland, so I thought it would be cool to compile some of these different versions into my own acid version. 

How has your style evolved? 
I’ve always tried to contribute some kind of dream like interpretation to my films. Eventually I started becoming more interested into the “ACID” idea of psychedelic transformation for my films into to an acid dream experimental video art film form which I conceptualised my films with an Acid Dream Experimental Video Art film making manifesto which i wrote after directing DICA The Acid Dream Experiment and my latest film Alice in Acid Wonderland. Tell us any strange or funny stories while making the film? The funny thing I guess is that even though I was directing Alice In Acid Wonderland an acid film I never really actually tripped on acid. 

The Misrule Film Movement & Pink8 manifesto bring what to mind? 
It brings to mind challenges that most film making standards don’t expect you to follow through with. Its exciting how DIY the movement is and accepting to those rebel artists who have been doing these sorts of things all along. 

What can we expect from your next film? 
I’m not sure what to expect from my next film but I do know it will be very dream like and have some kind of psychedelic characteristics. I’m thinking of directing a film titled Acid Cinderella.

Interview with filmmaker Lazaro Mareco

Curtido will premier at the Straight-Jacket Guerrilla Film Festival

How did you get into making films? 
Cinema interested me since I was a child but I saw it as something distant, unattainable. After many years of dedicating myself to theatre, I made up my mind and moved to Buenos Aires to study filmmaking. It was only then that I started writing my own scripts and filming short films. 

What inspired you to make your movie? 
My film talks about a provincial actor frustrated by the lack of opportunities. This is what happens with artists who try to exercise their profession in small places. That is an experience that I know very well and it touches me closely. From there, I imagined a lonely and self-destructive character (an actor over forty) suffering from a lack of professional achievement. Instead of going in search of opportunities to bigger cities, he does the opposite, takes the opposite path, isolating himself from society in the middle of the countryside. 

How has your style evolved? 
I still don't think I have my own style. That would be one of my goals. I am in full search, on a path of experimentation that leads me to find that uniqueness that every artist must have. I hope to get it sometime even though I'm in no rush. What worries me the most is being able to continue filming and that is enough. 

Tell us any strange or funny stories while making the film? 
We started filming Curtido (Hardened) in January, it is the middle of summer in my country. The temperatures are really very high and the heat is unbearable. I needed that what was seen on the screen was the opposite, that is, a cold climate. So I asked the costume designer to wear winter clothes. The actors hated me for this. We had to stop filming for them to cool off a little bit between takes. It was necessary to fight so that perspiration that was permanent was not noticed. It was difficult but in the end we were happy with the result. 

The Misrule Film Movement & Pink8 manifesto bring what to mind? 
I did not know the movement or the manifesto before meeting the Festival. When I met you, I also got to know your ideas about the movies, of which I feel identified. I was born, live and produce my films in the province of Formosa (Argentina), which is very small compared to the big city in the world. For this reason, it is very difficult to access industrial cinema and many times we are totally oblivious to the stories they tell us. For this reason, we experience alternative modes of expression that are consistent with who we really are. 

What can we expect from your next film? 
My next movie is also about a village character. A woman tied to social and religious conventions who feels overwhelmed by her surroundings but also by the decisions I make in her life. From a series of events, she will be able to see that there are other ways for her, very different from those she knows. You should only be encouraged to take them. I think these characters reflect a somewhat invisible part of the society of my country. My idea is to continue telling stories where they are reflected.

Interview with filmmaker Ray Robison

Vampire Cap will premier at the Straight-Jacket Guerrilla Film Festival

*How did you get into making films?  
Right out of high school I went to art school. I was just 18 years old and spending 6 to 9 hours every week drawing and painting nude models. I remember being very nervous about it at first but quickly it just became something I did as a part of my creative routine. Toward the end of my second term a friend from high school came to visit and he told me of the program he was in at another college that included photography, television and film.  As soon as he mentioned film I knew that was what I wanted to do. It would be the medium which would replace my pencils and paints. I felt that it was a much more powerful medium and way to communicate to others. So I transferred schools and enrolled in the film program. It would be over 20 years after I graduated before I would finally start making the films that I wanted to make. 

*What inspired you to make your movie? 
I knew I was going to be furloughed from my job for a couple months so I scheduled surgery with the idea that I would spend the furlough time recovering. But a month before the fulough was to begin I was prescribed a new drug that eliminated my need for the surgery.  So now I had a couple months off from work with nothing scheduled so I decided it was an opportunity to make my third ultra low-budget feature. I had previously made "Die Before I Wake" and "Sixes and the One Eyed King". So there wasn't any specific inspiration to make the film other than my passion for filmmaking and an opportunity of time that availed itself. 

*How has your style evolved?  
As I mentioned in my response to the first question it was over 20 years after film school that I really got to make the films I wanted to make. That was because during those 20 years I was making low-budget TV commercials. It paid the bills and was a good way to hone my filmmaking skills so I don't regret making all those television commercials.  It really helped me learn how to create films without money - though of course it is always nice to have a budget. I knew when I started my first feature I could do it with very little money. My style is based a great deal on my working for so long without budgets but also after being strapped down by commercial requirements it was quite freeing to self-finance a film and just do it the way I wanted.  I'd say I stay away from filming trends and maybe I stay away from trends in general as I've never really felt too connected to American culture. My mom was raised in a world of eastern philosophy and even though I grew up in the US my mother's perspected was definitely a part of who I was and am. So I just go with what I like whether it is the current style or not. I want to be able to be as eclectic as my budgets will allow. Specifically to "Vampire Camp" it borrows a lot from the beach movies of the 60's, like "Ghost in the Invisible Bikini" and the low budget comedies of the 40's and 50's like "Abbot and Costello meet Frankenstein".  But you notice "Vampire Camp" is not very similar to my previous feature films. Like I said, I like being eclectic. 

*Tell us any strange or funny stories while making the film? 
Reuben Rox plays a character in the film that the vampires leave alone. One of the reasons is that he is constantly eating garlic. I told him he could just palm the garlic hiding it in his hand while bringing it to his mouth instead of actually eating it.  He insisted it was fine so he ate garlic cloves in each of his scenes. There were a couple times he needed a break from chewing on the garlic but I'm amazed he never got sick. 

*The Misrule Film Movement & Pink8 manifesto bring what to mind? 
I went to film school which a lot of independent filmmakers view as a waste of time. Not to debate that opinion I will say that I studied filmmaking and not film. I do see a difference.  I don't know what other film school programs encompassed but where I went it was more about learning how to make a film from a technical and basic aesthetic direction and not a lot of over anylysing film styles and admiring the work of over praised filmmakers. All I was looking for was a way to make the films I wanted to make. The Misrule Film Movement & Pink8 manifesto to me bring attention to so much that is unfortunate in humanity - a lack of adventure in creativity - both from film audiences and filmmakers. What is popular is mainstream and mainstream exists for the purpose of making money so big business filmmaking brings in the masses to watch the same formula remakes and sequels. Sadly most audiences are not willing to take a risk on an unknown film and because of that we as an artistic community cannot grow. 

*What can we expect from your next film? 
I never know what to expect from my next film so can't really tell you what to expect. I've been doing a lot of short films lately but really want to get back to making another feature.  Some of the options I am exploring are: "And Evil Makes 8" a blend of the typical horror setup where people gather at a cabin in the woods and cosplayers; a film called "The Other N-word" that I wrote as a sequel to "Besetment" which I executive produced but looks like I will need to disassociate it from "Besetment". None the less if you haven't seen "Besetment" you should - it is fucked up. And of course I would love to do a sequel to "Vampire Camp" called "Zombie Camp".

Interview with filmmaker Ungyu Yeo

Making 100 Friends From All Over The World - premier at the Straight-Jacket Guerrilla Film Festival

*How did you get into making films? ​ 
I’m a movie buff. Sometimes I was into a bunch of Hollywood movies, and sometimes I was into some deep European art films. But when it comes down to it, I always wanted to be a film-maker since I was little. ​ 

*What inspired you to make your movie? ​ 
I love traveling. I’ve visited around 32 countries so far. Along the way I just wanted to film something fun while I’m traveling. ​ 

*How has your style evolved? ​
Making 100 Friends From All Over The World is not only a travel documentary but also a mockumentary and documentary comedy. I love the whole process that we reach the truth from the untruth. ​ 

*Tell us any strange or funny stories while making the film? ​ 
I hate geckos! (You know what I mean?) ​ 

*The Misrule Film Movement & Pink8 manifesto bring what to mind? ​ 
Freedom. ​ 

*What can we expect from your next film? ​ 
I’m not sure yet but I think I will make something meaningful in the UK soon.

Interview with filmmaker Halle Capone

Misfits Of The Profane will premier at the Straight-Jacket Guerrilla Film Festival

How did you get into making films? 
I moved to Los Angeles when I was 20 to get into film. I started taking my writing more seriously and made the decision. It’s like a domino effect from there. I spent my time working as an AD on some projects and learned a lot, ultimately supplying me with the practical knowledge that I could make a feature with a crew of two. 

*What inspired you to make your movie? 
Real female stories. Real humanism in the streets of LA. Stories I’ve heard over the years from living and existing here. The confidence to be heard. Probably too much to write here. But all in all, to see if I could do it with the resources I had available. 

*How has your style evolved? 
This is my first feature film. So in short, we shall see! 

*The Misrule Film Movement & Pink8 manifesto bring what to mind? 
Given the world will be so different with virus threats now, I think the message of the manifesto and Misrule are probably more prevalent than ever. Although I subscribe to it nominally, my focus is on storytelling. I really love writing. The movements themselves are freeing, and sending the right message that you can just go out and do it. Technology is here and cinema is achievable through your fingertips. I can get behind that message. I co-founded a club with Gabriel Hans Durst in LA called The Hollywood Guerrilla Film Club where we focus on that notion, get out there and shoot. We made Misfits of the Profane together, we were the only crew besides cast. 

*What can we expect from your next film? 
You can expect that I’ll break the boundaries of traditional cinema. What one can accomplish with a small amount of money, to produce quality narrative stories that evoke consideration and thought.

Interview with filmmaker Natthaphon Amorntut



*How did you get into making films? 
I am script writer and director my  investor told me have film project story about religion value of life. I saw something have value to the audience. I need do it. 

*What inspired you to make your movie? 
I need expression to life value 

*How has your style evolved? 
My style develop from short film scrip writer cinematographer 

*Tell us any strange or funny stories while making the film? 
Every day to shoot film my crew is funny  make more smoke of mistake every day 

*The Misrule Film Movement & Pink8 manifesto bring what to mind? 
I think so strange and other art films. 

*What can we expect from your next film? 
I think about make film from my spirit.