Sunday, 10 June 2018

Interview with filmmaker ZACHOS SAMOLADAS

Dark Legend will be screening at the Straight Jacket Guerrilla Film Festival

*How did you get into making films?
- I grew up in the 70's and 80's with Godzilla, Star Trek and Star Wars films. I started animating at 15 and I loved the thrill of creation. I did about 6 animated shorts as an amateur before I decided to study animation.

*What inspired you to make your movie?
- What inspired me. Good question...I could say in an endless changing city, my love for vampires and gothic films. Greece has many vampires tales, some as old as 4000 years. I read a lot until a vampire bug stuck in my head and itched me to do the movie. And it was a thrill and a joy altogether.

*How has your style evolved?
- Growing up, means reading, researching, experimenting and studying. I am more technical now than I used to be, trying to be less obvious in editing and directing. 

*Tell us any strange or funny stories while making the film?
- Two many funny stories in a horror/suspense movie. There was one time shooting late at night long past midnight with two actresses playing vampires in a forest near the city and the scene ended with one of them killing and drinking the blood of the other. As I yelled "cut" and in a couple of moments of silence as the two actresses prepared to rise from the ground, we heard from a dark part of the forest (pitch black at 4 am) hands clapping. Then of a sudden two male figures started to walk past our outdoor set talking to each other. It was two junkies, stoned from weed. As they past as we heard one of them say "My man, this stuff was great, I even saw vampires in the forest"
In another incident, as we finished shooting, a special unit of the police arrived on the set with guns and everything. Someone called the police and told them that we would doing something evil in the woods. As I tried to short things out with the police captain, since we had permits and we had permission to shoot from the police, an armed officers said to one of my female vampires covered in blood and with cat eye contacts. " If I run on you late at night, I would shoot you no matter what"

*The Misrule Film Movement & Pink8 manifesto bring what to mind?
- Neoliberalism and globalisation has a strong grasp of the arts and that leads to less support from the government, making the financing of a film become a nightmare. Production and distribution is controlled by the big global conglomerate corporations and the banks are not willing to support independent projects. As the economy suffers, less people want to invest in film and risk their money. Audiovisual education is becoming also difficult to follow. Expensive schools, designed only for middle/upper class youngsters leaving aside the young from the working class, or from the middle class with low income from continental Europe. So what is left. Guerrilla film-making. Technology helps in that. Low cost equipment, cameras - smartphones, computers, and young people who are eager to learn and create. Perhaps this is the genuine art of film making.

*What can we expect from your next film?
- My next live action film will have blood sucking aliens, a dying bee community, as bees die, the earth dies. And a new hope, a child who will bring balance to the etherial essence of life.