Thursday, 18 July 2019

Interview with filmmaker Alex Hawthorne

Greenville will be screening at the Straight-Jacket Guerrilla Film Festival

*How did you get into making films?
- I've always told stories.  When I was a kid I made up stories while I played with my action figures.  It was something I'd always done.  When I started going to college, digital technology was starting to improve.  It became possible to make an entire film with a cheap camera.  So that's what I did.  

*What inspired you to make your movie?
- My film is about a group of friends who start to drift apart.  I had experienced that myself after high school and college.  I had friends I used to talk to everyday.  I never talk to them anymore.  I could have just sat on the idea for this movie but I decided to be a little ambitious and try to make a movie.  It was better than working my dull day job.  No body got anywhere sitting around.  

*How has your style evolved?
I've been using more steadicam and making sure the camera is moving more to tell the story in a way that makes it more interesting.  Not that I don't still use tripods I'm just not married to them like I was in the beginning.  I've also been focused on making the script more interesting, making sure there's drama on every page.  

*Tell us any strange or funny stories while making the film?
- It was kinda funny, one of the actors is a big fan of sneakers.  He actually collects them and at the time of filming he was working at a shoe store.  He was talking to some of the other cast members about some new shoes that were coming out and they ended up buying some new sneakers from him.  None of them had any interest in shoes before but he convinced them.  I guess he was a pretty good sales man.  It was just funny that here he was working on a movie but he was still hustling trying to make a sale.  

A strange thing that happened, at one point we were standing on the street filming and a police officer drove by.  He looked at us but kept driving.  He didn't even slow down.  I was surprised he didn't say anything or ask us what we were doing.  It was weird because cops don't just drive around my neighborhood.  I don't know if someone called the cop on us or if the cop was answering a call from somewhere and just happened to pass us on his way.  The mystery remains.  

*The Misrule Film Movement & Pink8 manifesto bring what to mind?
-I had to look up what these were!  The Misrule Film Movement and Pink8 Manifesto brings a lot of my projects to mind. It also makes me think of mumblecore films which I'm not a fan of but sometimes it's what you have to do to get a project done.  I personally would never use a phone to make a movie, but it's always smart to promote your movie on social media or any other free resources you can get your hands on.  To be a filmmaker you have to hustle, cut corners if you can and improvise.  You have to be an outlaw.    

*What can we expect from your next film?
- I've drastically improved my skills as a writer and director since I made this film.  So my next film will be more interesting all around.  Better script, better camera work, you name it!