- Was there a particular event or time that you recognized that filmmaking is your way of telling stories?
Seeing M. Night Shyamalan’s Unbreakable must have been one of those moments where I felt the power of filmmaking.
- Do you think it is essential to go to a film institute in order to become a successful filmmaker?
I’m not the right person to answer that question. Everyone has their own way of becoming a successful filmmaker, there is no essential guide. Do whatever brings you closer to your goal.
- Is it harder to get started or to keep going? What was the particular thing that you had to conquer to do either?
Getting started is the easy part. Unless you are from another dimension, your first film is going to be absolutely terrible. To keep going and not give up is the hard part. The Outsider is my seventh short film in total, but only the second one worth showing. That film was shot four years after I first picked up a camera.
- What was the most important lesson you had to learn that has had a positive effect on your film? How did that lesson happen?
That you learn by doing and not reading guides on the internet. Nothing can prepare you for the role of a film director. You just need experience, and you need to learn from your mistakes.
- What were the production realities from casting through editing that you had to accommodate? How did you navigate those compromises or surprises and still end up with a cohesive film?
Making a film with no proper funding is always hard. Although we had several investors, a crowdfunding campaign and some financial backing behind The Outsider, it was still difficult to make the film happen. However, with almost half a year of pre-production, everything went surprisingly well on set.
- What was the hardest artistic choice you made in the making of a film, at any stage in production?
With The Outsider it was letting Kola Krauze go “all the way” with his performance in The Outsider. No one on set was sure of what they were witnessing, and there were some heavy laughter from time to time. However, his performance ended up being brilliant and one of the best parts of the film.
- You are a collaborator. How have you discovered members of your team and how do you keep the relationship with them strong?
Through other film productions, big or small. Just have a good moral, be honest and make sure you don’t forget about them for your next gig (unless they weren’t nice people).
- What do audiences want? And is it the filmmaker’s role to worry about that?
Audiences wants to see a good film, and it is up to the filmmaker to make that happen.
- What role have film festivals played in your life so far? Why are they necessary? How do you get the most out of them?
For short films, festivals are a necessity. The Outsider has been met with wide acclaim worldwide thanks to them, and even sold out a theater with a 400-seat capacity at the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival. The exposure some of these festivals provide is simply unattainable elsewhere.
- Do you believe that a filmmaker should be original and fresh or he/she should stick to classic but safe cinema style?
Original and fresh, no questions asked! Otherwise, what’s the point?