Can you briefly summarize your short film INTRODUCING BOBBY?
The film might best be described as a collage-form character portrait of an individual in conflict with himself.
How did this story come to you or what was the inspiration that began this journey?
I’ve always referred to myself as a ‘sensation enthusiast’ and I’m fascinated by the concept of character. I’m mainly attracted to characters in a state of psychological turmoil who experience an intense variety of emotions. Bobby is a complex character who exists in territory that’s unfamiliar to a lot of people, which is exactly what I’m inspired to make films about. Overall, I aimed to tell a story about a troubled personality who I identify with and also admire in many ways.
Telling a full/complete story in a small amount of time is an art. Can you talk about the challenges in the cutting room and discuss the challenges and advantages of making shorts?
When I finished filming I had nine hours of footage and three additional hours of unlabeled audio recordings. It was a nightmare. I have a tendency to lose focus on a project if I don’t complete it immediately so I spent roughly 40 hours cutting up and assembling everything in a dark windowless room. I operated on practically no sleep. By the time I was done I hated the film and never wanted to see it again. Luckily that changed after a while. As for making shorts - I think they just require you to be more concise with what you’re trying to express. They require you to think in terms of what can be made ultimately gratifying within a compressed period of time. There are unique freedoms within those restrictions, so it’s all about adjusting the way you approach narrative.
You mentioned during your stay in Los Angeles that AFI FEST was the only festival you officially submitted to. Why is that?
I’m going for quality over quantity with the festival screenings. I’d prefer it only be exhibited a few times by festivals with strong reputations. I think the film is better left as something intimate and, though I’d like for it to reach an audience, I’d rather not jam it down anyone’s throat. I might screen one or two more festivals but no more than that. Also, I’m filming a new short in early 2013 and always try to focus on new projects instead of lingering on old stuff.
What are some of your AFI FEST 2012 highlights? (Events you attended, people you met.)
I generally avoid film-making circles because I find myself as an artist benefiting from a certain amount of isolation. It also allows me to cherish situations where I do actually interact with other filmmakers, such as at AFI FEST. Coming to LA and mixing with nothing but film people for five days was in itself one giant highlight. I also loved meeting the AFI programmers and staff, who I can’t thank enough for inviting me to the festival.