Mix-n-Match Interview: Other Worlds Shorts

Filmmakers participating in ATLFF 2014 were asked to select from a number of possible interview questions and answer them as truthfully-yet-entertainingly as possible.



Writer and Director Jonathan Rej on... "Atlanta Zombie Apocalypse"

I have a production company and we make a lot of commercials and the occasional music video. Mastodon "Deathbound" that I directed played in ATLFF last year. Visit my website at www.authorityfilms.com.

Complete this sentence: If you Liked... Return Of the Living Dead and Breakfast Club... you'll like Atlanta Zombie Apocalypse. 80's horror movies and John Hughes pretty much made me who I am today so this film although not set in the 80's, has that sort of fun style.

What’s the most challenging part of making a film for you?
Most challenging part of making a film is keeping your budget from going through the roof. Little things add up quick but making sure your crew is well fed is some of the best money you'll spend.

Describe the moment when you knew you making movies was what you wanted to do.
I've always wanted to make movies since I saw Evil Dead 2. You could really see the fun of film making and creativity coming through in that film.

Director Brian Lonano on... "Welcome to Dignity Pastures"

What’s the most challenging part of making a film for you? Do you enjoy that challenge, or is its something to be avoided?
I have such grand ideas in the beginning and have a lot of ambitious ideas but once time, money and reality start sinking in, I've learn where it's best to make cuts in order to keep that runaway train from going off the tracks.  My favorite stage is pre-pro, production is always a blur but I do remember enjoying some moments during.  Working with actors and coming up with new ways to make the scene more dramatic, more funny, etc is something you can't think of weeks before while staring at your computer or storyboard book.  I always enjoy the challenge because in a way making a movie is solving a big problem.  How will you get the idea across on screen by using visual language?  How will you direct the actors to get the idea you want to convey across and the biggest problem solver of them all; post production?  How can you edit your way out of a corner you may have shot yourself into.  If you have the gumption and a story to tell, do not avoid it!
Of the filmmakers working today, whose talent do you most want to steal?
It wouldn't be nice to steal but I do look up to a lot of filmmakers both established and rising powers.  I was always a fan of Spielberg for his way of capturing magic in films like E.T., Raiders and Jurassic Park.  I love David Lynch's unsettling dialogue and sound and love the quirky characters of The Coen Brothers.  And recently I've gotten into the sweeping camera moves in films by Alfonso Cuaron and Terrence Malick.  My favorite newcomes I can proudly say I know and am friends with and they are Phil Mucci, Ricky Bates and Steve Kostanski who all have unique voices and inspiring ways to tell stories and take me to new and strange places.  They inspire me to be a better filmmaker.
Describe the moment when you knew you making movies was what you wanted to do.
I was 10 and was sitting in a packed theater watching Jurassic Park.  That movie changed my life (and scared the crap out of my dad) and from that point on I wanted to take people to new and interesting places through filmmaking. Name three films you consider to be under-appreciated and explain their hidden genius. Logan's Run - That movie is so damn campy but has such great science fiction themes in it.  But the effects drive me bananas!  You see the camera crew's reflection in BOX the shiny freezer robot. Babe - It's a kids movie but packs a real wallop.  It's dark and cinematic as well as extremely hopeful.  But when the film hits the emotional lows, they are LOW.  The main theme "If I had words" is also an adaptation of what of my favorite pieces of music:  Camille Saint Saens's Organ Symphony 4th Movement. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen - I'm going to get a lot of eye rolls for this one BUT it has to be commended.  This movie was a complete train wreck.  It had no script when they started production, just a treatment and this was due to the writer's strike.  But they soldiered on with a treatment so Michael Bay could start storyboarding action scenes.  The shot on the great Pyramids in Egypt which is something no one else has done before and the movie made a huge chunk of money at the box office.  The movie is Michael Bay's Koyannisqatsi.  All visuals, no understandable plot.  I am holding out for a Criterion edition of this film because I want to know the ins and outs of how a movie like this was even made.

What films am I looking forward to most at the ATLFF?
The Congress:  Though I make live action films, I love animation and this seems to have both! The promotional stills I've seen for this film look so bizarre and I'm really excited to check this film out.  Am also a big fan of the film's composer Max Richter. 
Limo Ride:  My friend Marcus co-created this documentary which I hear takes an experimental turn.  Very excited and proud of my friend for making a feature film.
Handy:  The idea that someone made a feature starring only hands sounds too bizarre to pass up on.  I'd like to see how they pull it off.  I gotta HAND it to them, It's an idea I would have never thought of (pun definitely intended).
I Believe in Unicorns:  I am familiar with the director's work.  The film's title and description is definitely intriguing.  When characters are slipping into fantasy worlds, my imagination runs wild at the possibilities of what the director will do with that notion.
Animation, Experimental and Puppetry Shorts Blocks:  I am big into animation but that helps when my wife is an animator and animation junkie as well.  Along with animation, I am a huge fan of experimental films and puppetry and I incorporate these methods into my own work.  I love going to shorts blocks because it re-motivates me to continue working on my present project or start work on something new.  I can only imagine the ideas I will have after I watch these shorts blocks. 

Other Worlds Shorts plays Saturday, March 30 at 12:30 PM at the The Plaza Theatre.