Entertainment Magazine: Film: California: Santa Barbara: Santa Barbara Film Festival: 2011

Interviewing Filmmakers/Actors at the 2011 SBIFF II

By Jared Winslow

This is Part II of my interview articles from this year’s Santa Barbara International Film Festival
Animals as awesome filmmakers’ assistants?  I asked filmmakers and actors three preplanned questions that I hoped would be out of the ordinary. 
Both articles show how these ten people answered two of the questions differently.  But with five of my interviewees, I was able to ask them all three questions, and this article covers those five filmmakers and actors. The three questions are:   
1. How would you describe what you do as a filmmaker or actor to an alien from another world?
2. If you could have an animal help you with your job, what animal would it be and why? 
3. Why did you choose to work in filmmaking over other jobs? 
Here are the people in this article: 

Russ Spencer, filmmaker

Russ Spencer, filmmaker

The Book of Santa Barbara

This is a short documentary about the photographer Macduff Everton and his new book.  The movie shows 50 of his pictures from “snapping shots” of Santa Barbara.  Russ would like to make this into a longer documentary.

Matt Kleiner, filmmaker

Matt Kleiner, filmmaker

Way of the Ocean

This is a surf guru film.  Meditative.  Gnarly, dude.  Actually, it is very calm and relaxing showing the ocean and its surfers and even some animals.  Matt said he wanted it to appeal to more than surfers, and I think it does. 

Mike Wallis, filmmaker; Cohen Holloway, actor; Inge Rademeyer, actor/filmmaker

Mike Wallis, filmmaker
Cohen Holloway, actor
Inge Rademeyer, actor/filmmaker

Good for Nothing

This movie is a feature film based on spaghetti westerns.  It was made in New Zealand but it is set in America.  The film shows that in the Old West men did not respect women.  The outlaw main character ends up becoming a good guy. 

1. How would you describe what you do as a filmmaker or actor to an alien from another world? 

Russ Spencer, filmmakerRuss Spencer: 

I would describe it as communication, where I try to communicate my view of the world and my perspective on things to other human beings that I live with on planet Earth via the medium of film.  Film tells stories, and by hearing stories you learn about people’s lives and you also learn about yourself and what ways you’re the same as other people and what ways you’re different.  So I communicate my inner thoughts to other human beings through film. 

Matt KleinerMatt Kleiner: 

I really enjoy doing it.  I would probably describe it as my passion.  I’m lucky enough to be able to do it and make a living doing it.  So I would tell them I’m one of the lucky people.

Mike WallisMike Wallis: 

I would say I use equipment to document my interpretation of the art of being human. 

Inge RademeyerInge Rademeyer: 

I’m thinking of this quote – “living truthfully under any given circumstances.”  So as an actor, I try to be as truthful within that imagined world. 

Cohen Holloway: Cohen Holloway: 

I’d go “Do you know what it’s like when you’re really, really bored, like you’re flying your spaceship for 8,000 light years and you look at your 18 fingers and are so bored?”  Well, my job is to create a story – put it in picture form which we call a movie, like a mirror in your head – and it entertains you.  And it can make you laugh and it can make you cry and it can affect you. 

2. If you could have an animal help you with your job, what animal would it be and why? 

Russ Spencer: 

I would love to have a falcon helping me in my job.  Falcons are very fast, very smart, and they see things very clearly.  And many times I don’t see things as clearly as I should.  So I would ask my falcon, “Should I take my film to this festival or that festival?”  He would say, “I can see both festivals from here and I think you should pick that one.”  And then he would fly my film all the way over there. 

Matt Kleiner: Matt Kleiner: 

I think with the way this movie was made it would probably be a dolphin that would end up helping.  They seem to be the guardians of the surfers in the water.  You kind of feel safe that there might not be a shark around if you see a dolphin.   

Cohen HollowayCohen Holloway: 

I’d have a horse.  They got me some lessons with Mark Kinaston-Smith.  He’s a famous horse riding trainer from Lord of the Rings.  He was our horse wrangler.  He makes me look amazing.

Mike Wallis: 
I’d have an elephant, for 2 reasons.  One because they can lug a lot of stuff and filmmaking has a lot of gear.  The second reason is because elephants have big, long memories.  Every time I look at an elephant I’m reminded to do everything right in my life.  I want to treat everybody right and elephants remind me of that.

Inge Rademeyer: 
I’d say a chimpanzee.  Because they’re so close to humans and you can see their truthful reactions without all the social influences that we as humans have. 

3. Why did you choose to work in filmmaking over other jobs?

Russ Spencer: 
Well, I tried a lot of other jobs, and I picked up a movie camera one day and it just felt right.  I felt very comfortable.  I started using the camera, and I made a couple little films.  I was really good at it.  I never dreamed of being a filmmaker.  I always wanted to be a writer or a rock star or a million other things.  But a lot of times in life it’s not what you choose, it’s what chooses you.  Filmmaking is what chose me.  It’s what I’m good at.
Matt Kleiner: 
I worked at a so called real job for four years and I decided it wasn’t really for me, that I wanted to be out seeing the world.  I bought a bunch of camera gear and quit my job and started filming and dove into it head first.  Things seemed to fall in place after a few years of working at it.  I’ve always wanted to do something that I really loved doing and not just go to work everyday.  I think if you work hard enough at something and you really want to do it, you can do anything you want. 
Mike Wallis: 
Love.  I loved it. 
Cohen Holloway: 
I think I’ve been acting my whole life.  I love making people laugh, love affecting people.  When I was 17 I worked at a bank because I thought that’s what my parents wanted me to do, that it was the right thing to do, and I worked there for 6 years.  I was terrible.  When my head hit the pillow I thought “What do I really want to do?  I want to act.”  
Inge Rademeyer: 
It’s one of the few things where I feel like I’m living every day to the fullest.  I feel every second of every day is just so exciting, that I’m getting every second out of it that I can.

All of my interviewees were nice and interesting, and I want to thank them for talking to me.  They all love what they do, yet they all came up with different answers from different points of view.  My favorite question was the animal helper one.  It is fun to imagine.  Why work with that animal?  I could see why they chose those animals.  It was amazing how quickly they picked one.  It was like they were expecting the question.  I wouldn’t mind working with a falcon, dolphin, horse, elephant, chimpanzee, and a couple dogs on my next film.

Read Interviewing Filmmakers/Actors at the 2011 SBIFF I

2011 SBFF | Santa Barbara International Film Festival

Film Entertainment Magazine | Santa Barbara Entertainment Magazine

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