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  • January 18, 2024
  • 266
  • 470 Views 1

Jason Anthony Fisher | Interview

INTERVIEWS

 

Cult Critic: As a film director, writer, and film producer, you wear multiple hats. How do you balance these roles, and do you have a preference for one over the others? 

Jason: Well, I started out as an actor in theatre, but I always knew I had an interest in the other hats mentioned above and would pursue them. I don’t act anymore yet I might give myself cameos in the future. Regarding preference, sometimes, all 3 can be the preference, but sometimes, the preference is writing and film producing. It varies. Some writers/film directors can team up long time with a producer. For me, these team-ups have had limited shelf life because some Independents retire from the pursuit, so it has been necessary for me to wear all 3 hats at times. I imagine I will continue to wear these 3 hats as I have. I enjoy every stage of the process.

 

Cult Critic: Can you share some insights into your creative process when developing screenplays across various film genres, from animated adventures to psychological thrillers?

Jason: Sure, sometimes you must do research, but you can’t get too caught up in that realm otherwise you never get to page 1. So, I get an idea for a feature script, and I just brainstorm scene ideas and character ideas, then next it’s time to start answering the main questions all films have and flesh out a beat sheet & sequence. I hybridize different forms of structure because this is also science as well as an art. I think checking all the angles helps the bones of your story get set. Once I do that, I literally write down a list of scenes and then you start writing the script.  For a short it can be easier because you might really be writing a scene or two and a few pages only. 

 

Cult Critic: 'A.K.A. The Surgeon' winning Best Short Film is a remarkable achievement. What challenges did you face in bringing this spy-action thriller to life, and how did you overcome them?

Jason: Wow, Thank you. Well, most of my friends said you don’t have the money, don’t try it will be a disaster, lol. I told them if I wait for the money, it will never get filmed, so I’m going to try with a micro-budget. Thankfully some of those friends who said I was taking a big risk, then at least made suggestions on how to maximize my minimal budget. I did raise a few hundred dollars from crowdfunding but mostly spent a few grand of my own money shooting over a year. I almost played it safe by shortening it, but realized I was cheating myself, so I pushed all the chips into the pot and shot other scenes that I felt the film needed. I was fortunate to have some actors and Indie producers I had already worked with, and they were game to try something bigger. I had previous experience as a tour guide in the Vegas area, so I already knew many areas that perfectly fit into my short film. Oddly enough there were a couple of old Casinos being torn down so I could legally film them from the street and tweak the footage to fit at night there was a half-built condo and business facility that allowed me to film there at night as it gave a war-torn look too. In some technical positions, I had to find people with talent willing to do the job for minimal pay and just try to be patient with them to get various aspects in shooting the film and in editing and effects, etc.

 

Cult Critic: Choosing WFCN as the platform for Ace Film Festival is intriguing. What factors led to this decision, and how has the platform enhanced the film festival experience for both filmmakers and audiences?  

Jason: Well for a while I think Film Freeway was the only big platform people knew about and used. Though Film Freeway (I still like them), who I did talk to first, said they are trying to get away from online film festivals and they won’t come up in searches on their platform without direct links from a website. I realized I had to find a different platform, or this wouldn’t happen. I searched to see if other platforms existed and on numerous lists WFCN was mentioned as an up-and-coming platform that welcomes online as well as live event film festivals and the additional efforts of creating an opportunity for filmmakers to connect with one another was not anything I had seen on a film festival platform. So, I was like oh I have to try this one and I am glad I did. I strongly recommend it now to indie filmmakers I know.

 

 Cult Critic: Your film festival, Ace Film Festival, operates through WFCN. How do you leverage the multi-faceted web platform to showcase and support emerging filmmakers?

Jason: The key is the multi-facets. There are more than a couple of ways to connect with people as friends, via email, and to invite people to submit. I appreciate that as from what I can see in my research no one else offers that. In the long run it will help everyone.

 

Cult Critic: Can you share a pivotal moment in your journey as a filmmaker that significantly influenced your approach to storytelling or filmmaking?

Jason: I think each time recognition either through a friend’s compliment or accolades earned in a film festival, the positive vibes fuel you to do more. I also think each time I took screenwriting classes and read books on screenwriting and filmmaking I gained more knowledge of the craft that has helped me grow.

 

Cult Critic: Film festivals play a crucial role in the film industry. What, in your opinion, makes a film festival successful, and how do you ensure Ace Film Festival stands out in the crowded landscape? 

Jason: I think since this is my first go-round I am learning and perhaps at the end of this festival I hopefully will have that fully answered. Currently, Indie filmmakers should get the vibe that your contest genuinely wants to give people fair opportunities to earn recognition in many aspects of filmmaking in my opinion.

 

Cult Critic: Reflecting on your journey so far, is there a piece of advice you wish you had received when you were starting in the film industry, and what wisdom would you impart to those embarking on a similar path today?

Jason: Not to the first part of the question, although for the second part I would say to people, if you have an idea try it and have fun and promise yourself you will learn from it and make another script or film after the first one. There is no Oscar on the line for your first project. Too many people beat themselves up if it doesn’t look like they had envisioned and match what a major studio does. How could it when one has a pittance of the resources? Have fun, take your time, learn and you will get better, and validation will come down the road.

 

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