On the evening of October 30th, 1938 Orson Welles’ voice traveled far across the radio waves, bringing word of an invading alien army from Mars. The theatricality and delivery of the performance, along with recent memories of the Hindenburg disaster (one year prior), sent many listeners into a panic. Unfortunate coincidence would fall upon the town of Concrete WA where, at the height of the invading alien attack, a power transformer blew out sending the entire town and surrounding areas into darkness.
5 questions with Embers & Dust director, Patrick Biesemans at the half-way mark.
Friday, January 27th, 2017
1Hey Patrick! Thanks for being a part of our festival. First, what was the initial idea that made you want to make this film? I think Embers was a culmination of several ideas; I've always wanted to make a short film about creativity and imagination, especially that of a kid's. I also wanted to make a short film based on the Welles broadcast for years but I didn't want to do some kind of direct film adaptation. At some point those two streams of thought kind of collided.
2It's hard to imaging what listening to The War Of The Worlds broadcast by Orson Welles must have been like in 1938. Have you heard, read, researched any first hand accounts of what that was like? A lot of the material, for Embers, started as random research. I learned about the broadcast in a media studies class back in 2003 - and since then I loosely kept studying the subject as a hobby. There is a lot of interesting facts surrounding the radio broadcast. Radiolab actually has a great episode dedicated to the subject, and they pretty much go over everything that I had learned over the years, ha! It's worth a listen if you're interested in the subject.
3You've directed shorts and a feature. Do you think there are some stories better suited for shorts rather than features? What are the strengths of the short film in your opinion? Absolutely. I love short films, watching them, making them. Some stories only need a few minutes, others need a couple hours. I like to think that if I'm able to continue directing feature films that I'll still do a short film from time to time. I've said, now in a couple interviews, that I think short films can be a bit more on the poetic side, and you're not as beholden to a narrative structure. There's more responsibility, narratively, on a feature film.
4What's the film that made you want to become a filmmaker? Star Wars (original trilogy)... I mean, I'm still of a generation that was wowed by it, especially during the first resurgence into the pop culture spotlight. Star Wars was the first film I could pull the curtain back on and see the "movie magic" involved in making it. Of course, the focus on the technical side of filmmaking shifted to the story side pretty quickly when I watched movies like Unforgiven, Resivor Dogs, and The Graduate for the first times.
5What's next? I'm getting ready for the long haul of directing a feature script I wrote. But while I'm on the long road to financing a feature, I'll be looking for interesting projects to expand my storytelling skills.
About the Interviewer: Ben Hicks
Ben Hicks is a writer/director and co-founder of Fandependent Films. Ben is currently working on making Fandependent Films awesome and is finishing up his first feature film entitled Kids Go Free to Fun Fun Time which was selected for the 2017 IFP Narrative Lab.
The film with the most fans wins $1,000
For 2017 we are moving on from screening feature films and will be showcasing shorts.
For our Winter 2017 Festival, we are giving away $2,000 in prizes to the top three films.
The film with the most fans.
The film with the most views.
Our favorite film.
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Please share Embers & Dust with your friends and help this filmmaker win!