6 questions with HIM+HER director, Mike Reda at the half-way mark.
Monday, April 24th, 2017
1Hi Mike! Thanks for being a part of our festival. First, what inspired you to make this film? I wanted to make a short that didn't have traditional dialogue, partly because I thought it would be a unique challenge, and partly because we didn't have a big budget, and I thought it would save time by not having to shoot take after take of our actors performing lines on set. I also wanted to tell a contemporary love story that didn't necessarily have a happy ending. Sometimes relationships just don't work out, so I wanted to show the journey from the honeymoon phase where everything is amazing, to the point where things have fallen apart.
2The credits say that you came up with the story for this film but Jerome Greene & Jessie Darnell wrote the script. Can you explain how that process went down and how did you know the script was right? I came up with the initial concept and wrote an outline and a few drafts but it didn't feel right, so I sent the script to Jerome and Jessie to see what they could come up with. Jerome changed some things around and added some elements that made the story so much more emotional and meaningful, and Jessie wrote some dialogue that was truly beautiful and poetic.
3What made you decide to make a romance? What is it about the romance genre that you wanted to explore? I've experienced my fair share of tragic romances that didn't work out, so I felt uniquely qualified to write about this subject. But I didn't want to make a film that had a "bad guy" that the audience would dislike. I wanted the audience to understand what the characters were going through, and to empathize with both of them. No one is the bad guy here, which makes it even more tragic.
4Any war stories from the shoot? The shoot actually went really smoothly, but we shot 18 scenes in 2 days and unfortunately the very last scene we shot was the first (and last) shot of the film, and we were at a music venue in Charlotte, NC that was open to the public. That meant there were a lot of extras who didn't know they were going to be extras, so they were constantly looking into the camera and ruining takes. So we had to schedule another day to reshoot that sequence at a different location that wasn't open to the public, so we had full control of everything. It worked out much better in the end, I'm just lucky the cast and crew were willing to come back for another night of shooting!
5What's the film that made you want to become a filmmaker? When I was a kid, I must have watched Jurassic Park (in theaters) at least a dozen times. I knew dinosaurs had been extinct for millions of years, and yet there they were on the screen, right in front of me. Movie magic made me believe that dinosaurs had been brought back to life. I was excited, thrilled, terrified. At that moment, I knew I wanted to create that kind of magic.
6What's next? I have been tinkering around with a science-fiction film called "Recursion" for about 2 years that is essentially just an extended action sequence but with time travel thrown in for good measure. It's a really complicated shoot involving a car chase at night, in the rain, unique prop design and production design, stunts and visual effects, so we're doing tests now to figure out how to bring this story to life. I'm really excited about it, and I hope we can shoot this year!
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.
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