5 questions with Semblance director, Bill Whirity at the half-way mark.
Saturday, April 29th, 2017
1Hey Bill! Thanks for being a part of our festival. First, what the initial inspiration that made you want to make Semblance? I wanted to give myself a challenge and see if I could create enough suspense and pay off in such a limited amount of time. Especially with how short people's attention spans are these days. I highly suggest young filmmakers try and give themselves the same challenge. I've noticed a world of difference when my agents send out Semblance to producers versus my longer material, such as The Misinventions of Milo Weatherby, which I think is a fantastic film, but people seem to put off watching it when the spot the 22min runtime.
2This gives such a good scare in such a short amount of time. Do you have any plans to expand it into something longer? Yes, I'm working on expanding it out to a feature focusing on the paranoia horror aspect, sort of a suburban version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers or The Thing. I feel like in this age of social media and our obsession with our devices, our identity has sort of gotten lost in the shuffle. Looking forward to exploring that area a little bit in the longer version.
3How did you get Ted Raimi on board and what was it like working with him? I was friend with Ted before this so I just called him up and asked if he was around when we were planning to shoot and if wanted to be in it. He was and he did. We met years ago at the Palm Springs Short Fest where we both had films playing. Working with Ted was fantastic! To me, the ultimate goal is doing what you love and doing it with your friends so this shoot was especially fun. It was actually a really quick thrown together last minute shoot. I really lucked out because I needed a little girl's room, and it just so happened my friend Shari Nicotero and her family were out of town for the Walking Dead and let us use their house while they were away. So grateful for them coming through in the clutch!
4What's the film that made you want to become a filmmaker? Without a doubt Back to the Future is my all time favorite, along with other films of that era like E.T. or Goonies. I really grew up on all the 80s Amblin stuff. The thing I love about those films is the sense that as a kid you believed that all of this stuff was possible in your backyard, to find a buried treasure or an alien friend. They never felt so out of the ordinary that it was just pure fiction. That was the magic of those films, plus they never held back, kids movies were a lot scarier back then. I really hope that aspect makes a comeback soon.
5What's next? Trying to get the wheels moving on a feature project for me to direct. I just finished a fun 80s style horror script with my buddy and fellow filmmaker Bill Palmer called "Let Them Die" about a teenager who reconnects with his estranged grandpa and fights vampires in an old folks home. Also beginning to write the feature version of "Semblance." Hopefully I can get one of those two projects off the ground 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.
Share this film
Please share Semblance with your friends and help this filmmaker win!