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AN INTERVIEW WITH Dan Hewitt Owens, WRITER & FILMMAKER
As a filmmaker, please introduce yourself and let us know why you became a filmmaker?
I have been in the industry for 49 years. I began as a stage actor, then TV Commercials, Motion Pictures and TV Episodes.
I always knew I would end up directing and directing is now my focus.
Give some more information about your experience?
Credits on IMDb: Producer 59; Director 43; Editor 38; Actor 35; Screenwriter 31; Cinematographer 30; and 9 other various credits.
I also teach Acting for the Camera for 10 years.
What are the films or people that had impacts on you and deeply inspired you to become a filmmaker?
Directors mainly. I like two directors that I have not worked with, they are Sydney Pollack and Gregory Nava, their films
look like how a movie should look. I have also learned a lot about directing working as an actor with some major directors:
Norman Jewison, David O, Russell, David Gordon Green, Jon Turteltaub, Rob Reiner to name a few.
What movie do you like best and why?
Whichever movie I am studying at the moment. LOL. I will watch a movie for days, and sometimes the same scene over and over.
That’s how you learn. Want to be a great director, study great movies.
What are your favorite genres to work on? Why?
I like most genres if the film is done well, and the script picks my interest. My movies must have a redeeming value to them.
In filmmaking who do you like to work with (Cast & Crew) if you have a choice?
Crew members I have worked with: Producer - Grant Heslov; Director of Photography – Alex Salahi; Sound Mixer – Rick Bowman;
Gaffer- Faisal Shau. Actors: I’ll just mention the Oscar winners I have done scenes with as an actor: Charlize Theron, Robert Di Nero, Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman, and Kevin Kline. Oscar winners always come in prepared and ready to work. They want to get it right.
Your film "Diner Conversation" was officially selected in the "American Golden Picture International Film Festival".
What were some of the challenges you faced in making this film?
The challenge for any film comes down to preparation. The better you plan & prepare the easier it is when filming begins.
It all starts with a great story; locations are critical and not just the ambiance, I go to locations with a camera and experiment
with the possibilities and film with sound because there maybe sound issues you don’t pick up with the naked ear.
Then I decide on the colors, what colors do I want in wardrobe and the sets to get the look I want.
I research photos on certain sites to get examples I have in mind for lighting to show my Gaffer and DP.
Then comes the shot-list, wardrobe and CASTING!!! You must have the best actors you can get.
For you what was the biggest lesson you had to learn?
Never think or say, “It’s okay, I’ll fix it in Post-Production!”
What part of the filmmaking is the hardest part?
Cutting out a scene or an actor’s work. It’s difficult to do, but necessary.
The most important part is distributing the film. What did you do so far for distributing all your films?
For full-length feature films, it comes down to who you have attached to the film. Get the biggest name actors you can.
I am in development for a feature film titled My Dog Mickey: A Christmas Story, I am in talks with an Oscar winning music composer
that loves dogs and if he comes on board, it can make a big difference. Think Big!
At the present, Freestyle Digital Media is the distributor I used on Project: Puppies for Christmas, starring John Ratzenberger,
it was released this past May. They put it on all the cable and satellite platforms, Dish, Time Warner, Comcast, etc. Amazon Prime,
Google Plus, Vudu & etc. Walmart, Best Buy & etc.
What keeps you inspired to continue filmmaking?
A good script and a fabulous cast & crew!
What are your filmmaking goals?
Move audiences emotionally and make a difference in their lives. Otherwise why do it?
It’s always about the audience. Show them what is going on, what they are seeing, how they are supposed to feel,
what their reaction should be to what they are watching. If they are in the dark about what is going on, you have not done your job.
If they understand the film, you have done your job.
What is your next project?
My Dog Mickey: A Christmas Story.
GOOD LUCK Dan
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