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AN INTERVIEW WITH William J. Adams, FILMMAKER & CINEMATOGRAPHER
As a filmmaker, please introduce yourself and let us know how you became a filmmaker?
I live in the state of Georgia. I am 24 years old as of November 22, 2019. I became a filmmaker kind of by chance in 2016. A friend and I were just kidding around about a plot for a movie, but the more we talked about it, the more I started to think “Why couldn’t we actually make something?” I had no experience or knowledge of filmmaking, but we started filming random stuff with cellphones. Soon, I got my first camera, a Canon 60D. It just grew from there. That original film idea never really panned out, but I found a passion for film production and it stayed with me. Today, I have come a very long way, both in terms of experience and equipment. You never stop learning when it comes to filmmaking though.
Give some more information about the films you have made so far?
For that first year or so I filmed public events and whatever was available to film. It would be October of 2017 before I finally made my first real attempt at producing a film from a screenplay I wrote. The idea was a very spur-of-the-moment thing. It would become my first film, "Each His Own". In only two weeks, it went from idea to released film. I had another screenplay I had been working on for a while. The positive feedback I got from "Each His Own" prompted me to finish my other screenplay, "The Come Back", and begin filming in January of 2018.
What movie do you like best and why?
I’d say it comes down to a three-way tie between Braveheart, "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, and "Full Metal Jacket". These films all do a great job of telling their stories and making the audience feel a connection to the characters and become immersed in the plot.
What are your favorite genres to work on? Why?
My favorite that I’ve worked on so far are drama and thriller films. With drama films, you really have to focus on bringing
a certain emotion to the audience, and those emotions can vary widely throughout the film. It lets you really bring out your creativity,
and think “how can I use this shot to set the right mood?” That thought process extends into post as well when you’re thinking
about how to edit and cut everything together. I also enjoy working on thriller films because it gives you the chance to create
something that keeps the audience on the edge of their seat. I get really creative with the sound design in thriller films,
such as in my film "Each His Own". You’ll notice that throughout the film, there are atmospheric drones and pads that make up
the sound design and help set the tone for the scene. Each sound represents something different about that shot,
and at certain points in the film, you’re hearing as many as 10-15 sound design elements at once.
What type of people are you willing to work with?
I love having the chance to work with both new people and people I’ve worked with before. I like to work with anyone who is dependable and truly serious about filmmaking. I’m not worried about their prior experience that much, as long as they have the drive to learn.
For you what was the biggest lesson you had to learn?
I guess the biggest lesson is a combination of lessons. I learned that you shouldn’t believe someone is going
to be there and/or stick around until they are and they do. People will tell you they are all about being a part of your project,
they’ll talk a really good talk, might show up the first day and do great. Sooner or later though, you’re going to lose some of the ones
who you thought you could count on. Some of them just lose interest, while others will leave for more malicious reasons.
Be prepared to lose some. When you don’t have everyone you need, don’t lose focus on the film and your creativity.
To you, what part of the filmmaking is the hardest part?
Probably the hardest part is getting all the people you really need and being able to coordinate schedules so that everyone can be there when you need them. Sometimes it comes down to the last minute before you know if a key cast member will be available or not,
especially on small budget productions.
The most important part is distributing the film. What did you do so far for distributing your films?
I have shared my films on YouTube and social media. I regularly submit to festivals. I also off DVD and Blu-ray copies of "Each His Own" on my studio’s website. The proceeds go towards funding future projects. And "Each His Own" is available on a local streaming service which
I also plan to submit "The Come Back" to as well.
Both of your film "The Come Back" and "Each His Own" were officially selected in the
"American Golden Picture International Film Festival".
What were some of the challenges you faced in making these films?
"Each His Own" was my first film. So getting a feel for directing and managing cast and crew was one challenge, not as big of one as
I had thought it would be though. Also, we made that film on a micro budget, so working with the budget was a challenge.
"The Come Back" was produced on a micro budget too, so again, budget was a challenge. "The Come Back" was a lot more complex than
"Each His Own". There were more cast members to coordinate schedules with. The biggest challenge though, was making it with a 3 man production crew, counting myself. It is a lot of work setting up for each shot with few people. It can really interfere with your
creativity and your desire to be creative. After resetting everything a few times with only yourself and one or two other people to help,
you’re just ready to get a shot and move on so you can be done with it. You start to think about your shots from less of a creative
standpoint and more of a utilitarian standpoint. When you’ve moved all the lighting equipment, audio equipment, camera rig,
and everything else ten times with two or three people, the last thing you feel like doing is dragging the jib crane out and setting it up,
even though it would make a neat shot in the situation. Not having the number of crew members you need can really be challenging,
especially on productions, such as "The Come Back", where you have a lot of equipment and a lot of angles you are shooting.
What keeps you inspired to continue filmmaking?
Probably the love and thrill of bringing a story to life and seeing the words on the page become real on the screen.
Also, positive feedback I get really keeps me encouraged to keep filming.
It feels great when you finally find that talent in your life that people tell you you’re great at. I may never be famous, but
the experience of creating a story and bringing it to life on screens across the world will keep me filming for as long as I can.
What sorts of movies would you like to get involved if you had your choice?
I would love to do some action films, I just haven’t come up with the right story that’s practical to do with the resources I have at this time.
I always want my films to have a story to them, so guys with guns shooting at each other for no apparent reason wouldn’t be
something I would want to do. But once I have the right story, I want to do an action film for sure.
What are your filmmaking goals?
I always try to better myself with each project, make each better than the last. I know that there’s always something more you can learn in film.
I just want to make the best films I possibly can to bring a new story into the world.
What is your next project?
My next project is called "Finders-Keepers". It is a horror/thriller film with a touch of the drama genre mixed in as well.
The script is completed and I hope to start filming some in December 2019.
I would like to have it ready to submit to The Macon Film Festival, a big festival in my local area, next year.
GOOD LUCK William
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