Interview with Filmmaker James Miller (PREY)

 PREY played to great reviews at the May 2018 Action/Crime/Thriller FEEDBACK Film Festival in Toronto.

 1. What motivated you to make this film?

The motivation for this film was mostly based on us not having made anything that was truly ours in a long while! We had spent a lot of time creating music videos and commercial projects for clients and just felt like we had an itch that needed to be scratched.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?

A long time… Well a lot longer than planned!, The initial idea came to me in 2015 which also happened to be the same year I turned 30 and the same year I got married. Both these events along with a huge new client prevented us from actually going out and making the film. So nearly a whole year after coming up with the idea we finally got to go out and shoot something!.

But after filming the bulk of the film we realised the story wasn’t working and this prompted us to shoot a lot more footage to fill in the gaps which did affect continuity, in particular the changing shape of the wrapped up baby.
Filming actually wrapped around the beginning of 2017 but we didn’t finish working on the film in its current form until just recently with its conversion to 4k and new grade.

3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?

Intense and claustrophobic

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

Time! And lack of it, with only 2 of us doing the bulk of the work on the film barring the music and Foley it was an uphill struggle to find time to just sit down and work on the movie especially when you throw in the fact that we both have full time work commitments and families and of course friends social engagements etc.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

Mostly intrigue, it was fascinating to hear other people’s honest opinions about something we’ve effectively been working on in isolation, not many people have seen this film at all so for us to get feedback at this stage it’s actually very helpful.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video of the Short Film:

6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

The idea and concept itself came to me while I was on a flight home from a short holiday in ROME. I had wanted to create a ‘chase’ type film for a while and originally the protagonist was actually a werewolf.

After some basic research into different mythological creatures we stumbled across the Tik Tik or Aswang, which is essentially a Filipino folklore usually possessing a combination of the traits of either a vampire, a ghoul, a warlock/witch.

These traits worked perfectly for our film and it meant we weren’t treading the usual vampire route like many other people.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

I want to say the 1989 Batman movie but it’s most likely Star Wars.

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

I think it’s pretty good it’s nice to get at least a little something for entering like the feedback etc that you guys have provided as it makes parting with your money a little easier.

9. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?

Eminem – Loose Yourself

10. What is next for you? A new film?

We have a few projects up and running mainly music video based, as well as our daily 9-5 projects which are for a major car company.

Film wise we have a lot of project ideas and hopefully we get to start one of them this summer called ‘Terminal’ which is just a working title, it’s much more sci-fi than horror/thriller and is something we can’t wait to start.

prey_1.jpg

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Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 20-50 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every single month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 3 times a month. Go to http://www.wildsoundfestival.com for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

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