Interview with Filmmaker GG Hawkins (AN ASPIRATIONAL SPACE)

AN ASPIRATIONAL SPACE was the winner of BEST PERFORMANCES at the Los Angeles FEEDBACK Film Festival in Janaury 2020.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

GG Hawkins: There were a few things that got the ball rolling on An Aspirational Space. First and foremost, I wanted to try my chops at writing and directing before leaving my job in the podcast world. I had been playing around filming with Andrea Raggio (who plays the lead in AAS), Hilary Seeley and Eva Victor on a project called Lili Podato, which we would film in my apartment at 8am on Sundays. I knew I loved working with these women, and wanted to see what we could do with a larger crew.

I had also gone through the Marie Kondo process myself, and mused on how easily one could spiral out of control with something like tidying. Especially if you live alone. That inspired the story of An Aspirational Space.

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

About a year.

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

Self help?

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

Time. We had an ambitious shot list — 145 shots two locations in two days! In pre-production, Producer Kyle Scott and I would laugh late into the night over (often a few beers deep) about the sheer volume of work we had to do. But our Director of Photography, Adam Volerich, moved like a well-oiled machine, and our wonderful Assistant Director, Renata Soares, kept us on schedule. We did have to cut and consolidate, but that’s all part of the creative puzzle solving!

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

I love when folks recognize the sound design and score. Working with Haley Shaw, who created all original music, was one of the highlights of the process. Coming from the podcast world, I’m a bit of a sound snob. I loved working with Haley and Hunter Berk, our post sound mixer, to create a film where every sound is designed to make you feel uncomfortable. Ari Aster’s Hereditary was a huge inspiration from a sound perspective.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

I went through the Mari Kondo process myself the year before, and one day, I went to a 9am screening of Hereditary. When I came home to my apartment, I made a smoothie, and thought: Living alone is creepy. And then the idea came to me.

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

28 Days Later.

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

This was my first time going through the submission process. FilmFreeway streamlined everything!

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

Let Me Alone by moow

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

We finished shooting Break Cute, a dark wrote and director, over Thanksgiving. It stars Joanna Hausman (Bill Nye Saves the World) and Jimmy Wong (Mulan). I’m also developing a pilot.

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