Interview with Filmmaker Nace DeSanders (INFATUATION)

INFATUATION was the winner of BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY at the November 2020 New York Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

My friend, Joi Ashanti Watkis, was producing an anthology series called the Alphabet Series. Each letter of the alphabet would get a short film representing a certain emotion. She gave me first dibs on any letter I wanted and I chose I for Infatuation and here we are. I don’t think before I write and this short had no real thought process in the first draft. The visuals and the message came first and the story came second. I find myself writing this way a lot lately, with the visuals and message at the forefront.

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

Eight months. Idea and writing in December. Pre-production in January and February. Shooting in February. Ignoring the project in March. Editing and scoring in April, May, and June. Finishing touches in July. Covid slowed the post-production process down by a lot so I do not imagine it taking that long in the future.

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

Ever Changing… that might be one word but for the sake of this question it is two. His film means different things to different people based on their experience in the world. So Black women see different meanings and symbolisms and truths than white women, for example. A teenage girl will see different meanings than an adult man, for example. You today will see different meanings than you three years from now. All these differing views are valid and I love that experimental film plays on the viewers experience.

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

I guess, budget. I love the way the film came out but it does not match my initial vision at all. My vision was created with an unlimited budget and the real product had a very very strict budget. So changing my initial vision to match what we had money for was difficult but fun.

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

Relief! I was so scared that people wouldn’t get the film because I would have not done a good job making things clear. I did not want to spoon-feed the audience but I also did not want most people to walk away completely lost. It’s such a fine line. I was so glad to hear people’s differing takeaways because that is exactly what I wanted from this film.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

I opened up Final Draft and it just happened to be what my fingers typed and I went with it. I wrote the first draft in maybe five or ten minutes.

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

Funny Girl! It isn’t a film I base my own work off of at all. It is almost the opposite of the type of films I seek to create and yet I fall in love with Barbra Streisand and Omar Sharif every time I see the film. I think I have seen it a hundred times now.

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

I would tell all filmmakers to just use filmfreeway exclusively! Do not waste your time with any of the other sites! That’s the mistake I made and I won’t again. Filmfreeway is the most professional and easiest to use.

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

I have no idea. Music is so important for my writing and always has been but every new work gets a different playlist so I can’t say what song got the most plays.

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

I am in pre-production for my next short film and will be shooting in two weeks. The short is called The Wounded and The Watcher. It’s another experimental short about social media’s role in pacifying it’s users in the face of world events and social issues. I’m upping the ante a bit this time. This short has three different locations and more actors than before. It will have it’s film festival debut sometime next year if all goes well. You can check for updates on my projects on my website nacedesanders.com or follow me on instagram or twitter: @nacedesanders

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