Interview with Filmmaker Daniel Riser (THE ASSASSINATION OF A MAN)

THE ASSASSINATION OF A MAN was the winner of BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY at the January 2021 Under 5 Minute Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

The producer and I desperately needed to make a film, after being in lockdown for so long. He’s a steadicam op so we designed a film that would be shot entirely on steadicam.

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

From concept to release, it was less than a month.

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

Domesticated Killer.

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

The music. We had a lot of trouble finding music that fit the tone. To this day I still wish we had more time to find the right sound.

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

It’s always a joy to watch an audience react. It’s such a learning lesson that I always appreciate.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

My producer and I were having drinks, discussing our need to make another film. We started talking about his steadicam experience and how fun it would be to design long takes on a steadicam. Next thing I know this idea hit me. I wrote it out on a napkin in front of him and then we developed the script over the next week.

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

Jurassic Park and ET. I could close my eyes and watch every frame.

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

I love it. I love how easy it is to submit a film (after you’ve created a profile for the film, of course) I hated withoutabox so I’m glad there’s a better alternative out there.

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

Hey Jude and Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd.

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

I actually made another film shortly after Assassination but I haven’t submitted it. It was much smaller and cheaper. I intend to make another film next month, depending on how COVID is in Los Angeles. Right now it’s pretty hard to make a no budget indie short. Assassination was made during COVID with as small a crew as possible but most of it took place outside. If I can come up with another film that takes place outside maybe we’ll be able to make something again soon.

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