Interview with Filmmaker Joshua Mullins (HAMMOND’S BOOKS)

HAMMOND’S BOOKS played to rave reviews at the August 2021 DIVERSITY Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

I love photography and I was walking down a street in St. Louis one day taking pictures and came across this bookstore. Old time french music was coming from their outdoor speakers. I found it very interesting, so I went in and the store felt like I had been transported into another world. The smell, books floor to ceiling, the lighting, etc. And the owners were such characters themselves, I could instantly tell they had a passion for what they did and were quite characters honestly – and it shows in the film.

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

I want to say a year or two went by before I actually pursued the idea fully and talked with them and made a time commitment to spend with them. I filmed at their shop for two days. I immediately went into editing and got feedback from two close friends. I then let the project sit for a couple weeks/months until I picked back up with the changes.

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

Uniquely Fun

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

I would say finishing it. After getting feedback, I kind of just let the project sit for a while. Eventually I had to force myself to sit back down and start editing again. I don’t know why, I just may have been tired of the editing process.

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

One of my love languages is words of affirmation, so hearing all the great things people had to say about the film really made my evening. And the fact that they found it enjoyable was really a pleasure.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?

I’ve always been interested in electronics, but it wasn’t until a friend at my church introduced me to a video camera and let me use a computer to edit with, that it really took off. I would say late teen years, early 20’s, after high school was done.

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

Wow… I would have to say…. well, Tony Scott has been one of my favorite directors. I was sad to hear about his passing years ago. I really enjoy his films. I have seen Enemy of the State and Man on Fire quite a few times. I think the film I have seen the most though is That Thing You Do, starring Tom Hanks. I can definitely quote that movie, haha!

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

This is my first time using FilmFreeway. I had used WithoutABox years ago, so I can’t recall a lot of it, but I thought FilmFreeway was a BREEZE! Easy to read everything on the site, entries are clearly laid out. It’s simple to see what festivals I was invited to and which ones I was not. Super happy with the site so far!

9. What is your favorite meal?

I’m a simple guy, love me some steel cut oats with fruit and granola!

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

I love photography and am trying to start my own business with that

I also do video for a living, but I have discovered another short documentary project that I am currently trying to pursue. Hopefully this Best Cinematography award will help propel that idea forward with the individual.


By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival

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