Interview with Filmmaker Brian Hollins (OUR LAST FAREWELL)

OUR LAST FAREWELL was the winner of BEST DIRECTION at the November 2021 DANCE Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

During the early days of the pandemic when ICUs were overwhelmed with dying patients I watched a TV interview with a doctor who said the most difficult part for him was listening to family members say goodbye to his patients via remote link. He was in tears as he spoke; it was a powerful moment, the emotion was palpable. I decided to write a song about it. Once the song was finished and recorded I thought a good way to put it out there would be to recount the experience in a dance video.

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

18 months, mostly during lockdown.

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

Despair, anguish.

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

All in all it progressed very smoothly but the preferred take had some issues that had to be edited out – a light reflector seen outside a window, a passing car outside another window, the reflection of the camera in a mirror. It required Photoshop correction to more than a hundred frames to remove them. Not really an obstacle; it just took a while.

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

I felt gratified that my video had clearly struck a chord and that my efforts were being appreciated and enjoyed.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

I am retired and I always strive to find interesting ways to keep myself busy. Perhaps ten years ago I decided as a personal challenge to try my hand at video editing – I was fascinated by it and thought it was something I might be good at. So I bought Final Cut Pro and taught myself from online sources (isn’t the web wonderful) then began by editing a studio rehearsal video for a dancer friend. It just expanded from there after I watched dance videos at a local film festival and thought “I can do that”. My recent foray into songwriting is proving to be a complementary catalyst.

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

Hitchcock’s ‘Vertigo’, a terrific paean to San Francisco. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Kim Novak twice – she’s a delight.

8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?

You are doing a fine job, keep up the good work. And I really appreciate that much of it is voluntary.

9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?

Excellent. They make it so easy to find and submit to festivals.

10. What is your favorite meal?

Most Italian dishes. Served with Italian wines! Caprese salad is a magical blend of harmonious ingredients – whoever first came up with it is a genius.

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

Yes! I’m working on another dance video set to another song I wrote (this is how one avoids music copyright royalties). I have the dancers, location and cinematographer lined up – I’m currently seeking the right choreographer, the most important contributor.


By matthewtoffolo

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

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