Interview with Filmmaker Hayley Young (DRIVE)

DRIVE was the winner of BEST FILM at the December 2021 MUSIC Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

Circumstance and serendipity, really. Joshua Roman and I had wanted to collaborate in some capacity for some time, although his performance schedule and constant traveling were always competing elements. Likewise with Ryan and Bear Creek. The pandemic is likely the only reason making this film was possible. The studio is one of the best in this region and generally booked solid throughout the year. Having Ryan’s undivided attention AND Joshua’s ability to be in one location for the time it took us to film this was a small miracle in itself. When Joshua texted me his first recording of what he would go on to title “Drive”, all these elements fell into place. Within a few weeks, despite the fires burning up and down the west coast, Joshua’s car arrived in Seattle and we began making this little film together in hopes of adding some light to a very heavy space and time.

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

Not long, really. We only filmed for three days. The editing was the most time-consuming. I still can’t believe how Alex managed to make sense of the many audio tracks we captured throughout filming. His project file was a beast. I’d say from the moment Joshua sent me the song that sparked this idea, to the moment we were watching the film was maybe three or four months.

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

I would say it is both grounding and uplifting

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

I think our challenges were what made this film what it is. Having a hyper stripped-down crew due to covid allowed the space we occupied to remain very intimate. Alex and I were literal flies on the wall to Ryan and Joshua’s process. Our goal was to mimic our actual experience of quiet observation as genuinely as possible so that our viewers would get to experience their process as authentically as possible.

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

It was amazing. We haven’t had the chance to share this film in-person with many folks outside of our close friends and family. To have people from other corners of the world reflect the very themes and emotions we were hoping to share with them through the film was incredibly satisfying. It made all of our days. Thank you for facilitating that, it is so special.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

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

When I was a child, I was constantly imagining music videos I would make for my favorite artists. It was such a faraway concept at that time, I never considered it an actual career option. It was that daydreaming that planted the seed. It wasn’t until much later, when I was out of commercial photography school that I discovered my camera had the technology to film motion in a significant way. That sparked my DIY dive into directing.

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

Dirty Dancing

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

I really loved the audience feedback. While I’d love to have the film seen by larger audiences and in person, in leu of big screens with amazing audio, that personalize feedback was a wonderful gift.

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

Great, this has been my first time engaging with the platform and so far, it’s been generally helpful and easy to use.

10. What is your favorite meal?

There’s a Vietnamese restaurant in Seattle called Ba Bar, their Pho and Spring Rolls are heaven.

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

I, with my partners, have created a commercial production company that focuses on elevating female and non-binary directors and crew. It is called CURATOR and it has kept me incredibly busy these days. Very excited to see what we accomplish in 2022.


By matthewtoffolo

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

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