Interview with Filmmaker Kevin Hart (THE MEETING)

THE MEETING was the winner of BEST FILM at the January 2022 BLACK & WHITE Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

In a word: Kafka. Love Josef K. He introduced us to the modern man’s absurd nightmares. I coupled that with my take on modern corporate life. The seemingly polite, yet unrelenting pressure from co-workers to toe the line.

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

Took us about a month from start to finish – Though I had jotted down the basic idea a long time ago.

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

Corporate noir.

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

The choreography was our biggest challenge. It’s all done in one shot (of course) and we wanted to take full advantage of the tension that created – to keep the pace up and keep it smooth. Luckily, co-director Steef Sealy is a master camera man and he made it look easy, as well as a great cast – we’re all theater nerds BTW. We scouted the location, mapped out the movement, rehearsed a day with the cast, then shot it on the third day. We did it in 3 takes.

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

So encouraging! We truly appreciate the responses and how people appreciated/tolerated the quirky sensibility. It’s certainly imperfect, but we enjoy how people interpreted the twist at the end. I have my take – but I won’t tell anyone. It’s up to the viewer.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

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

I’ve always loved films. All kinds. But I realized I wanted to make films in the 80’s I think. I remember obsessing over movies like Raging Bull, Blue Velvet and Stranger Than Paradise – the offbeat, independents – and they inspired me to tell a story using a camera.

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

Oh boy. Tough. I would have to say either Being John Malkovich or Blue Velvet. And a bunch of Marx Brothers movies that I still love.

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

Another tough one. Your format is awesome. Receiving intelligent and sincere feedback helps emerging filmmakers learn and grow. What a gift. You make filmmaking and films more accessible, which helps viewers get habituated to different styles and perspectives – not just comic book superheroes. This is the future.

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

FilmFreeway is a great portal. Simple yet comprehensive. Very democratic!

10. What is your favorite meal?

Anything Italian – and anything seafood.

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

I am finishing another short film script called Cowlick (30 minutes) about a 22-year-old kid searching the night for his alcoholic dad after he goes AWOL from detox. Different style than The Meeting to be sure. This will be more naturalistic.

By matthewtoffolo

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

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