Interview with Filmmaker Kevin Staake (GREENHORN)

GREENHORN was voted the TWIST FILM of the year at the January 2022 WILDsound Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

I wanted to make some sort of a magic trick of a short. I really wanted to lead viewers way far down one path with all these clues that upon the twist can easily translate to the reality that the story actually lives within. Also it was a short that I could shoot with minimal people, gear, locations when trying to keep budget/scope low, especially during a pandemic. Lastly, everyone knows I’m fascinated with war and particularly WW2. It’s the time period, the stakes of that particular war, the look of the uniforms, the machinery, the romance of the whole thing.

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

It was maybe a month and a half of pre-production once we decided to make it. The shoot itself was just one weekend, a Saturday and a Sunday. Then post production took quite awhile as it was only possible with massive favors. I think post probably took about 4-5 months.

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

Love this question but its so hard. I guess I would say “reality twist”.

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

Probably remote post/VFX. It’s very hard to fully articulate what you need from afar, especially when you can’t do it live. It takes much longer and if a posting/review isn’t correct, then you wait much longer for another pass, rather than fixing it in person.

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

I was smiling. It’s really big for me to see people connect with this short, to enjoy it, even just to “get it”. I greatly appreciated the feedback video.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

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

When I was little I used to wake my mom up very early on weekends to put a VHS in for me, Disney movies, Pixar, Star Wars, etc. Eventually she taught me how to use the VCR so I didn’t have to wake her up and suddenly I had this power to choose exactly what to watch and when to watch it. I think simply the love of movies being put “in my hands” was where it started.

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

This may come as no surprise, but probably Saving Private Ryan.

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

It’s really already been super impressive, especially compared to most festivals. Can’t say I would change much. Swag is always fun and is a talking point to spread word about the festival, but I know it increases overhead.

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

Been great. Super user friendly.

10. What is your favorite meal?

So tough. I really love Indian food.

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

A short film coming out hopefully at the end of this year. The only hint I can give is the name. Noah’s Belt. Keep an eye out!


By matthewtoffolo

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

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