Interview with Filmmaker Peter John Tisma (BLUR THE LINE)

BLUR THE LINE was the winner of BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY at the January 2022 EXPERIMENTAL Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

I wrote the film to reflect the lengths we all go to in order to protect our own innocence as if it was never there.

The woman is all of us. The stone was the guilt in her life that she was going to hide in the seas of the past.

As she sat there about to throw a part of her life into oblivion, her conscience came to life to caution her.

It was not easy to throw away. For she had blurred the lines herself in order to get what she wanted.

We all ponder our place in the world on our remote shores of individuality but really, when we are so indoctrinated by the world to think the way we do ,is it little wonder we too blur the lines.

I think everyone can work out what the end means but I would like to add a quote by Arthur C Clarke which sums it up.

“The truth as always, will be far, far stranger.”

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

Probably about 6 weeks. We were jumping from the UK going abroad and so it was planned in the UK and then filmed in Turkey and then the editing, music and sound and final grade was finished in the UK.

It took 5 days to film and 3 weeks to post. The bits in between were all correlation and other writing and editing.

It took 2 weeks to cast the voice over. We had over 540 auditions. In the end I did the V/O. It seemed poignant.

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

Alarming. Challenging. I would like to say YOU and ME, but really, should I say BLUR and YOU?

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

By far the common to both was walking to the location and filming and that was the blistering heat. It reached about 51 degrees in the sun on one day.

The reflection of the sun off the still water at one point pushed temperatures over workable levels and it meant we could not film any more than 15 minutes.

We all must have consumed gallons of water as we constantly rested in the shade.

We filmed from morning till sunset every day spending more filming time in the cooler parts of the day.

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

Initially humbled. Words of appreciation are so hard to comment on. Tearful with joy on one or two because they clearly totally understood the film. Isn’t that the litmus test?

A chap called Jefferson noticed things we had not even planned to be in the film and that is the wonder of film. Your audience interprets it from their own POV.

That is what made the audience reaction so incredibly satisfying and warming. We are very honoured with all their comments and praise. A huge thank you to all of them.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

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

Back when I was in college, a visiting organisation called The American Field Service asked for the best guy in the film department to help them make a film. But he was on another project so they got me instead!

I shot it in 8mm and then did everything old school. I don’t know where that film is today.

Where it all started for me was a Bolex camera. Fixed lens. Wind up power. The flickering beauty. of it all I can still remember.

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

I’ve seen thousands, I am sure. The one I watch the most and keep going back to is Nolan’s ‘Interstellar’. It has a haunting quality.

The sin qua non of perfection in binging everything together in a film into perfect harmony. Acting. Cinematography. Sound. Music. Grade. Genius.

If I may say so, I also love old 50’s movies. Hitchcock. And then there are the 80’s films that simply seem to have vanished like ‘Someone to Watch Over Me.’

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 so much as it is and we are all very thankful for the great work that you all put in. So grateful.
What might be nice is to keep in touch through a regular ‘winners’ open zoom meeting so upcoming film makers can talk to the winners and ask advice.

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

They have been very good. The alert system is excellent and their coverage of the festivals we engage with is, from our experience, second-to-none.

10. What is your favorite meal?

A simple, fruit breakfast. Honey. 0% Greek yoghurt. Freshly ground cinnamon. Sesame seeds. Cashews. Pure heaven.

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

Definitely. A new feature has been written and we are in pre-production and hope to film that too, in Turkey.
We have two shorts in post and are working on two music videos to keep us busy and focused.
We also have several, essential commercial promos coming up to fund them all.
It is how we live for our passion. We love film.


By matthewtoffolo

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

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