Interview with Filmmaker Andrew Hawtrey (GARY)

GARY played to rave reviews at the Feb. 2022 COMEDY Film Festival.

What motivated you to make this film?

The idea was a random thought I had just before falling asleep one night back in November. Wrote down a basic outline in a couple of sentences and then worked on it the next day. At first, this project was just something to feed my desire to be creative, have fun, and put it out there and hope people would enjoy it with zero expectations it would lead to anything else.

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

About four or five days.

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

Relatable Jest

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

Since I shot it at home by myself the only obstacle was getting too distracted with the fun and excitement of the creative process and forgetting to pick up my son from school.

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

I was pleasantly surprised by all the positive feedback and how uplifting it was.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

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

I’ve wanted to make films for years but truth be told I resisted because of the fear of making a crappy failure. I’ve gotten to the point in my life that I just can’t let that negative voice in my head get in the way of having a little fun and I’m not going to worry if folks like it or not.

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

Growing up my family owned 3 movies on VHS and we didn’t have cable so I watched them dozens of times so that title goes to probably “Better Off Dead” starring John Cusack. But ” Amadeus” and “The Blues Brothers ” are right there too.

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

Not really sure, I haven’t been concerned with how it can further my career.

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

I had a friend tell me I should submit my short to festivals and he turned me on to FilmFreeway. As a first-time filmmaker, it’s really easy to use and search for festivals that fit the profile for my project.

10. What is your favorite meal?

You can see it in my film “Gary”

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

I just finish my next short and am submitting it now. I am writing my next project and hope to start filming it in the next couple of weeks. My short-term plan is to write and shoot a collection of character pieces that will be shared together even though they are stand-alone and unrelated to each other. The only common thread is that I wrote, directed, and starred in them.

Also, I have a small part in an upcoming episode of NBC’s “Mr. Mayor” along with a couple of national commercials that will hopefully start airing soon.


By matthewtoffolo

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

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