Interview with Filmmaker Michael P. Callas (MAN FIRE CLAY)

A portrait of American woodfire ceramic artist Peter Callas.

Director Biography – Michael P. Callas

Michael Callas is a creative producer, writer and director with 12+ years of experience in entertainment in commercial, TV, Feature, and short/arthouse productions. An East Coast native headquartered in Los Angeles and New York, Michael has worked with companies such as BAD ROBOT (J.J. ABRAMS), RADICAL MEDIA, NIKE, ESPN, and APPLE, Michael is a life-long learner and seeker with a passion for the arts in all forms. An international film festival award recipient, a multi-degree-holder from Penn State University, UCLA, NYU, New York Film Academy, and more.

Get to know the filmmaker:

1. What motivated you to make this film?
The film is about my father, Peter Callas. This last year being his 50th career retrospective, I thought we might want to document his career in a film. It was a labor of love and a beautiful way to get to know my dad better.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
The idea was floated in early 2020, production began in 2021, we finished the film early in 2022.

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

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
Outside of the Covid protocols and restrictions which all film productions unanimously faced during this time period, the only “obstacle” we were faced with was finding the right way to construct the story. I believe we eventually did. Now, we are faced with only one obstacle which is finding a place for this film to call home.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
I was thrilled, as was the entire team. We thought each response was thoughtful and genuine and unique to each viewer. We were honestly blown away.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
I can’t remember a time I wanted to do anything else with my life. I was in the school plays as a kindergartner and virtually every book report I did was recorded on an old DV tape camcorder. It’s just who I am.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
Oh wow. Great question. It’s probably either Silence of the Lambs or Back to the Future. I also have a bunch of guilty pleasures I hesitate to mention here.

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 loved the way this festival was conducted from start to finish so I hesitate to recommend a change. I do love live festivals for the in-person mixers, it’s always great to meet other filmmakers and entertainment professionals. Fans too!

9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
No complaints. From my perspective they serve a purpose and they do so well. I’m thankful they are out there.

10. What is your favorite meal?
I love a home cooked meal, so anything prepared with love. I make a mean carbonara.

11. What is next for you? A new film?
We are currently developing a docu-narrative hybrid concept set in the old west. We are in script right now, so can’t share much more than that.


By matthewtoffolo

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

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