Interview with Filmmaker Dakyum Breanna Lee (Abraxas of Emotions: Joy, Anger, Sorrow, and Excitement)

Abraxas of Emotions: Joy, Anger, Sorrow, and Excitement, 11min., South Korea, Experimental
Directed by Dakyum Breanna Lee
The main character is an artist who is being interviewed about the mysterious creature that she witnessed when she was a little kid. While drawing a composite of the creature, inside her mind, each of the four primary emotions (joy, anger, sorrow, and excitement) portrayed as scientists operate various experiments to test what the mysterious creature is. In the end, the artist realizes something about what the creature and her emotions have in common.

Get to know the filmmaker:

1. What motivated you to make this film?

I wanted to try making at least one film before I go to college to study film. So during the summer break, as I was pondering what to make the film about, I found a film festival whose topic of the year was “emotions.” Though I didn’t win in the festival, it gave me an excellent starting point to develop the main topic of my movie, “Abraxas of Emotions: Joy, Anger, Sorrow, and Excitement.”

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

Since I had to go to school between the school breaks, I had such a short amount of time to make the film; honestly, I could only invest two months or so to produce the entire film. During those two weeks, as a first-time filmmaker, I had to educate myself on how to produce the film while doing all the work (writing scripts, drawing storyboard, making a shot list, posting an audition and selecting the actors, finding locations, etc.)–– it was extremely wild and tough but also incredibly joyful and memorable.

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

“Visual bildungsroman”

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

Since I got help from so many people who were incredibly kind to help me, I was sort of burdened to bring out the good result. However, when my film was first completed, I was not very satisfied with my final product. I’m glad that some of the film festivals were generous enough to consider “Abraxas of Emotions” as an amateur film with a fresh perspective made by a young first-time filmmaker.

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

It literally made my day; I was having a difficult day when the video arrived, but the video actually put a smile on my face. I am so thankful to all the people who were in the feedback video and Student & Young Artists Feedback Festival for giving me such a heartwarming and meaningful experience.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

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

I’ve always been interested in many things –– music, art, editing, and writing. While contemplating what to major in college as a high schooler, I figured that pursuing film can enable me to study all of these and produce amazing final products; of course, films are cool and fun to make and watch.

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

Probably Moana. Animations really get into me differently; I adore how they let us tune out of the real world and enter a wondrous new one. The possibilities for storytelling and the excitement it contains are endless.

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 wish other film festivals could also give filmmakers feedback for their films: both positive and negative. More screening opportunities to communicate with more professional directors and producers in the industry will be always appreciated.

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

My experience at FilmFreeway has been so wonderful: easy payment system, quick submission, informative sorting and organizing of festivals, and fast emails for announcing the results –– everything has been perfect.

10. What is your favorite meal?

Anything made by my mom 😉

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

I want to make more legit films when I go to college and meet friends who are all talented filmmakers. Studying films and philosophy in college and majoring in screenwriting in graduate school to become a screenwriter at Pixar Animation studio is my dream for the future.


By matthewtoffolo

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

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