Interview with Filmmaker W. James Alexander (A LAKE OF ASHES)

A LAKE OF ASHES, 18min., Canada, Fantasy
Directed by W. James Alexander
In a not too distant future wracked by ecological devastation, a young boy grows up on an isolated lake. Though not yet destroyed by fire, the land he lives on and the lake at its center are slowly dying. As the boy wanders, drawing pictures of the dead animals and decaying landscape, refugees of all sorts start to pour in. Unable to rouse his despondent and abusive father, the boy takes matters into his own hands helping an old woman who is dying of thirst, and hiding from a strange animal-like man that would do him harm until all boils over and chaotic violence consumes the life he knows and casts him to the wind.

Get to know the filmmaker:

1. What motivated you to make this film?

One day I stepped outside and the mountains and ocean I could usually see from the door were replaced by a wall of pure grey little more than 100 feet from me, it wasn’t fog, it was smoke… That was the inciting incident for the short and feature script.

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

Two years, we nearly made it the first year, but it fell apart, tried again the next summer and got it done, few months of post after that.

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

The future

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

The biggest obstacle was the combination of the wild environment we shot in (a fatal bear attack occurred in the area only a month before shooting) and that we had so many background actors we had to manage there with limited resources.

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

My reaction to the feedback video was pure happiness, seeing that it worked for the audience, also I thought it was funny that one person liked it, but thought the refugees were zombies, fair enough!

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

I always wanted to make films or at the very least tell stories, even my earliest kindergarten writings say so.

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

Jurassic Park.

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

The experience has been great, the only obvious thing is I wish it was an event that I could come to!

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

Film Freeway is a breeze, thankful for it.

10. What is your favorite meal?

As many yellow kiwis as I can possibly ingest.

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

Next is either make the feature version ‘A Lake of Ashes’ AKA ‘Passage’, which would be a dream, or make a more contained sci-fi horror feature that I wrote, also a dream, but slightly less expensive.

By matthewtoffolo

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

1 comment

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: