Interview with Filmmaker Marlon O. Lee (CHYHENU)

CHYHENU, 23min., USA, Fantasy/Romance
Directed by Marlon O Lee
A single person, Chyhenu, meets a potential partner
In a beautiful and surrealistic collision of Nordic and Japanese cultures. These two eccentric characters share an inner connection that parts their clouds and returns blue skies to their lives.

Get to know the filmmaker:

1. What motivated you to make this film?
It was November last year and I thought “I have some solid connections to the industry, let’s try using them.” So I sent and email to my friend David Michaels and he was excited to start working on this.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
It took about 9 months from writing the script to finishing post.

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

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
Staying in budget, we were crunching numbers to the last minute of shooting trying to make sure we used ever penny wisely.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
I was so surprised to see how many people had similar, yet distinct opinions on the film’s meaning. I also found their attempts at pronouncing Chyhenu sweet and funny.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
Sophomore year of high school I was reflecting on an interest inventory that I took last year which ask “could you write a film?” At the time I promptly answered no but a year later I said “let’s see if I can actually do this.” So I found a free writing website and wrote my first, very bad, movie.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
Dazed and Confused followed by Interstellar

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 think it would be nice to get some constructive feedback on parts of the film that were weaker. (Unless my case was that there was no constructive feedback to give)

9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
The site makes it super easy to submit to many film festivals at once while still being able to make those submissions personal. The project uploading saves a lot of time and their gold feature makes it more affordable to submit to many festivals.

10. What is your favorite meal?

11. What is next for you? A new film?
Right now I’m working with a friend to start a new project and I also plan on moving to New Mexico in January to start working at 828 Studios.


By matthewtoffolo

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

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