Interview with Filmmaker Duy Viet Hai Tong (LONG KISS GOODBYE)

LONG KISS GOODBYE, 8min., Canada, Relationships
Directed by Duy Viet Hai Tong
A window into the last day of a relationship.

Get to know the filmmaker:

1. What motivated you to make this film?

I made this film during a period where not a lot of things were happening around me. I was just trying to find my feet in a new environment. I had just graduated from university and moved to Canada. So, I think there was a personal component to making the film because it was for me to reflect on such a long journey from when I was a kid to just being done with the education environment and moving to another phase in life.

The relationship aspect of it came down to reflecting on past experiences and combining them with other things I know of. That’s where the European arthouse influence came in and I thought what a great tribute it would be to have a romance film in that style set in the modern day. We did ditch the excessive smoking though.

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

The process of writing the film started around the end of 2018 and we shot over a weekend in the following year. The post-production was on-and-off so I can’t really say how long that was but the last time I touched the timeline was July this year.

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

Urban tale.

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

Post-production was challenging. When I wrote the film, I had structured it more linieraly and when I started editing, I didn’t like that structure anymore so there was a sizable period of ‘finding’ the film.

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

I was really glad to hear that people liked the opening sequence. It was so jarringly different in tone and people picking up on the 60’s arthouse cinema inspiration was very encouraging for me as those films held a lot of meaning for me. There were a variety of interpretations of the film so that was interesting to hear for me how an audience might see it differently than how you envisioned it. I know Max, our DP on the film, would appreciate the comments on the cinematography as well.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

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

I think when I was 17/18. Obviously, I watched movies but I didn’t think much of it other than entertainment even when I was watching great movies. At the same time, I needed to choose what I was gonna study in university and my counselor at school just showed me this large list of subjects that they teach in universities and I picked film. I wasn’t sure of the choice initially and it wasn’t until I studied film history that I became enthused in making them.

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

I don’t know if I can cheat but both Ida and Cold War by Paweł Pawlikowski are films I’ve revisited many times.

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 haven’t gone through the full festival experience so I haven’t really reflected on that.

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

It was a smooth experience and I was glad that there was one central place for it. I think it would’ve depressed me if I had to produce multiple copies of this film on physical media and mail them around.

10. What is your favorite meal?

My mom makes a great Vietnamese family meal (savory dish + soup + rice). The dishes in that genre of food are watercress soup and braised pork with eggs.

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

I would like to make a feature so I’ll just put that out in the universe and hope it manifests someday but I’m also hoping to make more shorts. Potentially editing other people’s shorts too.

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By matthewtoffolo

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

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