Interview with Filmmaker Alex Sjobeck (SILHOUETTE)

SILHOUETTE, 9min., USA, Dance
Directed by Alex Sjobeck, Rulon Wood, Marla Hansen
Silhouette is short dance film portraying the ubiquitous theme that members of society have to masquerade in order to blend in, anxiously minimizing aspects of their own identity in order to avoid judgment.

Get to know filmmaker Alex Sjobeck

1. What motivated you to make this film?
I composed the piece “Silhouette” prior to the creation of the film. It was a composition with such a deep meaning that I had to find a way to portray the theme through multimedia. Jazz and dance have a long history of being associated together, more in the past than in modern times. I wanted to help bring this relationship to modern times and believed this would also be the perfect way to portray the meaning of the composition in a new, more apparent way. I was very happy that dance choreographer Marla Hansen and cinematographer Rulon Wood were willing and passionate about taking on this project together.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
The music was composed in 2021 and the meetings involving the creation and planning of the film began in early 2022. The finished product came together in October of 2022.

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

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
The initial biggest obstacle was funding. Thankfully we were awarded two grants from Boise State University School of the Arts and the Idaho Film Collection which made this project possible.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
I was very happy how clearly the message was perceived by the audience.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
When I started composing modern jazz, I received many comments that my music tells a story. This is when I began thinking about adding multimedia to my compositions and thought that through film the themes of my compositions could be portrayed more powerfully. This film would have not been possible, though, without my co-directors Rulon Wood and Marla Hansen.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
Perhaps it’s because it’s Christmastime, but the first film that comes to mind is “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Like many others, I watch this every year around the holidays.

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 am very happy with this experience and appreciate your festival and all the work you do to help our films be seen. One thing that may help our filmmaking careers would be notifying our local TV stations of awards received. Some smaller cities, such as Boise, are sometimes very receptive to support and celebrate local artists.

9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
It is very easy to use.

10. What is your favorite meal?
Shrimp or crab legs!

11. What is next for you? A new film?
Most likely recording new music, but I have some ideas for films to be set to other compositions that I am going to explore. I already have a concrete idea for a film set to a composition named “Golden Hours” that would reflect on the atrocious wildfires of the west. The first steps are to find funding for this project, though.

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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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