Interview with Filmmaker Dave Lojek (I CAME FROM THE FUTURE)

I CAME FROM THE FUTURE, 4min., Poland, Sci-Fi/Drama
Directed by Dave Lojek
A brooding businessman reads his own suicide note on a roof. He ponders many questions about time travel.

Get to know the filmmaker:

1. What motivated you to make this film?

In 2017 I attended the Berlin-Sci-Fi film festival with a previous work and befriended one of the festival directors, Anthony Straeger from the UK. He is a trained actor and prolific screenwriter himself. So I mentioned my perpetual screenplay contest. He wrote me 3 scripts that I produced and directed in the following year. For “I came from the future” he also recorded the English voice over, which made production much faster. My motivation was to attempt an ultra minimalistic sci-fi film without any special effects under my usual haphazard guerilla-film circumstances of the kinokabaret community.

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

This film is not a product, just a fun exercise, like all my 174 works. The screenwriter Anthony Straeger took a few hours to create the script and record the narration himself. I attended a filmmaking event called KinoEaters Lublin in Poland in the winter of 2017. There I observed and scouted talents after pitching the idea. Within a few hours I had located the crew I wanted and we could access the hotel roof for pricipal photography for free for 3 hours. The cinematographer Raphael Federer mentioned his drone, which we used to impress our peers. He later colorized his images in one day. I edited the movie in one day and screened the rough cut to the peers in Lublin. Back in Berlin I visited my composer Mirko Rizzello, who reworked the score and won awards for it later.
In total I guess we used one week of production time spread over 2 months. Plus 6 years of festival distribution afterwards, reaching 99 film premieres so far and 11 awards.

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

Time-travel suicide-purgatory.

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

The snowfall on that roof stopped halfway. So weather became a continuity issue, which nobody complained about in cinemas, as they are distracted by the rapid cascade of questions our character asks himself.

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

As with the other feedback video I received from you some years ago for PROVERBIAL LUCK, I understood that audiences care about different things than filmmakers when uttering their opinions. Since we make the films for audiences, any comment is valuable. This way filmmakers gain outside perspectives and revel in recognition for a few minutes. This is why I host monthly open cinema premiere sessions with Q$As in Berlin since 2007. Audience reactions complete the cycle of creation.

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

After devouring films all my life and dabbling at some student projects in the 1990s I discovered the kino movement in Berlin in 2005. A talent cornucopia under extreme time pressure. One November day I joined the KinoKabaret. Two days later I had shot, directed, edited and premiered my fist film in a cinema. So I fell down that rabit hole of overdrive creativity towards filmmaker vanity and never emerged again. Now I breathe films and infect new generations with the same virus of freedom.

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

I must guess and fluctuate between BRAZIL and INTERSTELLAR and MAN OF STEEL and LORD OF THE RINGS. After the first few ten thousand films it is difficult to keep an accurate statisitc.

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 have no career, so I take what is given. Just imitate the behemoths among film festivals, who had decades to figure out all details. Berlinale, Cannes, Venice, Toronto… basically pay all costs of travel and accommodation and catering for all the talents that you invite to attend their own sold-out huge physical cinema premieres. Give real money awards withouit strings attched and create everlasting media exposure + press coverage for the films that reaches the actual decision makers. The explosion of fake film festivals in filmfreeway makes it harder for all real and honest event producers to become visible.

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

FFW is now the biggest festival submission platform. It has rendered many competitors obsolete and even inspired copycats. I use FFW regularly to distribute my works and reach cinema audiences around the globe. I wish FFW would check new festivals for being real physical events in cinemas or give an option to effectively sort out the thousands of fake festivals (who rip off naive filmmakers). But that would diminish their profits, so they don’t.

10. What is your favorite meal?

That changes often. Someting tasty and vegetarian.

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

While I wait for the visual effects artist in Paris to finish what he promised for my next release, I am hovering in limbo and hibernate a bit. This time I tried to make a sci-fi film with a hologram effect on our main actress, which sadly keeps delaying the completion of that short. In any case I might make a few new films in 2023, when the opportunity presents itself. It usually does.


By matthewtoffolo

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

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